Yep- there are definite perks to being a grad student. Staying up late on a Monday night with your classmates and drinking far too much beer is certainly one of them.
After delivering my presentation in class yesterday (which, I am very pleased to report, I didn’t bomb!) my classmates and I went for a few celebratory drinks at the Grad Club. Though I was gleeful to have my talk behind me, it wasn’t my accomplishment, however, that we were marking. Instead, we were celebrating the end of the semester and the last of our classes.
I must admit, I’m sorry to see this one go. I really enjoyed the material and was just starting to get to know (and like!) my new classmates (this being a class cross-listed through the sociology department and outside of my usual cultural-studies-cohort comfort-base…hmmm I kinda like the ring of that: my CSCCB).
Hanging out with a whack of relatively new people was great. I think we all found it fun, too, to hang out with our professor in a non-classroom setting. It’s funny- because beginning when we first start school as children, we are taught to revere our teachers. They tend to take on a kind of otherness that is perpetuated throughout our academics careers.
The undergraduate experience continues to play out the divide, where the professor is the person who knows stuff at the front of the room, and we, the students, are the people waiting to absorb the knowledge out in the audience . But when you get to graduate school, things (thankfully) get a little more relaxed. Firstly, when you’re all adults, it’s easier to start to see your professor as an actual person — one who just happens to have a little more schooling than you do. There is less inclination, too, for that person to know everything (a relief, I’m sure!).
Working closely with a supervisor, as you are required to do in graduate school, requires a grown-up, mature relationships with a professor. Remembering that they are just people (yay!) is a good place to start…
Thanks again to my new classmates (and to my professor, of course!) for a most excellent semester, and an great night out.