English TAs discuss involvement in videos

James Heggen

With the semester winding down, participants in the “ISU English TA Experience” videos talked about how they got involved with the project.

The videos, released on YouTube two weeks ago, offered a satirical view of the lives of English teaching assistants which some found to be offensive.

Leah Graysmith, graduate student in English, said she became involved with the videos by chance. Andrew Judge, graduate student in English, who created the videos, was in the graduate student office in the Landscape Architecture Building and asked Graysmith if she would be willing to appear in a video.

“Just happened to be in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time, I’m not sure which,” she said.

Tim Dicks, graduate student in English, lives with Judge and went to high school with him. He heard about the videos and agreed to be involved.

“I was actually really impressed with the final results,” he said.

Graysmith said he thought the finished project was very well edited.

“I thought it was hilarious,” she said.

Both didn’t initially know the video would be publicly disseminated, but neither had a problem with the videos going on YouTube.

Graysmith said she expected the video to be shown to other people.

Dicks said that at the time of filming, he didn’t know the video would end up on YouTube. However, he has no regrets about it being made public. He said Judge told him about posting the video before actually making it public.

Neither felt the videos would have a negative effect on any future employment opportunities. Dicks wasn’t concerned about the possible effect on his future employment outside the university.

“If an employer were to see this movie and have a problem with my involvement in it, I probably wouldn’t want to work for that employer,” he said.

Graysmith also didn’t think the video would have any effect on future employment. She said she didn’t think anyone who saw the video would take it seriously because it’s so “far-fetched.”

“I mean, seriously, who uses typewriters anymore?” she said.

The feedback from the department has been mixed, Graysmith said. Some members have thought it was inappropriate, while others enjoyed the video. There has also been some concern raised about how it was handled.

“Some of the faculty are expressing a concern that, instead of just trying to squash the video, why not get the graduate students together and ask them what their angst is all about?” she said.

Graysmith said last week, her students became aware of the videos and had to have a discussion about the video. Her students found them very funny.

“They pretty much didn’t want to listen me when I was trying to defend the university,” she said.

As of last Wednesday, Dicks hadn’t heard any feedback from his students.

Graysmith said she did not expect any backlash from the videos.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been called into the principal’s office,” she said.