Monday, June 16, 2008

An Overflow of Grad Students

My first e-mail announcement as lead TA, describing the teaching/professional development workshops being offered over the summers, only gave me a minor fit. Fortunately, I sent it out before I realized how many people there were on the department's "students" list, and how few of them I knew.

The official list of students requesting TA funding for the fall numbers 43 students. The count of graduate students on the department website is 93. I can take some comfort from the fact that this is out of date - at least three students are listed in my area that I know have since graduated or left the department - but I hadn't realized exactly how big our department is, when it isn't broken down into our specialties. No wonder we have a multi-person department business office, and one staffer assigned just to administrating graduate students.

On the bright side, if five or even 10 students see that I'm the new lead and create a filter to junk my messages (which wouldn't surprise me), I can console myself with the knowledge that it's only a small fraction of the students I'm supposed to be inspiring to expand their graduate training. Sure.

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