Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There's no "I" in Team but there is "eat me" if you you use the 'e' twice

So I'm four weeks in. The first class Organizational Behavior is done. It was really great and I loved the professor. Stats is half way done and I'm hating it now. There is no other nice way to say this except that binomial distributions suck ass. Next week begins Marketing Management. Thank God a class I can do with my eyes closed.

The biggest thing about grad school is 'teams'. They fucking love them. Everything is a team project. There are five cohorts in our class of 23. Two groups have four people. My group has five. It's like the Breakfast Club goes to business school. Some groups have really strong folks and they've worked well as a team. Then there is mine. All nice folks, but we're all weird in our way and haven't quite clicked like some others.

We have the surgeon in our cohort. "J" is probably the most neurotic person I have ever met. She's just frantic. If there is an assignment, she reads it the first hour class is done. She'll summarize and post her thoughts on the Google group we created for the cohort. Then she'll call me 10 minutes later wondering why no one has commented on her thoughts. These past few weeks she seems to be questioning why she is going back to school.

"D" is the math wiz of the group. He can figure out a regression analysis in four minutes. This is the only time I'm glad we have group projects. Overall, he's a great guy who's accomplished a lot in his life. He actually lost over 100 lbs. in the past two years. (Am I sounding like Kirstie Alley promoting a weight loss plan?) He is a slight control freak which is awkward...since I am as well. For our last project in Org Beh, I was group leader. It was my job to put everyone's individual thoughts into our group paper. I sent it to him to review and spell check. The next morning, there was an email to the group with my now completely rewritten paper attached. I wouldn't have been so upset if he could really write, but the man loves his commas. Each sentence had at least 6.

The biggest problem with our group is geography. Two live in VA, one in MD, me in DC and "P" who lives in PA. Seriously, the guy drives 2 hours one way every week for class. That makes study groups virtually impossible except for speaker phone. However "P" is my favorite of the group. He and I talk the most on the phone. And in addition to being extremely good looking (who knew I'd find a guy with 13 tattoos hot), we both have the same outlook on homework, class and the rest of our group, including our worst nightmare.

Her name is "C" and she was the one person everyone prayed wouldn't be on their group. The only good thing is that I'm guaranteed not to be paired with her for the 2nd year. "C" doesn't speak English as a first language. She is from Vietnam and her speaking and writing skills are dreadful. Truly, she's got talent somewhere since she is the chief tech officer for a government agency, but we are definitely waiting to see what those skills are. I'll give her credit that she tries really hard to fit in by speaking up in class and attempting to herd us in our group projects. But she has yet to deliver anything worthwhile to the group, including sentences that have the right verb tense, let alone words like 'the'. "We go now as group, okay? You see, we be happy to make homework best. I tink we have happy numbers on dis understand what I say?"

But hey, they all got the gay control freak who thinks he can perform better by himself than with a cohort. Plus, he writes about all their faults on his blog. I guess each team seems to have their own set of issues.

Oh, and you might have already guessed, I haven't told anyone in my class about the blog. I think I should keep it that way.

"I go study happy number now, okay?



Blogger Kelly O said...

Best. Blog post title. EVAR!

10:52 AM  
Blogger CroutonBoy said...

I once took a couple grad school classes (abandoned out of laziness and the realization it wasn't doing my career any favors) and had a "C" in one of my groups. We had the same reaction BUT there may be a hidden advantage; she did all the crappy grunt work for us. Super-motivated, super-organized, couldn't write for shit. Think about the potential if "super-motivated" and "super-organized" were in your group...I'm thinking more happy hours...

4:36 PM  
Blogger Lola and Ava said...

I hate group work, especially in grad school. Last year, I took two seminars with two of my friends. There were about 20 other folks in there (all in education) and the personalities were so diverse that I couldn't function without a pound bag of York Peppermint Patties. There was even another "Ava" in the group and she gave all the Avas of the world a bad name. Every time she spoke, I literally rolled my eyes and almost puked. Everything was about her and how she did things in the classroom. Finally, when she misrepresented what I had said in front of the class, I looked at her and said, "If you would fucking listen for a change, we wouldn't have these problems." You know what . . . no more problems! My sympathies . . . completely.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

So for all you know, they're blogging about you somewhere too--except for, probably, Miss Saigon.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Rich | Championable said...

Yeah, I'd keep it that way too.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Crazy Computer Dad said...

I loved you title too! Could be a demotivator poster( "Meetings: None of us is a dumb as all of us." Is one of my favorites. I think I would try to beat "J" to the punch at least once, just to see how she responds... :-)

You could also suggest to the group that you get together and play Guitar Hero as a team building exercise. Might be the bond you are missing? :-) Just kidding by the way...


10:44 PM  
Blogger Mitch McDad said...

Steve, reading this gave me douche chills. I'm so sick of team crap. I'm up to my ass with it at work. It makes me want to puke.

I considered grad school a while ago, but my roommate at the time was going and he did nothing but bitch about his team crap.

Hang in there. And keep blogging about it.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Mamma said...

Oh this post launched a whole fun recap of the hub's cohort at the very same institution. He had to keep if for the entire three years.

He had a "C" too, but he was a he.

Funny stuff. At least it gives you blog fodder.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Whit said...

I, too, took a couple of classes in grad school, and decided it wasn't for me. (I was trying to be a smartass with commas, that's hard)

My team was spread all over the L.A. area, over an hour apart in any direction. It sucked.

2:21 AM  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

The title of this post is Friggin Awesome.

8:27 AM  

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