Monday, December 14, 2009

Fun times

So...that group final that I was cautiously optimistic about? Absolute 16 hours of Chinese water torture with a brief break to sleep and eat in the middle. And culminated with me snapping at a professor who irritates me.

The first problem is that there were two girls in my group who, for some reason, absolutely hate each other. One if Bulgarian and one is Japanese, and they just completely hate each other in a way that I can barely comprehend, and never expected to see in this sort of environment. The Japanese girl is super quiet and the Bulgarian one is kind of high-strung, but very smart and generally a very serious student. In other words, neither has a personality that generally rubs people the wrong way...except for each other...

So, right from the beginning, it was kind of a weird, tense situation. I think if I had known about their dislike, I may have talked to both of them ahead of time about burying it for a day and a half. That is the stuff that I am usually pretty good at, but I didn't really figure this out until it was too late.

The next problem is that two of the guys were kind of counter-useful. One is just kinda lazy (which, to be honest, is really unusual...there are not a whole lot of lazy people in my class), and another is really smart, but tends to take "intellectual shortcuts"...he jumps to conclusions without really thinking things through. Like, he gets an idea and that seems interesting, and then he just goes with it, rather than thinking it through or vetting alternatives. Thankfully, the sixth person was a guy that I consider to be super smart, very hardworking and a great idea where we would have ended up without him.

Basically, we were given a case and tasked with making a product strategy presentation based on the facts of the case. Friday included a lot of wasted time and frustrating starts and stops. We ended up working until almost 8:00 to not get nearly as much done as I had hoped. And by that time, the pregnant girl was cranky and tired and no longer of use to anyone (lest you think I am claiming to be the perfect group member;-))

Saturday was more of the same, but having a deadline at least lit a fire under people. I definitely felt like the work we were turning in was sub-par, but it was way too late to do anything about it. And, when we faced the professors later in the day to deliver our presentation, it was very quickly clear that the faculty agreed with my assessment...we got absolutely killed when it went to Q&A. (And when the two girls half got into a fight in front of them, that certainly didn't help).

I did, however, think that at least one of the questions was totally unfair, and I let the professor who asked it know. In the end, it worked out pretty well, because it was kind of intentional on his part and he wanted someone to stand up and defend us on it. I ended up getting a higher grade than some of the people in the group, and I think that was part of the reason. Still, I was snippier than I needed to be. But, he asked us a question in a really smarmy way as if we should have known something that we didn't...I responded that we didn't think it was safe to make that assumption, and were bound by the rules of the exercise. But I was kind of a bitch about it (fortunately, I think the other professors think he is an ass, too...)

Anyway, the whole thing was a totally miserable experience that I am glad to be done with. I ended up getting the equivalent of about a B- or so, which I can live with...I have done better on all my other finals and in pretty much everything all semester. I have two left, but they are much more traditional exams...just show up, take a test and go home.

The rest of the weekend was actually pretty nice. Christmas party at a friend's house on Saturday night, and then got some Christmas shopping done on Sunday morning before the rain came all afternoon. I have done almost none of the shopping that I need to (90% of which is for Munchkin) but I am counting on having almost a week off before Christmas to get all of that done.

A week which includes a non-chaperoned visit from Frenchie...oh I really up for this? Yikes...


Le Meems said...

group projects are kinda suckie, but good learning experiences. I just started a non-profit with a bunch of friends.

Lisa said...

That one prof of yours sounds like a grinch. Glad that the exam ended in a not too bad grade!

Windy City Kelley's said...

I hated group projects in college, at least it's over with though! Good luck on the other tests you have.

Ys said...

It sounds like a nightmare project to me! I'm glad you managed to get through it all in one piece :)

laurwilk said...

Um, right about now I want to MURDER ALL GROUP PROJECTS.

I'm in NYC, patiently (ha or not so) waiting for my stupid group to send me the revised copy of our absurdly long paper so that I can do final revisions and submit it. I just want to be DONE WITH THIS BOLOGNA.

Happy Christmas! Miss you, stranger.