"The GTA Student Bible" As recorded by the disciple Tracy Atteberry Parable of the Teaching Assistantship 1 And it came to pass that the graduate students received the teaching assisgnments. 2 That same day went the graduate students with great fear out of thier offices and sought the counsel of one who was but a.b.d. (all but dissertation) 3 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a classroom and stood; and the whole multitude was seated with great eagerness. 4 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying: "Behold, a GTA went forth to teach; 5 And when he taught, some truths fell by the way side (largely due to mumbling), and no ears did receive the message. 6 Some fell upon heads made out of bone, where they had not much thought: and forthwith their hands sprung up because their minds were shallow. 7 And when the test was up, their brains were scorched; and because they had no understanding, they dropped the class. 8 And some truths fell among stray thoughts; and the stray thoughts sprung up, and choked them: 9 But other fell into good minds, and brought forth homework, some an hundred percentile, some seventy percentile, some sixty percentile. 10 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. . . . 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy which saith: 'By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For some student's minds hath waxed lethargic, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their minds they have closed. Lest at any time they should see with their minds, and should understand with their thoughts, and should turn, and we would teach them.' . . . 18 Listen then to what the parable of the GTA means: 19 Do not worry saying, 'What shall we teach?' or 'How shall it be presented?' or 'How shall the curve be determined?' 20 For the uninformed chase after all of these things, and the graduate school knows that you need them. 21 But seek ye first thine own studies, and concern for thine own g.p.a. and all this funding (the Graduate Teaching Assistantship) shall be added unto you as well. Parable of the First Semester 1 Once again, the kingdom of the graduate school is like a net that was let down into the sea of the undergraduate and caught every kind of student. 2 When the openings were full, the graduate committe drew the catch onto the campus. Then they sat down and gathered the good into better offices, but cast the bad away. 3 So shall it be at the end of the first semester: the sealed envelope shall come forth and sever the unfortunate from the fortunate, 4 And shall cast them into the furnace of industry where there will be weeping and biting of backs. 5 Therefore every student which is instructed unto the graduate school is like unto a man that is a householder, which bringeth forth out of his storeroom understanding new and old.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)