Group Behavior

In library school I had a ton of group projects, but I was blessed with starting out with a really fabulous group in my first couple of classes, and then I had the luxury of doing most of my group projects with some variation of that group for the rest of the program. Everyone groans at the idea of the group project, but I would even venture to say that with this group, everything always came together well, and I even had fun. (Two exceptions being Quantitative Research Methods and Managing Electronic Resources, which were pretty painful, in each case because of one particular headache of a group member.)

Fast forward a year or so to the social psychology class, which I’m taking with undergrads. There are a few really smart people in the class, and a lot of people who don’t care. There are a couple who are irritating but smart and a couple who are in the “how did you even survive to the age of 19” category of stupidity. Maybe that’s not nice. But it feels that way.

Anyway, we have a group project. We’re presenting on said project next week, and our paper is due a week from Friday. It’s been like pulling teeth (impacted wisdom teeth, even!) getting the people in my group to do or say anything! They immediately accepted my idea on what to do (which wasn’t an amazing idea, but it allowed them to think less).  And now: nothing. One girl has volunteered to “run the numbers,” which basically consists of plugging variables into a database and copying down the resulting statistics. Super! Meanwhile, she critiques everyone else’s ideas in a condescending way and tells us all what to do (as you’ll see soon). Not to be ageist, but she’s 19, I’m 26, she’s a sophomore, I have a master’s degree, I get what’s going on, she’s a ditz, and I don’t need her telling me what to do next.

Another girl (who I actually like) flew out today to visit her family and won’t be back until Sunday. Seriously? It’s week nine of a ten-week quarter, and you’re leaving? So we scheduled a meeting for Sunday after she gets back to pull everything together and hope for cohesion. Oh, but when we decided Sunday was a good time to meet, run-the-numbers girl wasn’t there (dance practice), and apparently Sunday just doesn’t work very well for her. I’m going to hope that she never reads my blog and quote her directly here, because I can’t do it justice in a summary… It’s in response to a skeleton of an introduction I wrote up last night after reading a few articles (which I didn’t cite specifically, but in a parenthetical way, i.e. “(I have some articles to support this statement)”:

i think that sounds good so far. great work, maybe try to sneak in some literature review in the introfuction somewhere.. i dont know how many references we need, but we should illustrate that we have studied what is available out there.

as for getting together, is there any way that we could keep the meeting limited to like an hour? im sorry i am being so difficult, i just have a crazy schedule. i would move the meeting to monday all togethether, but my only available time monday is before 12 – after that, i have class then immediately after my sorority chapter meeting, and then immediately after that i have dance practice until 10. my concern for sunday might sound lame, but my boyfriend has been gone at a swim meet in nashville for a week now and gets back sunday and i was going to suprise him by decorating his room and taking him to dinner before dance practice that night… so i can still meet if we could just keep the meeting short? im sorry about my difficult-ness… im NOT social loafing i promise!!

This is unedited, by the way, and I especially love her reference to the “introfuction” that “we” are writing, and how it will illustrate available information that “we” have studied…




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8 responses to “Group Behavior

  1. Decorate his room before dance team practice? Huh. I have no response to that.

    All I can do is offer condolences.

  2. Good gracious.

    That irritates me just reading it. Here’s an idea: say no! Just tell her that the meeting will take as long as it’s gonna take. Hehe ok, well maybe you’re not comfortable doing that but she needs a reality check and for people not to fold under her princess demands.

    Does she think she’s still 16 and going to prom?!!!

    OYE VEY.

    Your (empathetically) Disgruntled Uncle,


  3. p.s. that’s “fuct” up.

  4. introfuction is my new favorite word. i think you’re being a little hard on the girl though. but what do i know?

  5. Maybe she could date you next?

  6. sam

    I swear to god, Leslie… if you keep my room from getting decorated…

  7. Hahhaaaa.

    Delicious, snarky comments.

    Happy MARCH goldurnit.

    Your vicarious Leslie-experience-having uncle,


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