The Final End
Last week, I had to give my Incomplete students their grades. One quit a few months ago, two of them never responded after a month of weekly emails, and two of them actually finished.
Even though I told my students that they needed to finish their Incomplete work by the end of December, they still waited until the last minute to actually do it. I guess it’s better than not doing it, but it was also irritating that I had to grade these assignments and look at what was wrong. I also had to make a new exam for one of them because the date I set for the final was when I wanted them to take the final (in January) and forgot to change it when none of them took it that day. The timeframe for the exam was also over the entire day, so I couldn’t just take that grade for that reason either. Because the exam was rewritten, or modified really, I didn’t have TA’s check it so there were mistakes, but in the end I graded only the questions that weren’t problematic and the student’s grade turned out to be the same. I probably got lucky there.
Throughout the past few months, I also helped out with other GIR-related activities, such as being a panelist for the info sessions, interviewing candidates which was actually pretty fun, and talking to the prospective Fisk GIR for this year (which he ended up taking and I’ll be mentoring him)!
I also got involved with FIR which is Faculty in Residence, a program where HBCU and HSI professors get invited to Google to gain some insight into how industry works, take some classes, and build a project to give to their students. It sounds pretty exciting and I want to help out in that space because I think training the professors is more scalable than having GIRs out at schools every fall.
GIR seems like a long time ago, but it’s an experience I’ll always remember dearly. It solidified my love for teaching computer science and working with students, but I already mostly knew this before doing GIR. I rewatched the precise language training which we had during GIR onboarding although I want to find more resources to learn even more about it, and I took those learnings to incorporate in the DEI session I led for our annual Firebase Console (internal) conference. I call out recruiters who hit me up on LinkedIn for using phrases like “diverse candidate” and am able to explain now why that’s wrong — before, I knew that it was wrong but couldn’t concretely explain the reason.
In general, I walked out of the experience having more fight and a habit to speak up for those who aren’t there to talk for themselves, and I acknowledge and point out privilege a lot more than I used to. I saw in front of me the concrete difference between the surroundings I had growing up, my present-day life, and the lives surrounded by people I know versus the lives my students live like working part-time jobs and family members dying from covid. Meeting real people living through the facts from articles lifted data off of paper into a tangible reality, and I know for as long as I live, I’ll do everything I can to bring awareness, speak up, and continue fighting for justice and equality.