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RevDrFunk's Either Way East

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Once a Semester: Group Projects Strike Again!



If you've got a super awesome memory, you might a remember a little entry I did waaaaaay back in Marchabout a group project I felt like snarking on. Well, another semester, another group project and all the joys and comforts they bring with them.

This time the class of choice is a psych class...a 400 level psych class I might add. Now, don't be misled, just because this is a 400 level class doesn't mean it's full of people that want to be there and only got there in the first place because they worked hard in the prerequisite class...which by the way, is Psych 101. This class is the most disorganized one I have this semester, and I'm talking like severly impaired, we're supposed to cover 8 concepts and we've done two kind of impaired. It's a riot, especially since classes like this tend to make the students in them far more prone to the "this class is stupid and this assignment is silly" frame of mind rather than "oh shit this is hard and I need to work at it" one.

Yet, the zaniness doesn't stop there. I said last time that one of the issues with group projects is that they're too much work for one person. This case manages to be the exact opposite. 3 -5 double spaced pages isn't enough work for 4-5 people. Oddly enough, we still manage to screw things up. So it's easy to rant about how silly it is to have a single-player project be made multiplayer, and rightfully so. Admittedly, this setup got me out of having to shoehorn academic journal articles into anotherwise intellectual and subjective paper, and for that I'm thankful since "scholarly journal articles" is among my most hated phrases in the English language. So next time we're in a spam, say somethng about "scholarly" to me if you want me to post something rage-y.

Anyway, this project actually went quite well. Everyone did their tiny part, and I earned my keep by doing quite a bit of the writing and ripping of movie clips from the DVD (yeah, having clips is a requirement). And then comes that moment when someone e-mails you the finished paper...only for you to find out that something has been completely changed to be incongruent with the ideas of the rest of the paper. Worse, you're the "good writer" in the group, and the section that has been replaced is the one where you took all those hours of watching Egoraptor and Jontron critically analyze games and movies and put them to good use for once MAGGIE.

See, at times like this I tend to learn about myself, namely, the kinds of things I should be bitching at myself about when doing a solo project. It's easy to yell at a group member in your head for doing something horrendously stupid and unnecessary, massacring the english language all the while. It's easy to accuse them of just summarizing the abstract of a journal article until you realize that you'd do the same thing. You know, I guess that tells you when you have a balanced group...one person does things thoroughly and the way they're supposed to be done, one's eloquent and can use language to make it LOOK like they've done things thoroughly, one just kind of does stuff, and the other puts things on a powerpoint...which is amazing in and of itself because they've attended like 5 classes all semester. It doesn't, however, remove the fact that suddenly reading a part of the paper that's now blatantly wrong makes me triple facepalm...actually it was more of a spaz attack.

And now comes the time when you wait and see what they'll come up with next, because somehow it wouldn't feel right if you said "just use mine, dammit." That's where I am right now actually, in between responding to e-mails in an eloquent and gramatically correct way so as to inspire feelings of "this guy can write, let's just use his section." Basically, if this comes back and it's still god awful, that's more or less what I'm going to say anyway, since this is on top of me seeing yet more communication problems occurring at the moment.

The question I really have for the grand scheme of the universe is...Why on Earth is there always that person in the group who can't SPELL? You get their section of the paper and just sort of cringe through it like "ugh, how did you even manage this." It's so just...irksome, especially since these are college juniors and seniors in a high level class. Last semester, it was "oh, these are mostly freshmen, this is an entry level class, what kind of people are they letting into college these days?" THIS semester it's "holy shit some of these people might go into a clinical setting in the near future and are still making with the text speak after three years of smart-people school..what kind of people are they GRADUATING these days?"

I think that speaks to a larger view about how college is doing it wrong these days. College used to be rough, man! Up all night with coffee and sugar pills with piles of books on the desk! It used to be haaard and people used to say "nah man, I can't do that shit." See, thing is, now that's what graduate school seems to be, and it reinforces the view that college is now high school part 2, and now anything beyond is college. But, and I know I say this EVERY blog entry, that's another huge rant altogether.

Anyway, group projects, they're always a hoot. I hope that this professor grades as easily on this as she did on the last paper (I got an A/100 on that one). Oh, and you know what the best news is? There's apparently one more group project due before the end of the semester. Mmmhmmm. We get to pick our groups for that one...which seems good, but I've got this sinking feeling that I'm going to be the odd man out during group selection and get roped into a group where I know no one. Luckily, I've got a friend in that class who might actually want me in their group...which is totally good for me.


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Ahhh I hate group projects! After my eighth year of school I decided to never do a group project again and now I beg all of my teachers to let me work individually. Even if a project is too much work alone, I still come out with a better project than if I had worked in a group.

And I know exactly what you mean about teachers sometimes giving too little work! You cannot split a paragraph response four ways - it's just impossible!

Anyway, I'm glad that if teachers do make me work together, I can usually choose my own group. The worst thing is when close friends pair up and the teacher says 3's aren't allowed.

I can definitely empathize with this post!

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