Group projects guarantee intense angst and B+, tops

Pray for the teacher to assign groups. You have no friends in this class, unlike every­one else, and you know that if you are forced to choose groups yourself you will just end up with whoever sits nearest to you. Unfortunate­ly for you, you usually sit in between the kid who comes to every class high (even though this is not a philosophy class) and the kid who always “forgets” to do the readings (even though this is an English class). When the teacher lets the students choose their groups, you are stuck with both. Freedom is overrated.

Send out a whenisgood. Send it out again when people do not sign with their names and use names like “Well Hung” and “Bernie 2004.” It is inevitable that your group will probably not have a time that works for everyone. This is because they all have this thing called “A Life,” which is something you do not possess. The group project is now your life, so embrace it. While you could be on an exec board of some org, you are instead the President, Vice Presi­dent, Secretary and Treasurer of this group. Do not remind yourself that orgs do not get grades and try not to get upset when you think about what grade this project will get.

Meet two times to come up with an idea for your poster. These meetings will be before you have completely given up on including your partners in the project. You will know to give up once you’re only met with passive answers like “That sounds good” and “I like your idea, let’s do that.” The first meeting will be in the Retreat, where each member will get distracted by their friends walking by and start conversations about what they did over the weekend (Member #1 got into a fight with their significant other; Member #2 got so high they tried to skinny dip in Noy­es Circle). The second meeting will be in the library basement, where no one will walk by, but people will give you dirty looks for talking. You don’t receive too many dirty looks though, because the other members are not contributing anything. You all have your laptops out, but they are on Facebook and Amazon. They will not help you look for books or websites.

Share the Google Doc with all of your notes for the project. Trust that your group members will open it and look at it at least once. They probably will not, but you must not nag. Nagging will produce subpar work. If you do not nag, your group members will think you are fine with doing all of the work. You are not fine with do­ing all of the work, but can silently resent them while they buy a Periodic Table of Cannabis poster for their room during meetings.

Spend two sleepless nights doing all the work. Do the research, design the poster board, write the outline for your presentation. Email the out­line to your group at 3:12 AM with a passive-ag­gressive “Thanks for all the hard work.” They will not know that you’re being passive-aggres­sive. They will print the outline 5 minutes before class starts and read their assigned parts when their time comes. They will not be good at read­ing out loud.

Do not rat out the rest of your group to your teacher. While snitches do indeed receive stitch­es, this is not what should deter you, for Vassar students are pacifists. They would rather figura­tively stab you in the back than literally. Rather, if you complain to your teacher, you will appear weak (because you are weak). The teacher will be able to tell if you do all of the work. If they do not, then they are about as dumb as your group members and nothing can be done. Be like Don­nie Brasco and fuhgeddaboudit. I think. I have never seen that movie.

Wait patiently for your grade like everyone else. Grades are not everything to you, but since the project did nothing to build your interper­sonal competence or teamwork maximization abilities, you were doing this for the grade. When you get your grade (B+), you will be content, for a B+ is not a bad grade. You will be tempted to go to the teacher now, to have the grades distribut­ed based on effort. If your group members had done more work you would have all gotten an A. However, going to your teacher would only tempt them to lower your grade. Instead, push down that anger just a little more until it ex­plodes in a drunken rage on Founder’s Day.

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