Group Wank

Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:58 pm
miss_yt: (Mock the Stupid)
[personal profile] miss_yt
I've learned a few things about working in groups during my graduate school career. One of those things is that, if you are working in groups larger than two, there is always someone who just Doesn't Get It. I don't mean that they're slow to catch on, or that they just don't have the knack for whatever the group is doing (if they are, for instance, trying to build a shed together and one of them is a habitual klutz who keeps banging his thumb with the hammer). I mean people who display a frankly astounding lack of ignorance of some subject that they have no excuse for not understanding by now and that they need to work effectively in the group.

I have encountered, so far, three different types of Not Getting It:


  1. Not understanding the methodology of the project or the format it is supposed to have, even though they have been undergoing the same training and (presumably) reading the same textbook/manual about doing this type of project as everyone else in the group.

  2. Lacking an awareness of practical considerations that are not part of the core topic of the project, but important to it nonetheless. This lack of awareness leads to unrealistic expectations about what the group or the finished product can accomplish.

  3. Having a poor, if not nonexistent, grasp of the fundamental principles they and the other members of the group have been reading about, and discussing in class, for half a semester now - in spite of having a professor who is actually very good at explaining his field to nonexperts, and course readings that are good at it too.



I have another group project coming up (although fortunately one has just ended) and I'm not sure if I can stand another person who Doesn't Get It.

Date: 2009-03-03 08:31 pm (UTC)
ext_12920: (Default)
From: [identity profile] desdenova.livejournal.com
I am so glad that the only group-like course activities I ever had to do in grad school was labs, and that was just with one other person.

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