Sunday, March 16, 2008

My thoughts of graduate school have been increasingly better as of late. This semester has gone progressively better than the previous, and I am starting to feel as if I have carved the groves of my niche. Still, these thoughts are constantly changing depending on the day and the news.

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) positions are up in the air again, and I am excited to have the chance at securing my position for another year. However, I learned earlier this week that a person I knew from the debate team applied to be a graduate teaching assistant in the department. Obviously it would be sheer folly to speak ill of this person, especially since it reflects poorly on me. Still, I feel justified in saying that I do not support this person's presence in the department or as GTA. Indeed, I would hardly say this about anyone else, but this person warrants and elicits this response from me.

I have known this individual for five years and he/she has never been honest, authentic, compassionate, or concerned for anyone. Instead this person has been consistently selfish, unkind, dramatic, and unapologetic in all of his/her actions. He/She never even felt bad about the damage his/her words inflicted when spoken. There was never repose nor reflection; no broad insight into the damage done.

When I heard that this person was highly recommended by certain people, my heart sank. Flashbacks from three years ago instantly flashed through my head. Each moment filled with intensity, drama, and disdain. I remembered the words this person spoke, telling me and others that we weren't worthy. I remembered the malicious actions this person took to hurt others and to feel better about their place in the world. Mostly, I remembered how much I disliked this person, but not on principle. I remembered that I disliked this person for what he/she brought out in others, for what he/she made others do, and for he/she made others feel. When I think about it in this sense, I worry about what he/she will do if they get the position. I worry about the way he/she will shake the stable foundations in place. I worry about how he/she will try to make everything a personal issue and cause pain in others.

Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about this. As much as I believe this person is not qualified nor deserving of the GTA position, I do not decide. Instead, I can only sit back and observe the action the department takes. I can only wait and see.

In the event that he/she receives a GTA position, I'll accept the actions taken by the department. However, I will not accept this person as a friend, colleague, or peer. Perhaps if this person had been apologetic or reflective in his/her actions, I would feel somewhat better about lending a helping hand. I cannot justify helping him/her, though. He/She sowed the seeds of his/her discontent and unraveling a long time ago. Now it is time for him/her to reap what was sown.


SMJ said...

We can hope for the the best, and prepare for the worse. I cannot believe our last year of grad school is going to be wrecked by this person.Besides we have a pretty strong, and cohesive culture developing.

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