Adventures in hating group projects

Written in response to: Format your story in the style of diary entries.... view prompt

4 comments

Creative Nonfiction Funny Teens & Young Adult

Dear Diary,

Long time, no write. If you're wondering why I've returned like a prodigal child with no money, it's because my therapist recommended I find more...productive methods to unleash my anger. To be honest, I found my original method of breaking things and screaming extremely effective, but alas. So why am I here today?

Well, after plucking out my eyebrow and furiously failing at breathing exercises, I decided to channel my anger into ranting.

God, I love ranting, and you Diary, are the best at listening.

The issues started with a group project for biology. No big deal, but it was worth a whopping ten percent of our grade.

And obviously, like anybody sane, I hate group projects. They unleash the rabid den mother inside me, and I feel compelled to check on everyone's progress/emotional wellbeing/other dumb shit.

To make matters worse, we didn't even get to pick our groups! We just got Breakfast-clubbed into some randomly assigned groups.

The main cast of characters for the project included: 1) Super sweet and shy Sam, who honestly looked like he'd cry if anyone raised their voice. 2) Bold Braedon, whose great talent was saying more words than necessary to get simple things across; seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice. 3) Me, who is awesome, understanding, and a genuine team player. 4) And then there was Azra.

Azra managed to attend only the final presentation, resolutely refused to look anyone in the eyes, tried to run away when Braedon tried to discuss the project and was unavailable all the time. Her weird phone didn't let her see/receive group messages, and it was clear that she'd been going through something for a little while now.

Braedon wanted to shout at her or report her to our supervisor. I stopped him, because I wanted to reserve the right to shout, and Sam managed to convince us that Azra was working on it.

I reached out to this girl more than TEN TIMES. Mostly to check on her progress, but also because Azra hadn't seemed to realize that this was a group project, not a secretly edit everyone's slides at one in the morning lone wolf project.

Making edits is fine, but without telling the other person? Is communication really so hard to ask for?

Even just a quick email/text explaining what the hell you're doing? I wish people socially trained their children before unleashing them on the world...

Okay, but I'm understanding and balanced. Hell, I'm a libra! So, I'll give credit where credit is due. Azra may have been an antisocial, uncommunicative individual around us, but she performed excellently during the presentation. Explained everything like she wrote the papers being presented. She even laughed.

Had she been exorcised or something? I didn't even know she could smile.

Anyways, Azra totally blew us away and I couldn't say anything. Even though a vicious part of me was absolutely dying to say something biting in the vein of 'I told you so', or 'I knew we'd fail'.

Sorry, Diary, but you knew what a colossal bitch I was from the start.

But the real cherry on the cake was the Peer Evaluations. Oh yeah, that popularity contest measuring extroversion and ability to influence group dynamics that actually affected grades.

It was out of 5, and I immediately gave Sam a pity 5 just for showing up. He said more than three words, all apologetically.

I'm sure his mom was proud.

Braedon received a fair 3.5 I had a lot of fun justifying. He talked over everyone, all the time! Shot down good ideas and almost deleted our entire presentation. But at least he did show up to meetings and looked enthusiastic, cracking open Red Bulls and literally shouting out ideas.

Now the conundrum Dearest Diary. What shall I give Azra? I gave myself a 4, because I am modest and assumed the rest of them gave me a 5, for keeping our group on track and putting the whole thing together.

Azra may have pulled it together at the literal last second, and she did answer a super tricky question. But...the evaluation really emphasizes group communication...

I like judging people, Diary, but not when it affects their grades. So, I tried to imagine what everyone else would give her. Sam probably gave us all 5s, just happy we let him talk for two minutes. Braedon had made his deep dislike of Azra known from day one. So probably a 1-2 range there.

Knowing these facts, I decided on a generous 3.5. I think that's appropriate Diary, considering that ten minutes before the presentation started, I wanted to wring her obscenely long neck. Because she didn't remember our names.

I totally remembered her name, after all, I gave it to a voodoo doll whose eyes I'd stabbed out.

After the presentation, when all of us made plans to grab a coffee, Azra declined. A very polite refusal, but I did wonder if she was allergic to human contact. Maybe I should have mercy-killed her instead of writing in my Diary like a lovestruck moron.

So that's that Diary. Happy? I didn't fail her, or shout. Or gossip meanly like I always do.

Okay fine, I gossiped a little. Sorry, I literally cannot stop myself from shading everyone I've ever met, to different people.

We can discuss that problem later though.

Until the next time I feel like self-combusting with impotent rage.

Yours truly,

Eve

A/N: Sorry this story is so long, Reedsy literally wouldn't let me publish without the 1000 words. Hope you enjoy my very real and therapeutic rant, because oh my god it's exam season, I'm dumb and done with group projects. This is semi inspired by last week and very inspired by my longtime friend @Moon Lion, who is the WORST person to work with. The real Azra wasn't half as hard to deal with as Moon. Anways, love all of you for reading and hope you're doing good. Hang in there!

March 31, 2022 07:04

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4 comments

Moon Lion
09:15 Jun 20, 2022

Excuse me, ma'am? I just read this and cannot believe you would say that about me ;). I'd like it to go on the record that I work with myself just fine. I liked the story, and agree with Pens, the character/voice comes off really well. How does it feel to be on the flip side of exams by the way?

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Eve Retter
20:18 Aug 21, 2022

everyone in the mutliverse hates working with you! thank you tho for the compliments they feed my brainrot. I'm replying hella late to your comment so you said flip side of exams, when its actually almost year 2 for us.

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Pencil L
07:07 Mar 31, 2022

This story is long? But seriously Eve this is pretty good, and I think you're coming into that sassy, very you voice in your writing. This isn't my usual genre, but it wasn't terrible to read.

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Eve Retter
04:14 Apr 24, 2022

AWW thanks pensy. I am very happy it comes off as me, because my inner monologue needs someplace to go.

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