An Open Letter to Lab TAs

Hi guys,

I know that most of you are focusing on bigger and better things like applying to medical school, graduate school, or some other sort of professional school.  I can understand that – I’m with you.  I have a full-time job outside of academia, non-academic interests, and a ton of things that vie for my time.  But, someone needs to point out the obvious here – do your job.

My lab TA posted this week’s pre-lab the night before it was due.  Not last week, when it was formally assigned – the night before it’s due.  My lab meets at 5:00 tomorrow.  The pre-lab is going to take at least 3 hours or so.  Seriously?  This is acceptable, professional behavior?  My TA is a nice guy – I’ve known him for a while and I understand he’s busy.  He’s applying to medical school this cycle in June.  But really…?

This guy taught my lab section last semester and I’m aware of how easy a grader he is, so I don’t want to complain too much, but come on guys – if you’re going to take on the responsibility of teaching a lab section, don’t wait until the night before an assignment is due to post it.  Now, I have to burn a vacation day tomorrow to get my pre-lab finished.  I don’t have an infinite supply of those and I have other obligations as well.  Do your jobs guys – if you don’t have the discipline to handle the responsibility of an undergraduate chemistry laboratory section, you really think you have the capacity to make medical decisions?  Give me a break.

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