Group projects: you either dislike them or abhor them with every fiber in your being. Whichever opinion you hold, it’s arguable that maintaining your patience throughout the entirety of a group project builds character in a way that no other assignment could. Years of group project labor can shape your character until it becomes a reflection of your group-project persona, whether you sacrifice yourself to compensate for others’ lack of work, or have ridden coattails all the way to graduation day. These people have become irrevocably shaped by their group project persona.
While every group project always has one person who does the majority of the work, that person is not the martyr. The martyr is the person, who after receiving the rubric and assignment sheet for the project, then goes home and spearheads the entire thing, PowerPoint presentation and all, before the group can even set up their first meeting. The Martyr is most likely a failed group project veteran, and is scarred from the long caffeine-induced nights salvaging the bits and pieces other people contributed into a passing presentation. ‘
During speaking presentations, you can pick out the Martyr because once another member begins reading directly off of the PowerPoint he or she slaved 12-hours over, their eyes glaze and focus somewhere far off in the distance, most closely resembling the 1,000-yard stare. Martyr won’t go out without a fight, though, and at the end, will give all other group members an “O” on their evaluations before going out in a blaze of glory.
The Busy Bee
Meeting at 11 a.m. Monday? Busy Bee has class. Group discussion on Wednesday at 8 p.m.? Busy Bee works, but don’t worry, he or she will let you know 10 minutes before you meet so that no one can reschedule. Common-hour on Tuesday? Ooh, Busy Bee’s cat is having a bad day. Can’t possibly make it. Busy Bees have so many prior obligations, that it’s a wonder they manage to fit in 15 hours of classes in a week between work, cat motivating, and other very important activities, all of which demand Busy Bee’s exclusive attention. If only Busy Bee would shift his or her imaginative nature from creating excuses, and into creating a dynamic project, alas, that would take time that Busy Bee simply does not have.
During speaking presentations, wait, did Busy Bee have a prior obligation, because he or she definitely isn’t there. But don’t worry; Busy Bee emailed the professor before class to give them a head’s up that he or she will be late because of “extenuating circumstances.” Busy Bee failed to let the rest of the group know, though. Too busy.
If a professor ever announced group members, and you thought to yourself, “Is that person even in this class?,” chances are, you have a No-Show on your hands. There will be no correspondence between the group and No-Show at all throughout the duration of the project. No texts, no emails, no interaction, period. Only when group members are writing out their names on a paper, do they remember that No-Show ever existed at all.
During speaking presentations, who is that ghostly figure standing beside me in khaki’s and a button-up shirt? It looks like, no it can’t be, No-Show disappeared months ago without a trace. To everyone’s surprise, No-Show arrives on time and has memorized his or her portion of the project, and delivers it flawlessly; however, once his or her part is done, No-Show disappears into the mist, never to be seen again.
“OMG, group meeting today, can’t wait :)” Okay, that text was odd, but at least they’re eager, right? Wrong. While everyone else is slaving away doing research, or at least pretending to do research, BFF just found the most hilarious tweet, and laughs loudly about it until someone asks what’s so funny… big mistake, it’s all downhill from there. It’d be easier if I could just tag you, BFF explains; just give him or her your Twitter handle. After you leave the group meeting, BFF has also requested to follow you on Instagram, liked all of your photos, and invites to Candy Crush suddenly flood your Facebook inbox.
During speaking presentations, BFF is giggling at the adorable way you mispronounced “quantitative,” and nudging your side when it’s your turn to read from the PowerPoint. BFF will text you afterward, too, which asserts that you’ll be getting texts from this person for the entirety of your life. “OMG, we did so good!! 🙂 Gonna get an A for suresys!” Let him or her down easy, you’ll be awkwardly waving at them in passing in the quad for the rest of your college career, after all.