Students sometimes see their graduate student instructors, or GSIs, outside of the classroom, but it’s difficult to gauge how to react. After all, the only place a GSI should be is at the front of a small, 30-person classroom (anywhere else just seems wrong). So naturally, when students accidentally bump into one of their GSIs, a flurry of thoughts runs through their heads.
1. Is that my GSI? I hope he doesn’t see me.
2. He looks shorter and less intimidating outside the classroom. Wow, I don’t even feel inferior to him anymore!
3. Wait, why is he outside? It doesn’t look or feel right.
4. Oh dear God, he saw me. I think we made eye contact.
5. Should I say hi?
6. Does he even know who I am?
7. I should say hi, just so he’ll think I go to discussion a lot.
8. I don’t think he knows who I am. Serves me right for not going to discussion the past five weeks in a row.
9. Should I ask him about my grades? I really need to raise my grade.
10. Hmm, maybe if I tell him I’ll name my firstborn child after him, he’ll give me an A. Would that be unethical?
11. I should just compliment him on what a great GSI he is, so he likes me more.
12. When is this conversation going to end? I don’t even remember what reading he’s talking about.
13. Oh no, he just asked me a question about the reading. I’ll give him the most vague and general answer I can think of.
14. This is so uncomfortable. I’m so uncomfortable. I really hope this conversation ends soon.
15. I feel so stressed out just talking to him. I just realized I literally have no idea what’s happening in our class.
16. Ugh, finally it’s over. I think I just sweated through my shirt within a matter of minutes.
17. I should really go to discussion more often.