Most Hated GDI of the Week: The TA

TA might as well stand for “Total Asshole.” It seems like every core class you share with 200+ of your classmates has one. Unfortunately, it also seems like the only requirement to gain the position is a mediocre understanding of English grammar and the ability to operate a graphing calculator. Yet somehow, time and time again we find ourselves, and more importantly our grades, at the clutches of someone who can’t even comprehend basic sentence structure.

Every TA is different, and I’ve even seen perfectly American ones royally fuck students over just as often as their more foreign colleagues. I feel like this common denominator of awfulness stems from the fact that these students at one point took this class, managed to do well, and still thought to themselves “Gee, I sure would like to spend more time on this material.” Flawed logic? You bet.

There are many breeds of TA you may encounter and it would serve you well to prepare for each for your collegiate escapades. At my University, and many others I am certain, the vast majority of “Total Assholes” fall into the “I study everyday, barely speak English, and have no friends” category. These TA’s are particularly lethal for a student trying to skate by on a passing grade, as they make it their personal mission to somehow enlighten their underlings without the ability to properly communicate.

In my experiences, I have mastered a maneuver that will not only get you in the good graces of your flawed foreign TA, but will also make it seem as if you’re paying attention as you casually surf the TFM wall in the back of the classroom. This simple technique is the enthusiastic head nod. Any time the TA asks something that vaguely sounds like “Do you understand?” make eye contact, nod your head, and if you’re daring add a “Oh yeah, now I get it.” He won’t bother you any more, and you can consider that 5% participation grade locked up.

A second type of TA that can be particularly troublesome is the dreaded “Revenge TA.” This student shares many of the qualities of a basic TA (lack of social status, over-enthusiasm for schoolwork, eternal blue balls) but the key difference is his hostility in the gradebook. This student was clearly defeated by a former (most likely falling in our first category) TA, and had to work harder than ever to keep that pristine 4.0 intact. Through all of the hardship, this student earned a spiteful respect over the material, and made it his personal mission to royally fuck his students and ensure their A is just as hard to get as his own. Beware of this breed my friends, don’t let his normal American accent and lack of Anime shirts fool you. He may act normal in the classroom, but as soon as you deliver that stat-plot with a one-thousandth decimal error you will know his red pen of fury.

Regardless of the type of TA you encounter, in most if not all cases you will be disappointed with the result. Unfortunately, unlike our other most hated GDIs these people actually hold power over you via the gradebook, so the best you can do is suck it up and snag yourself a Korean-English dictionary. Even that might not be enough.

    1. brosb4ho3s

      “you could be second, third, hell you can even be fifth.” Miss quoting take a lap

      13 years ago at 7:26 pm
    2. Sexpert

      You sick, sons of bitches. I mean you walk in that door, on your two legs… all fat and cocky and lookin at me in my chair. And you tell me its all in my head? I hope that both of you have sons… Handsome, beautiful, articulate sons, who are talented and star athletes and they have their legs taken away. I mean I pray you know that pain and that hurt.

      13 years ago at 8:19 pm
    3. TomWatson

      Don’t you put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby! Don’t you put that on us! You are NOT paralyzed!

      13 years ago at 3:45 pm
    1. Because its FaF

      Y’all eat pieces of shit? What’s the basis? We ain’t going nowhere but got suits and cases.

      13 years ago at 6:27 pm
  1. Brofessor15

    My chapter soaks up as many TA positions as we can. Tends to keep us off academic probation.

    13 years ago at 6:00 pm
    1. Brother Whiskey Dick

      I’m a TA and graduate student and the undergrad brothers love taking my classes. Being a TA that understands undergrads and takes care of brothers in FaF.

      That being said there are some stupid TAs though, but their mostly international students.

      13 years ago at 10:03 pm
    2. Frastar since 1842

      To everyone after Brother Whiskey Dick, how he used “there are” both makes sense and is grammatically correct. Take a lap

      13 years ago at 11:38 pm
    3. 5pointperfection

      They weren’t referring to his use of ‘there’. She was talking about his mis-use of ‘their’ at the end of that same sentence. “They’re” is the proper form.

      13 years ago at 2:44 pm
    4. TechBRO

      is it bad that I docked people points for grammar…

      and they all happened to be black?

      13 years ago at 1:36 pm
  2. Fratfaced

    You forgot the true “Revenga TA”:

    The TA who got balled by your fraternity when he rushed, and now goes about life as a bitter, friendless GDI.

    13 years ago at 6:01 pm
  3. PiRaiseHazeVoteRight

    We actually pulled a few strings with some alumni and were able to get some brothers TA positions in classes. Easiest way to get an A and never go to class.

    13 years ago at 6:01 pm
    1. the ice will suffice

      Yep, one of my brothers is a TA for a class im in. Easiest class I’ve ever taken.

      13 years ago at 6:04 pm
    1. Danny Devitbro

      You would think they would teach you the difference between “my” and “by” at your fancy private school, MadFratter.

      13 years ago at 7:13 pm
    2. CandC

      I go to a private school, and it has plenty of TAs. It’s not whether it’s public or private that matters, but rather how big the school is, e.g. your college is probably the size of my high school.

      13 years ago at 7:45 pm
    3. Fraturnalia

      Attending private college and never having a class taught by anyone without a PhD. FaF

      13 years ago at 10:52 am
    4. The Frat Czar

      Yeah, private schools are great. Nothing better than tailgating for Division III football.

      13 years ago at 2:01 pm
    5. rastafratian

      ^ uhh the Ivy League, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Duke, Rice, Notre Dame, USC (the good in Cali not Carolina) and Stanford are Division I and Private

      13 years ago at 3:14 pm
  4. MM Sweetland

    We have a 3rd category of TA at my school: the fraternity man who is way too involved. They are in every business club that pertains to them, ran for student government, and TA a core business course. They like to give away grades for shots though, so who can complain.

    13 years ago at 7:03 pm