What do you think of when you imagine sitting in a college classroom or lecture hall? Do you see images of a bearded, intellectual-looking man (or woman (without the beard, of course)) leaning on his/her rostrum while pontificating pearls of great wisdom about whatever topic s/he represents? Your daydream may also include deep-toned, richly polished, paneled walls, with perhaps some dazzling stained-glass windows emblazoned with the prestigious crest of your ivy-walled institution. Quite impressive, eh?

Well, that's the ideal, perhaps stereotypical scenario. The reality, however, may be quite different. The point here is that when the time comes for you high school seniors to make your college enrollment choices this spring (or even sooner), you'll want to get an idea about the quality and availability of the professors with whom you'll be studying. It's not always the way it looks in the colleges' viewbooks and on their Web sites. For example, consider the prospect of TAs, Teaching Assistants.

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