Dealing with terrible gsi? Advice/Experience?

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>So i am having a hard time dealing with my physics 8a gsi. From his horrible accent to his arrogant attitude and to his impersonal/uncaring treatment toward teaching, I just felt like I am not really learning a lot from him. The two hours long discussion to me feels like a complete waste of time. I am having a hard time to find someone to switch sections with and it is also (apparently) against class policy to sit in on another sections. So basically, I am stuck with this gsi. I know i can just ditch, but i really feel very frustrated that such a terrible teacher can become a gsi!!</p>

<p>What should I do? Any advice/horror story on terrible gsi? Any feedback and response will be greatly appreciated.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot guys!</p>

<p>I had a terrible gsi for 8a too. lol Couldn't speak a lick of English and stopped every 5 minutes to think of the proper word. We'd get through maybe one problem during discussion. haha</p>

<p>I had a bad GSI for an intro class in another department. Guy just couldn't prioritize what he wanted to get down in our discussion hour and sometimes focused on some random comment by somebody in the class for an inappropriately long time. Kind of arrogant and snotty too. I didn't learn much from discussion and got a bad first essay grade from him, but I still tried to get some advice from him and ended up getting an A overall. So maybe getting a loser GSI won't hurt your grade. I still talked to him when I ran into him at the library....nice enough guy, but terrible teacher and socially inept. He said I aced the final and shouldn't worry at all about the class, so I felt guilty that I gave him a terrible evaluation that bashed him, haha.</p>

<p>Unlikely, but maybe your GSI is nicer/more helpful during office hours. If you have to deal with him, perhaps he's a different person when dealing with students individually. Or go to another GSI's office hours, if that's allowed?</p>

<p>who's your 8a professor anyways?</p>

<p>After a while here you learn that most discussions are a waste of time and only attend when you get a good GSI.</p>

<p>@Batman17 I am taking Physics 8A with Bordel.</p>

<p>@other poster,
The thing is, my gsi is not even nice (in my opinion)! He seems to get frustrated when we don't understand his explanations and would sighs when we get the answer wrong. I don't know if he is doing it on purpose, but I just perceives his various mannerism as rudeness and arrogance.</p>

<p>^ that reminds me of my friends depressed roommate who just so happens to be a physics grad student. We've come to the conclusion that he is depressed because he thinks everyone is stupid.</p>

<p>Superiority complex is a serious condition at Cal. It can lead to extreme depression if not properly treated.</p>

<p>Ohhh.. you are lucky that it's a gsi. I once had a prof who taught that could NOT speak English. I think I left the most brutal abusive review at the end of the semester but felt that wasn't good enough. You know what? You will always get that attitude with lots of GSI at Cal. Especially the science majors - but they are really smart people so in a way, they kinda deserve to be asses. Plus, physics majors aren't that social to begin with. You will see why people go 'Ohhhh...' when somebody identifies him/herself as math or physics major on campus.</p>

<p>I hated my 8A GSI and basically never went. Liked my 8B GSI and always went to class.</p>

<p>Didn't really mind either class, same grade in both lol</p>

<p>I am guessing a GSI is what we called a TA years ago when I was an undergraduate in college. It sounds like nothing has really changed in decades. Trying to learn from them, particularly in the sciences, has always been a struggle. You have to remember that these people are graduate students, often from Asia, who are only teaching because they are required to as part of their grants. They generally have no teaching experience and did not go to graduate school because they wanted to teach lower division Physics to freshmen and sophomores. They are there because they want to become leading researchers or academics in their fields and teaching what to them is very basic material to often uninspired students feels like a waste of time and energy to them. Add in the fact that they often have to do it in what to them is a foreign language compounds the stress they experience.</p>

<p>This is no excuse for GSIs who are rude, unhelpful and condescending to their students. This is the quid pro quo they agreed to in exchange for graduate training and a stipend and they should do their best to meet their obligations. However, it does explain why they often seem unhappy and unenthusiastic about teaching.</p>

<p>my stats 21 gsi was terrible.</p>

<p>She would just tell us to bring our books and then she'd tell us to do problems in the book and that's it. She would only go over like 1 one of the problems too.</p>

<p>physics GSI's are always bad. Learn how to teach yourself or sink.</p>

<p>Physics 8A is one of those classes where you really have to teach yourself how to do those problems or go to OH. I didn't get anything out of lecture or discussion either.</p>

<p>Haha! This reminds me of my Physics 7C GSI. He was from Canada so he spoke understandable English but he always complained California was "so hot" and was sweating constantly...it was abooot 60 degrees most of the time. Good times!</p>

<p>For my math, science, and engineering classes so far, I've had 6 AWESOME GSI's, 2 very good GSI's, 6 AWESOME professors, 3 good professors, and 1 horrible professor. I hate it when people say "physics GSI's are always bad", when that is obviously not true. You can say that some GSI's are bad, but certainly not all. My 7A and 7B GSI's are both in the "AWESOME" category. I can't wait to be a GSI one day so I can try to emulate some of the amazing ones that I've had. </p>

<p>It makes sense that 8A GSI's would be terrible though, since by taking that course, you are saying that you have no interest in learning real physics, and are just trying to get through the requirement. Why should the physics department reward uninterested students with quality GSI's when they can have the better GSI's teach the 7 series, which will produce students that may actually use the physics they learn in the future?</p>

<p>My 7A GSI was in the "meh" category. My 7B GSI (before I dropped the class) was great though.</p>

<p>It makes sense that 8A GSI's would be terrible though, since by taking that course, you are saying that you have no interest in learning real physics, and are just trying to get through the requirement. Why should the physics department reward uninterested students with quality GSI's when they can have the better GSI's teach the 7 series, which will produce students that may actually use the physics they learn in the future? </p>

<p>Don't ever be a teacher.</p>

<p>I really am wondering if we have the same GSI, though I'm taking 8B at the moment.</p>

<p>This guy's got a extremely thick accent, and speaks way to quickly. To the point where even if he didn't have a thick accent, people probably wouldn't understand him. He jumps two to three lectures, if not more, ahead of the professor, and is extremely condescending. He constantly berates us as being bad students since we don't read two chapters ahead of the professor's schedule, and haven't memorized the labs beforehand. On the first day of discussion/lab, he scoffed and laughed at this one girl's questions (which was perfectly legitimate by the way) because he could "explain" it in one sentence. Absolutely terrible.</p>

<p>I also had to email him because of a midterm conflict with a lab time, and he said it was completely my fault. I was polite in my emails, and just wanted to clarify something, and I guess he took it the wrong way. He responded with a very defensive email saying that he can't do anything for me (I didn't ask for him to do anything for me, I just asked if he was implying that I could make up the lab with a different GSI because he didn't directly state it), and again berated me on failing to know about the conflict.</p>

<p>I'm also pretty sure the GSIs here aren't required to be GSIs per se. The GSI webpage shows that people apply for the jobs. I know at UT, they get paid really well (my cousin's one over there), and I think I've heard from a psych GSI I've had that they get paid pretty decently here as well. I'm pretty sure these horrible GSIs are just doing it for the money and as resume boosters. I just wish they screened 'em better here. If I can't switch out of this ridiculous excuse for a human's section, I'm definitely going to leave a harsh eval, which I've never done 'cause I haven't had such a horrible GSI until this semester.</p>