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7 Really, Really Depressing Things You’ll Learn About Your New TA This Week

Welcome back to school, Hawkeyes! It’s normal to feel pretty down in the dumps this time of year, especially if you’re not looking forward to getting back into the academic swing of things. Take solace in this fun fact: literally no one is more depressed than your new TA right now! As you’ll soon find out, it’s, like, a whole thing with him. Here are seven depressing things you’ll learn about your new TA throughout the week:

7.) He spent his entire break explaining to hometown friends that he’s not in the Writer’s Workshop:
“Yeah, I’m getting my MFA at the University of Iowa. No…no, not like that.” It’s not his fault people from his hometown (“I’m from out east. No…no, not New York”) assume that everyone getting a graduate degree from this school is in the Writer’s Workshop. He’s working on a screenplay though, and he assures his friends any opportunity he gets.

6.) His office is located so deep in Phillips Hall sunlight will never reach it:
When he says “Come visit me during office hours!” he REALLY means it. He’s desperate. It’s scary down there! If here’s there too long by himself, he loses track of time and days can go by without him seeing another human soul. So if you’ve got a question about your Portuguese homework, maybe pay him a visit. He’d really appreciate it.

5.) He tried to take up juggling during his office hours to impress a girl he met at Deadwood:
But it’s not going that well. And it’s not for lack of practice time—his students NEVER visit him! He just really wants to be able to saunter into Deadwood, lock eyes with Chelsea who’s always there, and just blow her away with his juggling skills. But he just keeps hitting himself in the head with the balls and it’s a whole mess. Maybe he should try another hobby :(.

4.) He has never once found an open seat at the Prairie Lights Cafe:
It’s crowded there, we get it, but this is verging on ridiculous. All your TA wants is to make himself cozy in that cute little cafe, grade some papers, maybe work on that screenplay he’s always not-so-vaguely alluding to. But literally every time he tries, he fails to find a place to sit. Sometimes he’ll just order an Americano and stand in the corner. It’s getting weird.

3.) He knows a LOT about beer but no one will go to Sanctuary with him:
It’s difficult being a grad student—money’s tight, the stress is high, and sometimes all you want is to relax with—what? An IPA? A lager? We don’t know which is which, but your TA sure does, so it’s a real tragedy that he isn’t able to go out to Sanctuary and grab a brew. It’s just that nobody wants to spend that long talking to him, you know?

2.) People are starting to catch on that his tweed jacket doesn’t make him emotionally deep:
This was basically all he had going for him towards the end there, jaunting down the Ped Mall in that monstrosity. But people just aren’t feeling the need for tweed anymore, so that’s a big part of his appeal gone. He’s going to need to find himself a real personality now, and boy, that’s a task daunting enough to depress anyone.

1.) He’s actually a goblin who lives under the floorboards of Macbride Hall:
This is just so sad. Surely he once had dreams! Surely, at one point, he had aspirations to quit this corn town and try to make it in the big city with all the really important goblins. But he has stayed here for decades, not unlike the vampires in Twilight, repeating the same classes over and over again, offering lukewarm feedback on freshmen Human Origins papers. Tbh, even after all this time, he doesn’t know too much about Human Origins (because he’s a goblin).

Goodness gracious, this is all so sad. Hawkeyes, we know the beginning of the semester is a stressful time for everyone, but spare a moment of kindness for your TAs—they really need it. Nobody makes it through the winter alone: support your fellow students, goblin or otherwise, so we can all make it through this semester in one piece.

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