Badgers returned to UW to continue their studies after a winter recess January 17. Though discussion sections did not commence until the following week, many freshmen expressed their eagerness to get started.
“Last semester was the best,” freshman Kerry Wells said. “Twelve credits, none of my lectures were over fifty minutes. The only thing I didn’t like were the discussion sections, but I’m sure I must have just gotten a weird TA. It’ll be better this semester.”
Many freshmen came into the first week of discussion with the same optimism as Wells. Despite the positive vibes, discussion sections hit them just as hard as the previous semester.
“I thought icebreakers would end after first semester,” freshman Manny Holeman said. “I was wrong. Within minutes, I was once again attempting to uncover an interesting fact about myself that wasn’t ‘I like football.’ I told them I like soccer.”
Other students, who have had the same teaching assistant before, said they feel disillusioned with the decorum of repeating information for the sake of getting to know each other.
UW freshman Sara McGee said she has no interest in her repeat TA’s research for her class, “14th Century Estonian Comparitive Literature.”
“I have the same TA this semester as I did last semester, and they still feel the need to tell me what their research is. I didn’t care, I don’t care, and I will not ever care,” McGee said.
Freshmen being surprised by the fact that discussion sections never stop being lame is not a new issue, according to upperclassmen, who claim they have struggled with this issue, and continue to face the mundanity of discussion sections everyday.
“I would just do what I normally do when confronted with complaining freshmen and tell them to shut the fuck up, but their complaint is valid. I am a graduating senior, and all of my discussions this semester involved a goddamn thirty-minute name game,” senior Johnny Reese said.
The overall pessimism of all students toward their discussion sections has led to a worn out, negative feeling that has spread across campus in these first couple weeks. The only group of people that seem to be supporting discussions are the TA’s themselves.
“I do understand the woes of these students, but to be honest, I don’t care,” Comm Arts TA Henry Talupa said. “Icebreakers, name games, falsely joyful TA’s, social interaction, and unnecessarily colorful paper copies of the syllabus are a part of your life now. Get used to it, or don’t show up. You don’t think I’m serious? I will take that five percent participation grade off your final grade so fast!”