Friday, December 07, 2007

Open Letter to My Fellow Group Presenters (Part I)

[This photo sorta represents what our group looked like on Tuesday during our group presentation. Except we weren't as organized as these folks were. Nor did we look as excited. Or Asian. I'd like to think of myself as the fat one, third from left, in this scenario.]
Hello Group:

I realize this letter is a little late in coming, since our Group Presentation was on Tuesday and all. But who at that time would have thought it would have turned into such a disaster? - certainly not me.

Considering we've had about 3 weeks to prepare and that we've met a few times to go over our roles, responsibilities and what we would say, I guess I was a little taken aback by how, well, ill-equipped and unprepared we seemed to be. I imagine that the audience may have seen us as "nervous" or "disjointed" or maybe even "a bunch of douche nuggets."

And note that I say we here -- after all, there's no "I" in "team" and all that bullshit, and we're in this together. When one of us does good, we all do good. When one of us can't pronounce certain simple anti-TB drug mediations, because, well, Monday was a particularly good episode of "CSI: Miami" then, well, I guess we all can't pronounce certain anti-TB drug medications, right?

And I know we're all a little busy, particularly now that we have to study especially hard for next week's final (where before Tuesday I was hoping I merely just had to study "all regular-like" - so thanks for that, btw), so I'll make this rather quick. Here's a partial list (I'll send the other one next week) of some things that maybe you could keep in mind next time you are in a position to be a successful, contributing member of a group presentation:
  • If you volunteer in advance to be the person responsible for printing 30 copies of the slide deck to use as class handouts, then please God by all-that-is-holy DO IT. Don't show up to class empty-handed saying that you “got too busy at work to print them out" and that "it won't be a big deal anyway." Couple things: Yes, it actually IS A BIG DEAL that we don't have handouts. It makes us look UNPREPARED and gives us a big fat zero on the teacher’s evaluation sheet under the section called – oddly enough - “Handouts.” Secondly, don’t give us that whole “I’m really busy with work” bullshit excuse. What the hell do you think the rest of us do all day? So help me, I’ll shove my weekly “MBD SaaS and Business Intelligence Report” draft right up your ass if you tell me again how busy you are at work.

PS – I actually did spend some time and thought in making the presentation and handouts look pretty. I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time on it had I known that you weren’t going to bother printing them off. Even though we agreed you would. But that’s water under the bridge. Let’s move on.

  • Related to point #1, if you are assigned a specific task and find that for whatever reason you cannot do it, it is acceptable and even welcome to PICK UP THE PHONE AND TELL SOMEONE. We know you have a cell phone; we've seen you use it to talk to your friends during lecture (since we're on it: there's something called "indoor voice" btw). I passed about 3 Kinko’s on the way into class Tuesday. I could’ve made some handouts. Not a big deal.
  • As you know, we had 12 minutes to give our entire presentation. We discussed this, right? Several times? We also discussed structuring the presentation so that each of us was to speak for about 3 minutes. 3 minutes x 4 people = 12 minutes. So I’m still scratching my head to figure out why some of us spoke for seven minutes. Seven minutes! – that would be more than double the allotted time per person. The only thing I can think of as to why this would have happened would be perhaps you – I mean we - didn’t rehearse ahead of time. So here’s a tip: REHEARSE IN ADVANCE. We might be surprised at what we learn. Like, maybe, “Gee my section of the presentation is waaaaay too long.” Considering we also get points taken off our grade if our presentation goes over the allotted time, this is something we all may want to keep in mind next time.

I’d say that should about cover it for the moment. I've got a few more pearls of wisdom to share, but I'll wait until next week for those, since it might take you a little while to just digest these. Thanks for listening, y’all.

PS - Good luck on the final. And I mean that.

PPS - And No. Sorry, I will not help you study - you bitches are on your own on that one.


Catherinette Singleton said...

While I feel bad that the presentation didn't go so well, I hope it brings you some joy to know that I laughed and laughed at your posting. Seriously, my sides still hurt.

"When one of us can't pronounce certain simple anti-TB drug mediations, because, well, Monday was a particularly good episode of "CSI: Miami"" Now that's freaking gold!

ReckenRoll said...

Unprepared people SUCK.

You want me to come over there and kick some non-handout-printing ass? Cause I'll do it!!!

no, seriously.

ADW said...

It sucks when team turns to shit. Sucks. But funny.

blythe said...

how glad am i that i'm not in skool? tttthhhhiiiisssss glad. ok, i wish i was. or were. see, i need to go back.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

It's a community college, isn't it??

Michael5000 said...

Hell. You were in hell. Welcome back.

Mr. Shain said...

i actually* have something to say about this now that i'm on the other side of the lectern. first, it's not your fault the group failed in every possible way. it's your professor's fault for 1) thinking group work is acceptable 2) being too lazy to teach his or her own damn class and 3) making stupid people talk out loud.

here are the takeaways from this life lesson:

1. people in charge can be retarded
2. people you work with likely are retarded
3. sometimes failing teaches you nothing
4. being in any class where any portion of your grade is based on a rubric including "handouts" means your life has veered radically off course
5. people who can't do, teach (poorly)
6. people who can't teach, assign group projects
7. anti-TB drugs are unreasonably named
8. cherry is definitely the bitchy group member
9. csi miami is a dangerous social vice (like meth)


10. blogs are a valuable forum for you passive aggressiveness and a health substitution to conflict resolution.

*i can no longer remember what i was going to write here.

d said...

THIS, this right here is why i've resisted going back to school. group projects my ass.

sorry the presentation didn't go well.

KAZ said...

I really enjoyed this in a toe curling, cringe inducing very bad memories of similar experiences sort of way.

You tell it so well.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Catherinette:: I am here to entertain.

Reckenroll:: No, if anyone is going to kick some ass it will be me.

Hooters:: My pain is your gain.

Blythe:: This isn't school. It is community college. In Chicago.

Dyck:: No, this is Harvard.

M5K:: Thanks, but it isn't quite over yet.

Mr. Shain:: I agree with you about the teacher. And also, I beg you to get off the meth.

D & KAZ:: Thanks.

5 of 9er said...

My vote: "a bunch of douche nuggets."

classyandfancy said...

It would have been an A+ presentaton if you had a least one Asian in the group, especially a fat one.

Ellen Aim said...

Just know that everyone who either assigned a group project or fucked one in its ass for the other members has a special level in Hell waiting for them.

P.S. I plan on using "douche nuggets" irritatingly often from now on.

JUSTIN said...

Oh man - this post makes me long for the days when I had to rely on douchey, competitive fellow film students who would make it their mission to fuck you over. I'm not bitter, really...