Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: The Next Best Thing to Hell

Okay, most of you, it seems, have younger children, so this may be totally lost on you. If, after I explain, you still don't know what I am talking about, could you please just pretend to be appalled, annoyed and sympathetic to my plight? 

Today's tribute goes out to the "group project", assigned by only the most clueless and/or satanic of teachers. This particular type of assignment involves a) other students and b) work outside of school. "Oh, that sounds fun!" you say? Uh, not so much. And here's why:

Somehow, my son, without fail, whether assigned or chosen, is grouped with the total dregs of the school. We're talking about the kids that are just one pot-smoking, vandalism incident away from military school. Where are the smart, organized girls when you need them? 

Once the group is assigned, I am always amazed at the total lack of a plan. It always comes down to the wire. Always.

Me: "When is your group getting together and where are you going to meet?"
Moody Teen: "Uhhhh, I don't know."
Me: "Okay, well do you guys want to meet over here this weekend?"
Moody Teen: "None of them have rides. Can we go get them?"
Me: "Sure. When?"
Moody Teen: "Well, Tom has to meet with his probation officer and Kevin's parents are taking his sister to rehab, so it'll probably have to be next weekend."
Me: "Isn't the whole project due the very next day?"
Moody Teen: "Yeah, but it's okay. We'll get it done."
Me: ....

So the group usually ends up getting one shot to complete the project. And by that time, I am just so over it, I breathe a sigh of relief that they will have something to hand in, even if it is a wadded up piece of notebook paper, with chicken scratch on it. 

And then, typically, I load the geniuses back up into my car to drive them home and am completely stunned (although at this point, I shouldn't be) when one of the boys can't give me directions to his own house! Guess his fried brain can only handle so much information in a day. Good grief...

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.








45 comments:

Under the Influence said...

I am just getting into this. Though the group projects are currently in the classroom, I usually end up with a list of items to donate because, according to my 6th grader, no one else's parents will buy them.

Amanda said...

I always hated group projects in school, either I go stuck with ppl who didn't want to do a thing or a bunch of people who all knew one another and ignored everything I had to say!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Something for me to look forward to (or dread...) when the Princess Nagger hits her teen years, eh? ;)

Sally's World said...

oh god...i'm almost at this stage with my kids now...sigh!

Eudae-Mamia said...

Seriously - I think group projects are the perfect prep for real-life corporate world.

Isn't this how it works every day?

90% show up for free Internet access and 2-hour lunches, while the other 10% actually get things done?

Nice to know some things never change.

Sorry for you!!!! E

Heather of the EO said...

I'm so not looking forward to those days. I think I like piles of TP in the potty more than I'll like school projects...

Mariah said...

Mine just got done with a group project!! I hate them. useless.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Oh Thank God my oldest is a "nerd" and doesnt hang with those kids. Ugh...Im surprised you trusted them enough to come in your house.

Tenakim said...

I got a call from a teacher who happens to be a mom of a girl in my son's class- asking if they could make a date for them to work on their project. I had no idea what she was talking about- and felt like a total loser and sad for that girl that she was grouped with my son.

He would never call a GIRL and plan a time to work on something- he's in his 'embarassed about everything' stage. He told me he just thought they would do it seperately. I think it's a girl/boy thing.

Lindsay said...

I always hated group projects as a kid. I preferred to work independently.

And as a former teacher, I really hated assigning them for the reasons you speak of. Due to the loser vs. decent kids ratio in any ordinary classroom you'll inevitably have one or two doing everything and getting really pissed about it. I tried to take that into account when grading and even let the people in the group rate their group members' performance.

I RARELY ever assigned group stuff because worth the hassle for anyone involved.

CaJoh said...

I don't know about group projects, but my step son was assigned to make (of all things) a still as a science project. I thought that teachers wanted to stop kids from drinking— not encourage it.

Tabitha in Bliss said...

This year was our second year dealing with this and my baby being who she is always having to put her foot down to get any group participation. It is indeed very frustrating.

I truly sympathize with you :)

Beadiful Things said...

Wow. Right now I'm just complaining about the fact that homework for my 6 year old really just amounts to homework for me. But your situation sounds much worse. At least I can rely on me!

Lee of MWOB said...

Oh Deb!! Ha ha! I love Heather's comment about the TP in the potty!! HA HA!!

I can TOTALLY see you driving the dregs around town
with your moody teen telling you don't worry we'll get it done! !!

Okay.. I'm gonna smile whenever I think of this image!!! HA HA!!

Kristina P. said...

I don't have kids, but I was a teenager and absolutely remember doing these and being stuck with the lazy kids so I had to do everything. Boooo.

Ginger said...

I am cracking up over this post, I remember those days so well.
Ginger

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

HA HA HA HA HA!

