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An Open Letter

Dear College Professor Dudes and Dudettes,

Please, please, for the love of all that is good and proper – STOP assigning group projects!

I would rather swim or sink on my own. I do not play well with others when it comes to my course work. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I am suggesting that I am right.

Thank you for your consideration –
Nerd Girl

(Do/did y’all like group projects when you were in school? Is it just me?!?!)

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4 thoughts on “An Open Letter

  1. you don’t know how much I agree with you right about now.

    Six weeks ago we agreed on a timeline, two weeks ago after no response for 4 straight weeks we made a mad dash to select assignments and a new timeline. Well guess what the assignment is due two days (same day I am scheduled to take the final for this class) and only one other person has submitted their portion.

    So now I’m sitting here juggling studying for my final and completing the missing portions of the GROUP project to be submitted Sunday!

    Thanks professor for the group project……….NOT!

  2. Nerd Girl,
    We must be living some of the same hellish reality!
    I just completed my second group project. I pretty much ran the first one, and I hated it. The non-motivation exhibited by the other members of my group was a real downer. I assigned roles, did most of the work, and on the day of presentation, two people didn’t show up.
    The next one (same class) was something else. The assignment was given the week before Thanksgiving, due the week after. We were to have class the day before T-day, but the instructor gave us the day off. The only time my group could meet was that day, during normal class time (8:00 AM), so we agreed to meet then. You do what you gotta do. The day comes, and of 5 members, only myself and one other person show up. We searched the library, then stayed and outlined a presentation and assignments for her and myself. Screw the others.
    To further complicate things, only one member of the group took down contact information. I was not feeling motivated, and I knew that if I took one step to organize things it would be a slippery slope towards my taking complete control. I’m one of the 3 ‘older’ people in class, and I don’t want to assume the position of a ‘mama’ to all the lazy younguns. To get back to the point, the young man who had the phone numbers did not call anyone.
    Over the weekend, I debated emailing the instructor about the situation. I finally did, and she responded that since no communication had been made, the two of us who developed the project should get the credit.
    The day before the project was due, the young man with each of our phone numbers called me to ask what he should do to contribute. I told him not to worry about it, then asked him why he didn’t show up for our meeting. He just laughed. I called my collaborator, and she told me that he laughed when she asked him the same question. I told her that I’d emailed the teacher. She seemed uncomfortable with the situation, but I convinced her that the others did not deserve credit.
    The next day, one member of my group approached the instructor and gave her some BS line about not knowing what group he was in and making the assignment up. Punk. Another girl just sat there looking stupid. The slacker who took down the phone numbers did not show up. We gave our presentation and it was okay.
    The class is Student Development Skills, one of those things you have to take in order to graduate. I did not know that I could have taken it online or over a weekend. I feel like I wasted a semester for a ONE-CREDIT class that was the most labor-intensive of all the courses I was taking. Lots of homework and projects, all to get to “know yourself”, your study style, and whether you’ve picked the right major for your personality. And while I think the class was a waste of time (and a shameless, pointless way to give a teacher a job), it DOES contribute towards my GPA. I’m not going to ignore the work because I hate the curriculum.
    I was appalled because a group of young idiots thought they could simply use MY hard work to sail through an assignment. I was lucky that the instructor requested that we let her know if there was conflict withing our group. I know that there will be experiences in which that won’t matter; only the bottom line will be important. If I see any of these idiots in any of my future classes, I’m going to steer very clear of them.
    Sorry to blog in your comments. This incident is still pretty recent, and I’m a bit raw over it.

  3. Laughing 808 – I tried to opt out of our group project. I told the instructor I’d rather write and present a 20 page paper on my own. No go. And I’m the first to admit that I am a procrastinator and don’t like to hold the other group members up with my hemming and hawing. I understand that instructors don’t want to read 20 20-page papers, but there has got to be a better weay . . .

    Shanda – So sorry for all your troubles. One of the biggest problem with group projects is that they turn out to be solo projects with multiple names on them. My group pissed me off because I wrote a bunch of stuff and they deleted nearly all of it. On one hand I don’t care because it is a group effort but on the other hand, I don’t appreciate doing all of that work just to have it deleted by two others in the group for whatever reason. So at this point, I’m like whatever. The bad part about my situation is that I’m in a cohort and will have these three classmates for the next two years. I can’t switch to another group even if I wanted to!!!

  4. I couldn’t stand them. I’d MUCH rather work alone. When I was in grad school it was the one thing I dreaded the most. Most of the time I ended up doing the brunt of the work. Uggh!

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