The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Completely Hypothetical, Of Course...

When teachers--especially in graduate programs--see the final product of group presentations, I am confident they have no idea what happened behind the scenes. If they did know beforehand, they just earned 10 deductions from the book of life for constantly administering cruel and unusual punishment.

I felt like it was my duty to enlighten them on what exactly goes on behind the scenes of every group project I have ever been a part of. A general overview would not do it justice; therefore, I have decided to lay it out in an hour-by-hour format. Perhaps this will give them a little bit of a glimpse into the lives of their students. Maybe it will also lead them to bestow mercy upon the students who strive to make the best of such terrible conditions.

Thursday, 6:30 p.m.-- Classroom-- Students are put into their groups; a mixture of nausea, grating nerves and dread starts to surface as the individuals stare blankly at each other. One brave soul speaks up: "When do ya'll want to meet for the first time and get this thing started?"

Boy 1: "Umm, can't do Monday because it's Monday night football; can't do Tuesday because it's World Series of Poker night; can't do Wednesday because it's half price wings at Wings 2 Go with my boys."

Girl 1: "Well, can we do Thursday then?"

Girl 2: "Like, my boyfriend and I usually like go to RedBox and get a movie on Thursday nights. It's the only night he has off work. Oh, and I work 2 hours on Friday so that pretty much shoots the rest of that day."

Boy 2: "English poor. I excited about project."

Boy 1: "Can't we just like do this whole project virtually? Like through e-mail and stuff?"

Girl 1: "Considering we have to verbally present a 30-minute presentation to the class, I don't think just e-mailing would work. Our presentation would be unorganized and sloppy."

Girl 2: "Let's just meet in the library on Saturday night. Ok?"

{deep sighs, rolled eyes} Agreed.

Saturday, 8 p.m.--library--Girl 1 sits at table alone. Gets out laptop and homework; she looks at her 80 oz. cup of coffee, yet somehow wishes it was 100 oz with another shot of espresso.

Cue cell phone.

Boy 1: "You're never going to believe this, Girl 1. I was driving down Race Street to get to the library and my car started making all these noises. Oh, and it started smoking. Oh, and it started shooting flames from the hood. I don't think I mentioned this either, but it exploded into a million little pieces."

Girl 1: "Oh, that's terrible. Are you ok?"

Boy 2: "Oh yeah, I'm fine. But I am just going to have to be 10 hours late to the meeting tonight. Is that ok?"

Girl 1: "Sure, one person missing the meeting isn't the end of the world."

Fast forward 2 1/2 hours. Girl 2 comes running in the library.

Girl 2: ", girl. I got fired from my job today and contracted pneumonia right after that. I work an hour away and I ran, in my heels, to get to this meeting. That's how important it was to me."

Girl 1: "Did you get a chance to fill out the sheet we were supposed to discuss tonight?"

{pause} Girl 2: "Oh, and that's another thing. The magnetic pull of the moon, you know, the one that causes ocean waves. It somehow messed up all the computers and technological devices at my place of work and it lost everything I did."

Everyone finally shows up at 10 p.m.

Girl 1: "The first order of business is to talk about..."

Girl 2: "Oh my goodness, that's my ex-boyfriend over there. Like he broke up with me 2 years ago and I'm still not over it. I mean, I loved him. I mean, my heart was his. My soul was his."

Girl 1: "I'm sorry. That must have been hard on you. So, what is our strategic plan for this project? Who wants to talk about what?"

Boy 1: "Powerpoint done my part. I cover roses, biscuits and how to handle asthma in business."

Girl 1: "That's very good that you have that done, Boy 1, but our topic isn't on any of those things."

Cue cell phone.

Boy 2: {on phone}"Yeah..yeah, bro. Definitely. I'll be there in a second."
"My friend needs a ride to the cafeteria. I'll be back in a minute."

Girl 2: "Doesn't your friend like live right by the cafeteria?"

This kind of scenario repeats itself and escalates in intensity as the weeks go on.

Fast forward to the night before the presentation.

Girl 1 gets a phone call.

Girl 2 is in hysterics: "I know this is TERRIBLY inconvenient, but my poodle Sassafras died; is there any way you can do my part tomorrow night. I don't think I can emotionally handle it."

Girl 1 {through gritted teeth}: "Ok."

Night of the presentation:

Boy 2 walks in wearing a flannel shirt and jeans with holes in them. "Well, geez, guys, no one told me we were dressing all fancy."

Boy 1 is a no-show. The group later comes to find out that he thought class was on Tuesday night and showed up then.

After the presentations have wrapped up and the teacher has nicely informed us of how this would not fly in "the business world," he smiles and says the usual,

"I hope you learned a lot from this class and this group experience. In business, you will always have to cooperate with others and meet with them on a daily basis. I know that most of you had no challenges with this, but when you get in the real world, it will be a whole different ball game."

Something tells me, if this is the case, that is a game that I don't want to play. Count me out. I'm gone.

Just tell them my car exploded, my poodle died or my 10th grandmother for the week passed away halfway across the globe. I think that should suffice.


Blogger Cole said...

3 words for you: Why. We. Best.

The End.

March 4, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Ronda said...

Haa.. I think you need to take a break and go for lunch!!

March 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

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