Throughout my educational career, I have always disliked group work. To me, group work is only beneficial to those individuals that normally do poorly on projects and who view the opportunity of working in a group as a chance to improve their own grades at the cost of the other individuals in the group. When working on a project on my own, I strive for perfection by watching every detail closely—from the font on a page to the alignment of sentences on a PowerPoint presentation. But, since I am not my own teacher and because I am not able to assign myself my own homework assignments, I have had to work in groups on many occasions. And although I continue to strive for perfection while working on a group project, this is not always possible—and so to me, completing a group project that does not satisfy my own perfect standards leads to heartbreak each and every single time.
Working in a group is not an easy task; it is difficult, it is time-consuming, it is tedious, and it can even lead to restless sleep. In each group, (a) you always have the individual that just can’t find the time to work on the project, (b) the individual that never knows exactly what to do, (c) the individual that can care less because they’re going to end up failing the class anyway, (d) the individual that really cares about the outcome but who doesn’t care how the group reaches that outcome, and (e) the individual who makes everything happen. Because these are individuals that I have had to work with on many occasions, I have taken the liberty of given them titles: (a) The Flake, (b) The Drug Addict, (c) The Idiot, (d) The Paranoid Obsessive-Compulsive Without a Cause, and (e) The Man (or Woman; I really don’t want be sexist).
The Flake is the individual who somehow always has to work, has to attend a family function, has to watch the Sport Special, or just has to baby-sit their sibling on the days that the group decides to meet. This individual is rarely seen at group meetings, fails to meet group deadlines, and fails to return phone calls. On many occasions, group members will wonder whether this individual is even still alive, and so they will resort to checking local obituaries. But fortunately for us, The Flake always happens to make an appearance on the date that the group presents their project—there really is a God, afterall.
The Drug Addict is yet another group member. For some unknown reason, this individual never exactly knows what’s going on—they never have any recollection of past group progress, never have papers that the instructor handed out, are confused about the project at hand (eventhough it has been explained to them countless times), and they even fail to refer to group members by their correct names. This individual is only beneficial if you wish to get your hands on non-prescription drugs—although they never know anything about the project, you sure can count on them when asking about the best corner to go to for “some of the good stuff.”
The Idiot. This individual is marked by a very low IQ, can be seen loitering in front of liquor stores, and finds spitting on cars from a bridge to be very entertaining. The Idiot never cares about the project, eventhough it’s their third time taking the class—this individual has failed before, and be very assured that he/she will fail yet again. The Idiot is commonly found to state such things as “You can do it right next time,” “It’s only a project; no reason to worry,” and (my favorite) “It’s ok if we fail. This class ain’t that bad once you take it again.” Although The Idiot is not a great asset to the group when it comes to doing well on the project, The Idiot does actually offer much-needed laughter when the group begins to stress.
The Paranoid Obsessive-Compulsive Without a Cause individual is the one that really wants to get that “A” on the project, but who doesn’t do much to make sure that they obtain it. This individual worries themselves very much, greatly cares about...
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