There's a student in my class this semester who is a really nice guy, but clearly underprepared for grad school. Actually, I'm surprised the student was accepted (not that I have seen his transcripts or other application materials, but I did receive several introductory emails from him when he was looking for an advisor/major professor before he was eventually admitted, and it was clear from every email that he had poor communication skills and not a particularly strong grasp of some of the major issues in the discipline) but he is a member of a particular underrepresented group within our department - so I kind of suspect that this played a role in how he ended up here.
He has a really hard time grasping even the basic material in my class. I really try my best to help him out when he comes to my office hours, but . . . 1) I don't think I should have to be spending EVERY office hour with him (why is it my problem - or the other students' problem - that he didn't come in with an appropriate level of preparation and skill from his previous background?), and 2) I have a hard time answering all his questions without spoon-feeding him (normally this line is one I am comfortable walking, but in this case it's quite a challenge).
It kind of makes me a little angry on the student's behalf. It makes me a little angry on my behalf, too. :(
3 days ago