Quality Of The Slides Is Sliding

| Learning | July 11, 2017

(I’m in college. For our last major project, the professor puts us in groups to do PowerPoint presentations for each of the different chapters of what we’ve studied that semester, as a review for the final exam. He gives us a month to work on it, and my group agrees to divide up the chapters and make our slides separately, then put the whole thing together the week of the presentation so we can practice. I also remind them to use the computers in the library, as they use the same program as the one on our professor’s computer. I only occasionally hear from my groupmates after that, but I remind myself that they’re adults and don’t need me to micromanage them. Four days before the project is due, we meet in the library.)

Me: “Okay, is everyone ready to put their slides together? This shouldn’t take more than a half-hour, since it’s just copy-and-pasting them all into one PowerPoint.”

Student #1: “Wait, what? I thought we were going to write them all up tonight!”

Me: “Why would we write them tonight? The presentation’s this week! We did them on our own so we could just put it all together.”

Student #3: “I got mine done.”

Me: “Oh, thank god one of you understood. What have you two been doing all month, then?”

Student #2: “I was writing them out by hand. I figured we’d be making the slides together on the computer.”

Me: “Okay, maybe I somehow wasn’t clear enough when we first met up.” *sighs* “Okay, [Student #3] and I will put our parts together. You two, write them tonight. When you’re done, send me the slides and I’ll add them into the PowerPoint. I’ll email the completed version to everyone so we can still prepare for the presentation.”

(Student #2 agrees, while Student #1 sulks. Student #3 and I put our parts together and head off. The next day, I get Student #2’s slides, only to find she used a different program, meaning they won’t open on the school’s computer. I get nothing from Student #1, and I begin to panic. Luckily, the day of the presentation, we get a snowstorm, so class is canceled. I run into Student #1 the next day.)

Me: “So, did you finish your slides?”

Student #1: “No. Lucky we had that snow day, huh?”

Me: “But you didn’t know we would have a snow day. You should have finished them. H***, you had an extra day to finish them!” *angrily* “Go to the library right now! I don’t want you leaving there until those slides are done!”

Student #1: “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my mom!”

Me: “You’re a freaking adult! I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do!”

(He stormed off, and I got to the professor’s office. I told him about our group’s problems, and he agreed to grade him separately so we wouldn’t be brought down by Student #1. Luckily, everyone else’s parts of the presentation go well, even the girl whose slides were on the wrong program, so our grade was good enough. But it took me a long time after that to be comfortable with group projects again.)

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