Let's assign a "group roleplaying scenario" where the rest of the team can BLOW ME.

You know what? I’ve changed my mind already. One of you fuckups will certainly be too incompetent even to fellate someone properly. I know the other two or three of you are probably articulate but introverted engineers, who will work hard and turn in passable portions of your project… but I also know that one of you Just Doesn’t Get It. Worse, it’s possible that in the random draw I will magically be assigned to a team with the one who Just Doesn’t Give a Fuck. If I can’t trust you with my grades, I’m not putting my wang anywhere near you.

I’m shocked that the professors pretend not to know that their classes have a slacker population close to 20%, because it must be obvious to them, semester after semester, that Steve-A-Rino there in the back row with his Con/GlomTech polo shirt is just in this class to check the box. He’s going to make lower middle management just by marking time, and he’s going to get the B+ he needs because he knows that I want an A, and he is hitching his wagon to my goddamn shining ball of incandescent rage. When he gets up and presents his portion of the work at the end of the semester, it should be obvious to a jar of pudding that he didn’t do an ounce of real fucking work, and the reason he can’t pronounce those words is because they’re from a higher primate’s vocabulary!

So first, a big “fuck you” to professors who assign “role playing team scenarios” instead of homework. I’m in graduate school now, but I have a full-time job. I spent four years in undergraduate school and five years in the Air Force getting assigned to random teams to prove that I had learned the Seven Steps of Super Teams or the Five Pillars of Effective Leadership or the Three Phases of Getting Fucked Over By Slacker Assmaggots. In the six years I’ve been in the work force – and out of all the real and fake teams I’ve been assigned to – the very worst real-world team was hundreds of times easier to work with than the best fake team I’ve ever been on. Do you want to know why? Because on every real team I’ve been assigned to, we were all getting paid to do the work, and even slackers need to eat.

Group projects don’t measure the best work that a team can do. They measure the most work that a team is able to create the appearance of having performed, given five students’ extracurricular schedules, family lives, work and travel schedules, and how those arcane astrological events align with the totally unpredictable and essentially arbitrary changes in the syllabus. And when all five of us lucky-random-lotto-new-best-friends-for-life align our schedules and meet for the one hour we all have free, I guarantee you that one of us will be late, one of us will have to leave early, and only one or two of us will be willing to take the initiative and drive the rest of the team to divide up the work in something approaching a fair division of labor. Even supposing we come up with a fair way to distribute the work, our favorite goat-felching slacker – who must be counting his lucky stars! – is figuring out whether his fantasy football league meeting during the playoffs is important enough to skip the presentation for. He might be considerate enough to e-mail one of us his half-assed attempt to do his share of the work, and if he does, it will be with a bleary hung-over sounding e-mail (how do you ratfuckers make E-MAIL read like a hangover? did you pour gin on your goddamn keyboard while you were quote-unquote-working?) an hour or two before class.

I’m sick of getting stuck with apathetic mouth-breathers who are just there to fill a goddamn seat, but I’d be fine with letting him “live and let live” in the back of class, watching the dust settle on his pen, pencils, eyelids, and brain stem (where applicable). But when my grade is dependent on their ability to comprehend the material and their willingness to convert that comprehension into something that a literate sapient being would interpret as “written communication”, I begin to get seriously and deeply pissed. Slackers can’t help their nature – they’re slackers, they suck, and they deserve their B-minuses and Cs. As long as they’re stuck on my team, I reserve the right to bitch about them, because they’ve just become responsible for my grade.

The real assholes, the true villains, are the so-called instructors who distribute the slackers evenly. Those lazy bastards are letting “paying customers” walk away with degrees that they didn’t earn. You lazy, spineless, unethical weasel shits should stop forcing me to pull deadweight just so you don’t have to grade a full set of assignments, or god forbid, step up and actually fail someone who’s clearly a failure. It’s gutless pigeon farts like you that invented the “Gentleman’s C”, so I’m giving you all the “Curmudgeon’s F” – F all of you, right in the eye sockets, with a rolled up final report. I hope you get a papercut on your brain.

That, my friend, was beautiful.

::wipes tears from her eyes:



Great rant.
Here’s the secret I learned while I was an undergratduate at a Big 10 university: get on the team with the football or basketball player.

His “tutor” will do all the work for all of you - and it will be perfect.

Heh. Just wait until you enter the workforce and meet your coworkers. Heh heh heh.

You had me at the title. The rest was gravy. A++.

I think he has…

So you’re pissed because you never get to be Frodo?

Ah, Jurph, that rant 'tis a thing of beauty. It’s got a good beat, and I can dance to it.

I thank my lucky stars I went the engineering route in school and never got within spitting distance of “group roleplaying scenarios”. In fact, I had never heard of the term until now. Woo hoo!

Awesome, and familiar, rant.

Jurph, that was a slice of fried gold.

I could never really handle group work, I would either have to have complete control and do 90% of the work, or I would perfectly passive and let the others contribute all.

I’ve never been involved in a group class activity in which I felt I could trust the idiots I was assigned to babysit to do anything right. I what you did: everything. Otherwise ther stupidity was gauranteed to affect my grades, and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

Pudding comes in jars?

Seriously, that was awesome. I’m sending it to my husband, who is still known to rant about his group project experience, though college was ten years ago.

I think I’m going to print & laminate that, and hang it up in my office. Do you mind?

I am so bookmarking that for later in the semester.

Jurph, you are my hero.

< claps > Good one, with extra points for enraged spittle on the screen.

Reminds of a story… which happened to a friend of mine. Yeah. A friend.

Meeting for the group essay in English 110. One person (out of three) didn’t come. Another spent an hour talking about her old boyfriends. I tried to keep the two together, but I’m not sure they ever actually talked to each other or expressed even the slightest interest in the project. I wound up writing most of it, and since neither of them ever got me their sections, we pretty much just stacked them together. C-.

Most irritating thing? The prof was irritated with me: said I was arrogant for taking control of the thing and pushing most of it along. What was I supposed to do? I can’t make a drunk/stoner freshman type sober, decent stuff. I can’t force the other to buckle down. It’s simply not in my power. And I, for one, wanted an actual complete essay.

But it worked out. I didn’t get a high enough grade in the class, so I had to take 102 t complete my “Freshman Composition” stuff. And I had a fantastic teacher who had oodles of real-life experience, didn’t limit himself to the same topics every years, and was just great at training us in writing well.

Jurph, I understand your desire to post this rant based on your views and experiences, but I think it would be improved if you were to implement this in a team environment. In the real world, it is important to be able to work with multiple types of people in constructing a rant.

Joining up with three or four other classmates will enable you to each include all of your your personal experiences on the subject and divide it up for better coverage of each part of the rant. One could explore and write up the prevalence of slacker jerk-offs, another could consider and describe the inequities in group grading, and another could examine the difficulties of schedule coordination. Each of you could collectively review the project and make sure the distribution of profanity is balanced throughout.

Can’t you see how this could be improved with some collective effort.

I need Listerine because I could taste the bile.

I highly recommend attaching that post to any group-based assignment. Even the most profoundly neuronless professor on the non-stop dementia train will appreciate the genius that is you.