Though I *do* remember a girl like that (who couldn't give directions to her own house) in high school and getting paired with her time and time again! Oy...

kisatrtle said...

Ugh...this doesn't sound like much fun. Maybe I should appreciate my daughter's monthly solo book reports a little bit more

Deb said...

Life is funny. My oldest daughter, 30 yrs. old, and I were just having a conversation about this exact topic recently! She was the smart, conscientious, all A's student and ALWAYS got stuck with the lazy slugs - ALWAYS! And as a former teacher, I understand(sort of)the value of learning cooperation, real life experience BUT I very rarely assigned group projects for all of the reasons listed. Glad those days are behind me...sort of.

Halftime Lessons said...

LMAO

I am SO looking forward to this...

Bee and Rose said...

Ahhhh...this makes me appreciate homeschooling even more:) Thanks for reminding me of that this morning because my moody "tween" was about to be shipped off to military school himself! lol!

Straight to Your Hart said...

Can I get a ride??tehehehe!!

Is there coke in hell? How about moody kids? Husbands staying home from work dragging all plans down the gutter?? Well, crap...I'm there!! JK

Hugs.... <3

Soxy Deb said...

Moody Teen: "Well, Tom has to meet with his probation officer and Kevin's parents are taking his sister to rehab, so it'll probably have to be next weekend."


BWAHAAHAHAHHAHAA!! I think mine was the kid who had the meet and greet with the proby! Too freakin funny DEB!!

lisaschaos said...

I do feel your pain - I survived 4 teenagers and have one yet to finish surviving but I do feel your pain! Some days you wonder if hell might be better? :)

Chris said...

Don't worry, if they don't have kids old enough for this yet, they will be really good at the whole parenting thing and be able to prevent all we blog about.

Remember when you rolled your eyes at THOSE Mom's of tweens at the park or playland.

I have the kids who are stunned when they get to class and everyone KNEW about the project.

Harlene said...

I guess I'm posting as Chris today!

(see above)

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

Uh... what a mess... totally can relate! We have some real beauties in our area too... thank goodness teen daughter picks some decent ones to hang with... and hasnt been paired up with idiots YET!

Brenda Jean said...

Oh this is SO my life Deb. Group projects suck. I could go on and on and on, but I will just say ditto to your post instead. BAAHAHHA By the way, I think your tribute might be crankier than mine, I'm not sure:)

Jenners said...

Oh Lord. I have seen a glimpse of my future and it doesn't look good.

Sera said...

I always despised group projects because of the stupid slackers. But, wow - never did I have an experience like yours. That friggin' SUCKS. You are a good mama, Deb. I hope you realize that. :)

Beth said...

At my school, we only allow in-school group projects. But there is still that issue of grouping. There is always someone who has to be with Stinky... or the bully.

Hope your son (and his group) get the project done this weekend.

dana said...

Yeah. I hear you complaining but I don't see you HOME SCHOOLING him. snicker snicker Those troglodytes don't look so bad now, do they.

Eudae-Mamia said...

I totally forgot to link!! Sorry. It's been up all day.

I know. I know. Slacker.

Sorry.

Becky said...

I have teenage brothers and can totally empathise! Maybe, by the time my babies are at school they will have eradicated this type of project all together? One can hope...

DysFUNctional Mom said...

OMG, I'm rolling! And it's SO true!

Debbie said...

I have felt this pain more times than I care to remember. What is up with those random groups? And then you see the final project and all the work looks amazingly like your own kid's!

jill jill bo bill said...

OH YEAH BABY! I am so feeling your plight. And why should our kids want to impress the others and actually TRY to outdo their team members. The others might make fun of them for being successful. Give me a two by four....

blueviolet said...

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. It's been the bane of my kids' existences having to deal with that.

Eva Robertson said...

Ooooooo . . . . I'm one with younger kids, but I am sympathetic. I have a friend whose oldest son despises group projects b/c he's always stuck with the losers. I think the teachers must try to balance the competent kids with losers, hoping for a good teaching influence.

Maybe you could tell your son that he's been honored and that the "real" project is finding ways to inspire those less fortunate kids . . . . buy maybe not :-)

I'm not looking forward to these situations. My heart goes out to you.

Summer said...

So, this is what I have to look forward to!

Annie said...

That sounds like a script straight out of my English 9 class last year! :) Group projects are a hit or miss thing for sure.

Mariah said...

My teenagers are driving me nuts and are ALWAYS stuck in *that* group, it seems unfair

LPC said...

Just preparing them for the cluster f*** that is corporate life, right?

ModernMom said...

Just found your blog! My kids are a bit younger but the group projects are already sending me over the edge...at least there are no probation officers in site! Thanks for the giggle.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

oh thanks - I have so much to look forward too! Although maybe not . . . my kids go to a private christian school