Don’t Question His Methods

| Learning | January 11, 2016

(I’m a senior in a highly-ranked private business college. During the first week of an international business class, the professor places us all in groups, and then tells us that these are the groups we will separate into for the rest of the semester. I end up being the only girl in a group with four guys. We are assigned a case study to read and questions to answer. The guys spend most of the group time goofing off while I’m attempting to corral them so we can answer the questions. We end up getting all but the first question done. Note: This is a small class, so the professor can hear all the conversations going on.)

Me: “GUYS. We’re almost done. Let’s just finish this one question and then y’all can talk about surfing as much as you want.”

Guy #1: “Oh, we can totally finish that before class starts on Friday.”

Me: “Dr. [Professor] said that he was going to call on each group to answer a question. What if he calls on us first? Then we’re screwed!”

Guy #2: “He won’t do that. He always calls on that front row group first.”

(I look up and notice the professor is walking toward our group.)

Professor: “How’s it going over here?”

Guy #1: “We’re doing awesome. We’re done!”

Me: “We are ALMOST done. We have one more question to do.”

Guy #1: “Yeah, yeah. But it’s an easy question, so we’ll be fine!”

Professor: “Noted. Good luck, [My Name].” *goes back to his desk*

(I end up doing the last question the night before it’s due because I just have a really strong feeling that it needs to be done before class starts. On the day that it’s due, the guys slide into class just before it starts, leaving no time to talk over the answer at all.)

Professor: “So, last time we met, I gave your groups a case study and some questions. We will now go over what you guys came up with. [My Name]’s group, give me the answer to question #1. Remember, this is a participation grade.”

(I watch all four guys’ faces freeze as they realize this was, indeed, the question they put off. I smirk and pull out my notes from the night before.)

Me: “Well, we thought this was a difficult question to answer, based on the political and financial ramifications of [Country] making this decision…”

(I rattle off a detailed answer while watching the guys’ faces change from frozen to astonishment.)

Professor: “Nicely done, [My Name], and correct. We’re actually going to cover this in class today. [Guy #1], what are your views on this question?”

Guy #1: “Um…I agree with [My Name]!”

Professor: “That’s what I thought. Next time, don’t leave all the work to one person. Next question, this group right in front…”

(I ended up with the highest participation grade that day. The rest of the group took on more responsibility and ended up doing a great job on the final project. I took two more classes taught by that professor my final semester of senior year.)

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