One is the loneliest number: class discussion has only one student

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Here at Cal, awkward situations seem to be something we embrace. But what about a discussion class containing just a single student? We think all can agree that would just be weird and not fun. Never again could you get away with skipping the reading, even once.

We don’t think we could handle it, but freshman Katrina Hall is the lucky lady who has endured this exact situation. Every Friday at 8 a.m. (if that’s not torture enough) Katrina and her GSI Stephanie begin class. Just the two of them. After a month of her one-on-one discussion, we met with Katrina to find out what goes on in there and how she feels about this unique situation.

What subject is this discussion class for?

Katrina: Classics 28, Classical Myths. Right now, we’ve been going through “The Odyssey,” which is intense. Since I was the only one in there, we decided to also go through this Turkish epic as well … but I don’t remember what it is called.

What did your professor say about the 1:1 ratio?

Katrina: He said he was going to attempt to funnel people in there, but when that wasn’t happening, he kept it open because Stephanie was getting paid to teach two classes, so she might as well teach two classes.

What do you and your GSI talk about?

Katrina: Well, for the first couple of weeks it was really awkward so we talked about what sort of things we were in interested in doing in the class. We found a guy on YouTube that plays the lyre and interpreted some old Greek sheet music to play it and also started talking about modern Greek stories like the “Song of Achilles.” We stick to the subject of the class but also go into what we are interested in personally.

What does waking up for an 8 a.m. on Friday feel like?

Katrina: Not fun, not fun at all. I was really hoping to be put into one of the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. classes, but they decided to keep this class open … so here I am!

Why did you choose this discussion?

Katrina: It was the only one that fit into my schedule. Otherwise, 8 a.m.’s aren’t my favorite. (We at the Clog totally agree.)

After our interview, Katrina informed us that another student had officially added her discussion section that morning! She now has a buddy with whom she can endure the weekly early morning discussion. But still, we think she deserves some respect for the entire month that she was alone in this. Props to you, Katrina. You are truly an inspiration.

Image source: Kristen McFadden, The Daily Californian