The discussion of ta experiences has been timely and useful for me: I'm a
second year graduate student who's ta-ing for the first time this quarter.
It's a senior-level introductory biochemistry class which is large and
chock full of folks gunning for med school admission...after watching a
colleague teach in this same class last year I'm just hoping the whine
factor isn't too high. Perhaps my biases are showing--I got my undergrad
degree in chemistry and found that classes for majors only were small and
students were more relaxed and able to actually learn. This in comparison
to huge classes on the premed pipeline, in which everyone was far more
grade-oriented and competetive. Drove me nuts then. I'm hoping I'll be
able to keep myself from actually growling at the little overacheiving
darlings who end up in my sections and pester me for those all-important 3
points I unfairly deprived them of.
I'm actually much nicer than that. Really.
I'm also (as I said above) a 2nd year grad in the doctoral program in
Biochemistry here at the University of Washington, studying protein
structure determination via multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance
techniques in the lab of Dr. Rachel Klevit. It's grand fun; imagine how
much more compelling it'll be when I actually settle on a thesis topic! I
got my BS in Chemistry from Stanford in 1991; did some computational
chemistry research as an undergrad, tech work in a clinical lab after
graduation and started this program a year ago. Perhaps I should consider
myself fortunate in that most of the influential individuals in my
experience as a scientist (undergrad advisor, the boss at the firm where I
did my undergrad research, supervisor @ the clinical lab, major professor)
have been female. An 'old gal' network in the making? You make the call.