They are the absolute worst, and they make me want to die. And why, in a online masters program with a bunch of other working professional adults, are we expected to do these godawful group projects for almost every single class? Isn’t the point to force college kids to figure out how to navigate working with other people, many of whom will be difficult because people suck in general? I know how to work with difficult people; I do it every goddamn day at work (which I get paid to do).
Bearddamnheroes said he wonders if professors confuse the hatred most people have for group projects with the idea that important lessons are often difficult. Group projects are difficult, sure, but it’s not because I’m learning anything in the process. It’s because they’re fucking annoying as shit. (There’s a reason googling “group project” brought up a million fucking images of people complaining about how awful they are.)
The rest of this post is probably going to be boring, but I feel a serious need to rant about it. In this particular case, I’ve been teamed up with two over-eager beavers, and one lady who I’d probably get along with if we weren’t both clearly miserable about being in a group project with two over-eager beavers. As soon as groups are assigned, Beaver 1 immediately emails everyone to tell us how excited he is and suggest chatting on Skype. I respond and say I don’t have Skype, and ask if we could instead meet on Hangouts, you know, like people in the 21st century. (At least in the US. I know Skype is still popular elsewhere.) Miserable Lady responds with just her Skype username and no other text. Beaver 2 responds with both her Skype and google. Beaver 1 again talks about Skype and how we should all Skype at x time. I respond again asking if Beaver 1 can tell me if Hangouts is an option, because otherwise I will try to get a Skype account.
A day goes by with no response, and we approach the time he suggested. I email again asking what’s going on, that I haven’t gotten Skype working and I’m still wondering if Hangouts is a possibility since Beaver 1 has not responded. Beaver 2 responds saying “We’re on Skype now! If you friend us we’ll invite you to the call!”
UGHHHH. I scramble to get Skype set up, my computer doesn’t cooperate, I end up doing some text chat because the plugins aren’t working. Beaver 2 is like, “I’m so sorry this isn’t working! I’ll set up a Hangout now!” Five minutes go by. She says in Skype again, “We’re calling you again! Can you answer this time?” Um, what happened to switching to Hangouts? Fine. I get it working finally. Beaver 1 is just as infuriating over video chat as I expected him to be from his emails. Beaver 2 is nice enough that I think I only dislike her under these circumstances. We sort out who’s taking which portion of the project (during which time ML and I both want the same portion, the beavers laugh and then ask who should take it, and ML very seriously says, “me.” Note to self: don’t mess with ML.) I get my last pick for section, one which I am very unsure about, but the beavers assure me that we’re all in it together and if I need help they can help! We decide on some extremely early due dates to get drafts done, because the beavers just want to make sure we have plenty of time to review and edit.
After like half an hour of this, ML is like, “Are we done here? I have things to do.” And then one of the beavers suggests we all exchange numbers. I say, “...phone numbers?” Beaver 1 tells me yes, in case we have trouble getting in touch with someone, like tonight. Fucking excuse me, you had zero problem getting in touch with me over email, which I responded to instantly every time, you had a problem getting in touch with me over Skype, which I told you from the outset I didn’t fucking have. I set up an account FOR YOU. No, you can’t have my phone number. I told them I’m much more responsive over email than I am by phone. They accept that, though the three of them still exchange numbers, and we go our separate ways. I set up a google doc (which they were expecting me to do from the meeting) and invite them all, and also send an email saying I sent it and to let me know if they don’t receive it or have issues. A day has gone by and I have not gotten any replies, but nor has anyone accessed the doc. Do these people not use email, and just use Skype for all their communication all the time?
TL;DR FUCK group projects.