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What your GSIs think during the long pauses in discussion

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Special Issues Editor

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

Discussion sections are hands down far worse than lecture. The smaller groups make you more likely to have to talk. Attendance is more mandatory, and it’s a gamble as to whether or not you’ll get a really good GSI or a bad one. But the worst part about discussion is the long pause when GSIs are looking for someone to participate and talk. We all know what we’re thinking during these pauses, but what are our GSIs thinking?

“It’s okay, I didn’t do the readings either.” 

Some classes require you to read a whole book in a week. This might not seem like too much for all of our bookworms out there, but when stacked with other classes, it’s just cruel! Imagine being a graduate student and still having to do these silly readings.

“Someone speak, please.” 

Really … someone … please.

“Do it for the fat stacks.” 

GSIs need to make some sort of a living too! With the expensive schooling, housing and overall cost of just living in Berkeley, GSIs need jobs, and their main source of income can come from leading discussion sections.

“Do it for the recommendation.” 

Getting a recommendation from a professor can lead to many job prospects and opportunities. And from a professor who has probably won some big awards and published books — WOW!

“Soon I’ll be a professor.” 

Being a professor means you won’t need to deal with these long pauses, especially with the big lectures that UC Berkeley loves so much. You can just lecture for an hour or two straight and hit the road. The real work goes to the GSIs who are making the tests, grading and more.

“Can these little shits just say something?”

No, seriously, someone speak.

“Alright, it’s been long enough. I’ll just talk now, I guess.” 

Long pauses in discussion are basically a GSI’s kryptonite. You can only stay quiet for so long before everyone starts feeling off.

“I guess we’ll just sit.” 

But for our brave GSIs, they’ll let it slide. As someone with some type of authority and power, they may even get a kick from the awkwardness.

“I hope they know this hurts me more than it hurts them.” 

Please, just talk a little. Maybe a cough?

“Please, not this kid again.” 

We all know that one kid in class that seems to speak just for the hell of it. Odds are, the GSI probably thinks the same thing of them. Although the participation is appreciated, sometimes, the silence is worth it.

We at the Clog want to give a huge shoutout to all of the GSIs at UC Berkeley. We appreciate your efforts, but please help end the awkwardness and just further explain what we slept through in lecture.

Contact Joyce Cam at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018