Monday, March 21, 2011

Dizzy Teddy and Brah-ms

I think it's safe to say that the worst word pair you can hear in a classroom is "group project."

...followed closely by "gas leak" or "cumulative final."

My Happiness class (which is slowly becoming an ironic title) has a group project component. We have to make up our own research question about happiness and design a research study and...

I already don't want to do this. I hope this isn't a reflection on my interest level in the subject! It's probably just a representation of my horrible work ethic. For example, I have a research paper due next Wednesday and I was all gung-ho to start writing/accumulating research and instead I sat down to my computer and started blogging. Blerg.

Anyway, group projects. Every group project is the same.  No matter how many members, it could be two, it could be ten, there will be ONE person whose schedule is days ahead of everyone else. This person makes the others feel lazy, but to appease this member, the others pump out whatever they were supposed to contribute according to the Proactive Person's schedule. How is that fair? It's not. But life isn't fair, as I was reminded constantly as a child.

There is also always AT LEAST one  incompetent slacker who has decided to ride on the coattails of the other group members, who are all really just towed behind the Proactive Person. Incompetent Slacker will finish his/her assignment at the last possible second and rarely be on time/show up to group meetings in the library.

During my last group project, I discovered that I was the slacker for the first time in the history of my education. I felt terrible to be bringing down my group, but then I discovered how liberating it was not having to carry the rest of the group as Ms. Proactive. And now I am spoiled and I don't want to be that person ever again. It's a vicious cycle. Actually, it's more like when you realize that the backpack you have been lugging around all day is 470 pounds and if you carry your books to class one at a time instead of being prepared for everything all the time, you are much more comfortable.
I mean I guess. I haven't taken my books to class since freshman year.

So in Happiness class, we are charged to make groups of four. I look at the three people in my immediate area.
  1. Thom (see RLS: MetalSlayer
  2. Thom's metal friend, who looks like a teddy bear that has been through the dryer one-too-many times. His hair sticks up, fluffy, and there is a slight dizzy look to him as he talks about the freaktacular MetalSlayer album out next month.
  3. Brah-guy, named for his propensity to refer to people as "brah," which is slightly acceptable given our proximity to the beach. He has short red hair and clothes that look like he's been wearing them for years, not in a dirty way but in a loose and comfortable way. He's the kind of person who insists on wearing flip flops year-round.
 I really need to stop judging people.

Upon seeing my prospects for my group, I decided to talk to my professor after class and request a random assignment. But then, I thought, what if she assigns me to these dudes anyway? Decisions, decisions. I thought, for sure I will be Proactive Patty for this group. Damn.

As I sat lost in my own worry and ignoring the last few minutes of class, I write my contact info on the sheet of paper Brah-guy has handed me, and I hear Dazed Teddy addressing me from his seat directly behind me.

"Cookies. You want cookies? Cookies?"
Oh, man. This guy is high.
"I mean," he clarifies, "would you like some cookies? I work at a bakery and I took a bunch home today."

It turns out he works at Baked, one of my favorite bakeries in Charleston and just as I am about to say "sure! do you have any Monster cookies? They're my favorite," he says
"Do you want a Monster cookie? And I have chocolate chip. Take a few!"

Maybe this group thing will work out after all.


  1. "My Happiness class (which is slowly becoming an ironic title)"

    I LOL'ed at work.

    I would agree that you should stop judging people if you weren't so funny doing it.

  2. Reading your blog confirms more loudly than ever that we should be best friends.
    BTW Dizzy Bear my need to be renamed Smelly Bear. He is in my group in another class: My advice - don't get too close. It is confirmed that the urine stench we spent a whole class period talking about in our group one day was in fact coming from him.

  3. ahhh befriend this Baked man and then perhaps he will stock our house with goodies next year!!!! BTW LET'S SKYPE SOON :)