Graduate Students and the Four Groups. 

On Tuesday, the professor for my class veered away from the lecture for a few minutes to tell us about how grad. students are the only group at the university who "know" they are not the top of the educational heap. He said that there a four groups at every university: Faculty, Administrative Staff, Undergraduates, and Graduates. The first group, Faculty, can say, "without us, there would be nothing to teach." The Administrative staff can say, "well, without us to organize the schedules, facilitate the registration, and pay everyone's salaries, nothing would happen." And even the undergraduates, who make up the majority of the student body can respond with, "we are the people who pays the money into the system by taking these classes. Without us, there would be no-one to teach."

Working at Night

The only group who really "knows" that they are NOT the top of the heap are the graduate students. They are the only ones who recognize that they are working for some other purposes, usually another professor. And the graduate students wind up doing the bulk of the drudgery work such as "grading papers, doing class prep. work, etc." I admit that I haven't heard this before, and when the professor said it, I felt that it was at least true for the college where I am at currently. Perhaps it is true for all colleges. I know that I have graded more than my share of papers, and I haven't even taught a course yet.

As far as my own academic work goes, I am still behind. But, I think I can catch up. I have a plan that might work, and what is more important, a new attitude. I now know that all I can do is my best work and turn it in, which essentially means to me that I don't have to strive for perfection. I can strive for "good enough." I have heard people say this before, but only now is the realization of it sinking in.

28 January 2005
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