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student voices

Is There No Hope for Student Evaluations?

Studies paint a pretty bleak picture for student evaluations, as I noted in my previous blog post. An instructor’s race and gender have well-documented effects on evaluation scores, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the ways that sexuality and gender identity and disability/ability and countless other aspects of identity come into play.

Note to my first-year grad student self

Dear first-year grad student me,

I think of you wistfully every now and then, remembering your boundless enthusiasm for genetics and optimism about the world. You naive young thing, you. I’m so glad you don’t know what lies ahead. Ignorance IS bliss, but don’t tell your thesis committee that!

I shake my head watching you code inefficiently, and cringe at your organizational skills. Second-year grad student me is going to be very mad at you when she has to go through those folders! Please be better about commenting your code and making your README files a little more verbose, okay? Always try to code keeping future you in mind, and that everything you are doing right now will probably have to be revisited in six months.