Campus Life

Ask A TA Holds Recitation

Hi kids. I see that you have questions about today’s The Tech, but I’ve prepared answers for your questions about March 21’s The Tech, so let’s go over that instead.

Seeing that you have no questions about March 21’s The Tech, you should be prepared to answer my questions for you about that issue. So first, let’s talk about double majors versus double degrees. Could one of you readers summarize the relevant article for me?

OK, maybe a summary is too broad. Can anyone tell me how the newly proposed Institvte policy would differ from the old policy?

Let me help you out a little bit. The old policy had students completing an extra 90 units of coursework, or 270 units beyond the General Institvte Requirements, and students who did so would get two pieces of paper at graduation. So how would the new policy differ?

There are at least two ways that it would differ, and the first is that the additional 90 units would not be required. Does anyone have any ideas of what a second difference might be?

Maybe something about the two diplomas at graduation … ?

So, the dual-degree policy resulted in two diplomas being handed out to the recipient at graduation. How might a single-degree policy be different?

Try thinking about the number of pieces of paper handed out at graduation …

OK, two degrees means two pieces of paper. How many pieces of paper do you think would be handed out to someone getting one degree with a double major?

I’ll give you a hint, it’s the same number of pieces of paper as for someone getting one degree …

And I can add that it is possible to print two courses on one diploma …

And also, at other Universities and Institvtes that don’t offer the dual-degree option, double majors get ONE piece of paper …

If you’re not sure, a good place to check would be your March 21 copy of The Tech. Like, for instance, maybe on page 15. And maybe in the first full paragraph of that page …

OK, you know what? You’re all undergrads at MIT. There’s even a movie out right now about how you’re super geniuses when it comes to anything involving numbers. And as your TA, I’m standing up here as a graduate of a less-prestigious undergraduate institution, and even I would have had the answer at “if two degrees gets two pieces of paper, how many pieces of paper does one degree get?” In second grade! So that means that you’re all just sitting there quietly mocking me. And that’s not cool. Have a heart! This is my job! And I barely get paid for it! And come on, it’s not my fault if you don’t find The Tech intellectually stimulating! I don’t write The Tech! I just have to come explain it to you, and that’s hard when today’s The Tech didn’t even go over the news items that the syllabus had indicated, and when I stayed up all night last night studying so that I could be ready to answer your questions today! Give me a break, kids! This is hard!

Please, someone just raise your hand and say “A DOUBLE MAJOR WOULD GET ONE PIECE OF FRACKING PAPER!!!!”

—TA Graham Ruby

This is what happens when no one writes in questions and everyone shows up to recitation unprepared. Seriously, do your reading and come prepared to ask silly questions to