Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My first bout with GRAD School Drama...

I've come to a point in my life where I'm going to NO LONGER keep my mouth shut just to keep the peace!
I do not like working in groups.
When I have to depend on others to accomplish a task for me, it makes me uncomfortable.
But in school it is inevitable; as professors tend to frequently give you group assignments.
Sometimes the assignments are done in class.
This is less painful as they only last for a little while...then they're over.
The WORSE are group assignments like term papers.
My approach to school is getting the smaller assignments done and turned in so I only have to focus on the tests.
It's what makes sense to me.
Why wait until the last minute to complete something that can be done in couple of hours, when you can just get it done and get on with life?
Other students thrive on a shorter deadline.
Because they can complete the assignment in an hour or less, they wait until closer to the deadline to turn it in.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, working with a group of people that seem to think like that is hard for me.
We were given an assignment on a Tuesday.
Since it was a one-paged assignment and it was a group effort, we were given until the next Tuesday to collaborate with our group members to complete it.
I wanted to take a little time after class to exchange information and collaborate ideas.
Everyone else seemed ready to go home.
So, we all gave our email addresses and phone numbers to one person and she was supposed to send out a "test email" to the rest of the group.
That email didn't come until Saturday.
Subsequent emails followed during the weekend with a template of the project and soliciting everyone's ideas.
By then, I was turned off.
Why were we waiting until the last minute?
I wanted to speak to my group members on the next Tuesday, (the day my assignment was due), but I was super late for class.
We had a non-traditional format where a lot of people got out early, so a lot of my group members were gone when I got there.
When I tried to address my lack of participation and my true feelings about how we could have been better organized, I was met with resistance.
I got the most resistance from the person whom dropped the ball on distributing the contact information.
I admit that she did make up for it by assigning everyone duties, but this was too little too late for my taste.
The initial email should have went out a week before the assignment was due, not only days before.
We also could have come up with the concept of how to distribute the work amongst the group earlier as well.
Since there seemed to be tension about how to proceed with the project in an expeditious manner, I thought it would be necessary that the professor mediate the situation.
My group members didn't feel that way.
One girl almost shouted at me that we weren't going to go "tattle-tailing" to the professor about what's going on in our group and we can just email each other about the assignment.
The others said nothing, packed their belongings and left.
So I guess they agreed.
They also didn't hesitate to point out the fact they have been in Grad school longer than I have.
I was insistent on talking with the professor but of course, the lady whom was responsible for getting the ball rolling stayed after as well.
I couldn't get a word in edgewise for her making accusations, excuses, and cutting me off.
It was clear that by the time I was able to tell my side, the professor's view of the situation was skewed by the loudest and most obnoxious.
After venting to my friend about it, (and now on here), I decided to practice humility.
I tried being straightforward and I offended the group.
They took it as if I were saying their work wasn't good enough.
I didn't even thank them for giving me credit.
I just went in with the complaint that it was done last-minute.
So instead of proving a point, I put my sword down to express my gratitude and apologize, and offer my assistance as the assignment progresses.
If I am still met with animosity, so be it.
I know that I am not a slacker who puts my work off on other people.
I just work better when I have time to prepare.
[the end]


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