Tuesday, April 7, 2009

group projects

The last group project I ever did was in Junior High.  My group consisted of Bob* the crack addict, Jim the crack addict, and Bill the crack addict.  Due to that pleasant experience**, I've hated group projects ever since.

However, group projects, I've discovered, get an undeserved bad rap.  After over ten years of no group projects, I find myself enrolled in three classes which require group projects.  Group projects are pleasant experiences*** under the following conditions:
  1. Your group consists of ridiculous over-achievers.
  2. You care the least about your grade.
Thus, I'd encourage you to not seek to avoid group projects if you have given up on school.  They aren't that bad.

Though, this does not necessarily remove my main contention with group projects.  Professors will try and claim that they are making you do a group project to prepare you for the "real world" because this is how work gets done in the "real world".  My two points of contention are as follows****:
  1. Professors are lazy, and don't want to grade that many assignments, which is why they assign group projects.
  2. In what non-clam-baked world are group projects like reality in any possible way?
Professors commonly use the phrase "real world" to describe a reality with which they are unfamiliar.  The "real world" as they refer to it is a figment of their tenured imaginations.  Consider it: professors almost never exist in the real world.  So how are they capable of describing its features?

For the students and professors among you, let me explain how work gets done in the real world*****:
  1. You do not actually form groups based on who has what are commonly referred to as "friends".
  2. You are assigned a group based on where you get a job.
  3. You get a job based on where you apply.
  4. You apply to positions and companies based on how desperate you are and how much money you no longer have.
  5. Oh, that group thing is more appropriately referred to as a group of slaves assigned to an overlord, a slave driver, or an individual called "the boss"******.
  6. The boss whips you until you get something right.
  7. Your group members laugh at you until they are whipped as well.
Group projects in school are lacking a key characteristic which separates reality from the "real world": tyrannical despots.

So the next time you're assigned a group project, be sure to be the least academic of your group, and roll your eyes every time the professor tries to claim this is how the world works.

*Names have been changed as those giving them to me were too high to give their actual name.
**This comment was sarcastic, even if the act of becoming clam baked could be considered pleasant by some.
***Even minus the clam baking.
****Deep apologies, as I normally restrict myself to one list per post (lpp), but in this case I could not avoid two lpp.  This should not, however, hurt my average lpp ranking.
*****Okay, this is starting to hurt my lpp average.  And my fpp average (footnotes per post, not to be confused with fp, which is a different thing entirely).
******I put that in quotation marks to up my qmpp ranking.


drfindley said...

The real solution is to become a tyrannical despot in school. Always worked for me and my pathetic minions

Anonymous said...

during my schooling years only twice did I ever have group projects work. one might not count... do you consider 2 people a group?

chris said...

@julie--definitely. two is a group, because it follows the rule of groups: if you can force one person to do all the work, and at least one other person can slack, it is a group.

@drfindley--ingenious. and hilarious.