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March 29, 1996 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-29

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14 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 29, 1996

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Michigan Union this week. Students are now beginning to prepare for the end-of-the-term rush that comes with final exams.

RC junior Maria Karitadatle studies in Amer's Coffee Shop in the

one's first and last name," Brake said. "I pass back home-
work individually. I'm sure that's got to be a plus for stu-
"The students I teach I get to know better than a class of
106 because in a smaller setting, people will ask questions."
Ziff said doing research also gave him a different way of
teaching students. He is currently studying computer simu-
lation of the percolation process and catalytic converter.
"I consider research teaching one-on-one with a student,"
he said. "Some of the research filters down into the class-
room. It gives you a different point-of-view, and you don't
accept everything you see.
"By teaching something you do research on you can keep

LSA senior Michael Navratil said his professor's office
hours in a mass lecture class were usually busy and he had
to wait for help.
"The classes were kind of big," Navratil said. "You w
to go to office hours, but you were worried 10 million
ple would be there."
Rebecca McLeod, an Engineering first-year student, said
she has not been able to attend her professors' office hours
as much as she has been able to meet with her GSIs.
"My professors' office hours have been during other class-
es or while I was working," McLeod said. "I've met with
my calculus (GSI) outside discussion, and it helps me to be
a little comfortable.

(lectures) more up-to-
Research can be hard
to balance with teaching
and administrative work,
Brake said.
"During the year you
spend a lot of time on
teaching, and in the sum-
mer you catch up on
research," she said.
Basu said it is difficult
to equalize the workload,
but there were also some
"I think, like most peo-
ple in my experience,
there is a balancing act to
follow," Basu said. "I'm
not going to minimize the
conflicts, but there are

University Faculty 1994-95

"If he knows my
name and who I am,l
don't feel so bad askS
LSA first-year stu-
dent Antoine Varner
said he has not found
either professors or
GSIs very helpful at the
"I think professors
themselves are boring,'
Varner said. "Tb-
should not talk i
monotone voice and be
so dry.
"I've noticed the
(GSIs) think they know
it all or know nothing a
Razaq said she had a

Source: 199495 Michigan House Fiscal Agency Reports


Basu said GSIs and their discussion sections are invalu-
able to conducting his class. He usually has one to three GSIs
assigned per course.
"The job does not come from teaching the material but
figuring out the course structure," he said. "Without good
planning, (discussion) sessions have a tendency to become
not very useful."
Basu said he and his GSIs meet weekly to design the
answers to a homework set that is due two weeks later.
During the two-week interval, Basu said he and his teaching
staff go over the main points, so they can reiterate them in
"By the time the actual week comes around, we've made
sure that we're all thinking the same thing." he said. "All
(GSIs) are doing the same things and reinforcing the same
Brake also said she tries to instill her expectations into her
"(GSIs) need to know your philosophy of how they should
run the class," Brake said. "They have formal training, but I
give them more on-the-job training because it's very class-
Brake said she always supports her GSIs on their deci-
"I always back them up because they are the 'person in
charge', and I don't want to undermine their influence."'
LSA first-year student Sadia Razaq said she has taken
two mass-lecture classes and two other smaller classes
during the year. She said she has noticed a greater empha-
sis on getting good grades than understanding the materi-
"I think in your freshman year that so many people tell
you the classes are weeder classes," Razaq said. "It puts a
lot of unnecessary pressure on the students.
"When you have to worry so much about the grade, you
don't'worry so much about what you're learning."
Razaq said she did not have this problem with her phi-
losophy class because her professor "tried to instill the
idea, 'Don't worry about grades.'
Engineering sophomore Joe Dertouzos said that by vis-

problem with her
organic chemistry GSI - he was a physics major and no
prepared to teach the discussion.
"He had no background in (organic chemistry) exci
what he took in college," Razaq said. "He covered mateĀ°
that he thought was important, and a lot of things didn't show
up on the exams."
Graiduato Student Instructors
Business GSI Jefferson Williams, who is in his third yea
of a doctoral program, teaches an accounting course for non
business students. Williams has 15 years of experience it
the field as a certified public accountant.
"There is not enough hours in the day to devote to tea-p
ing in the classroom," Williams said. "There is never eno
time, but the department is very supportive because these
are non-business students.
"A lot of the material and concepts will be new to them.'
Art GSI and third-year graduate student Tammy Evan
said she did not have much guidance from her faculty advis
er when she was teaching her own studio class.
"In the art classes they're studio classes, and they do
require a lot of in-class time," she said. "You're looking a
six hours a week.
"I found it overwhelming," Evans said. "As a graduat
student, basically you try to meet the needs of undergra-
ates, but your own projects end up on the backburner.
"That is a kind of a bit of pressure."
Evans said she wants departments to take more initiativ(
with coordinating GSI duties.
"In general, graduate teaching experience is invaluable
especially to those who plan to go into, academics," Evan
said. "From my experience, department involvement i
essential for successful experience with (GSIs) and student
involved with (GSIs)."
Dian Li said teaching classes has taught him dedicatiol
and prepared him for his future goal in academia - aP
fessorship. He is a GSI and fourth-year doctoral candidate r
the department of Asian languages and cultures.
"You are preparing yourself, and you have to loveyou
job," Li said. "It is a very good thing as far as my caree
-Li said he sometimes has trouble getting his students

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