So the other day I had to do a presentation in front of one of my classes. There were two other students in my group, but one of them refused to speak. “I’ll just stand here for moral support,” he said, standing towards the side, leaving the other two of us to do the presentation for him while he just sort of stood to the side.
The whole situation felt hauntingly* familiar, because I’ve been involved in a lot of group projects over the years, and in elementary school they tended to end with only a few people carrying the entire team.
Once I got to high school, these two things changed a little. Because by the time kids reach fourteen or so, they develop a small sense of empathy, and they start to feel guilty about being the freeloader in any given group. With the exception of that last presentation I had to do, most of time, everyone carries their weight.
However, all those feelings of guilt vanish immediately when both members of the group do nothing but goof around. Such was the case back in my Sports & Entertainment Marketing class, in ninth grade. I forgot what the project was, but me and this guy Aron were partnered together and we were given a good five days to work on it.
Some facts about Aron:
- His nickname was A-Rod, because duh.
- He later ended up a total pothead. (Looks like I was a bad influence on him, am I right?)
- We chilled out a lot at the time.
- Not to brag or anything, but we had sort of become best friends forever during ninth grade. But then ninth grade ended and we drifted apart, mostly because we had zero classes together. Now we never talk anymore.
- Well, we do nod whenever we see each other in the halls.
- But that’s kind of it.
During this five day project, we spent the first four days getting literally nothing done at all. We didn’t come up with a title, we didn’t write a header down. Hell, we never even opened up a new document. We didn’t have time to do any of that because we were too busy dicking around.
But don’t worry; we weren’t completely irresponsible. We agreed that we could slack all we wanted during the first four days, but we’d both get our shit together on the fifth and complete it as quickly as possible. We were going to be the most productive group in the history of productive groups. Nothing could stop us.
And then the next day came, and Aron showed up to class stoned out of his mind.
I know, right? So reckless. I would never do such a foolish thing. Nay, I only do drugs outside of school, because, y’know, responsibilities and whatnot. (#rolemodel) I don’t know how he even managed to get so high, considering it was near the end of the school day and you can’t just light up a joint in class without the administrators punting you out of school like a football.
I suppose he could’ve eaten one of them pot brownies, but as someone who has only come across the drug in smoking form, I’m starting to wonder if pot brownies are a thing that actually exists, or are just something you see on TV.
But that’s not important right now. What is important, is that he was incapable of focusing on anything. He spent the majority of the period playing on this website called Cool Math Games and giggling as he did it.
Well, I thought to myself. Looks like it’s all up to me.
Now, not to brag or anything, but when I get focused on something. Like, really focused, I am hella efficient. I got that entire project done in forty five minutes stat. I got it done so quickly and finished it so easily that it had me wondering just why, exactly, we were given five days to do this.
Aron had sobered up a bit by the end of the class and he apologized afterward. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but “my bad,” was the gist of it.
“It’s all cool,” I said. “But if you ever pull this shit on me again, I will murder your entire family and make you watch.”
The moral of the story is that: if you’re my group partner, you better pull your weight. Or people will die. Oh, and that drugs are bad. (Stay away from them, kids!)
So how do you feel about group projects? Any particularly bad experiences? And does anyone else agree with me when I say that Sprite is the best type of soda?
*I chose the word “hauntingly” because its October, and I’m trying to create a spooky vibe. Have you been properly spooked? Good.