Sunday, November 06, 2005

I hate group assignments.

First of all, I don't interract well with human beings. I hate group activities because usually they lack a clear sense of leadership, if leadership isn't designated ahead of time. If a pecking order is developed, it's based on something stupid like popularity instead of actual skill levels. And if no pecking order develops, I feel the need to take charge, which I hate doing, because I hate it when people think I'm pushy. I HATE being put on the spot in a position of authority as much as I hate just being in charge of ANYTHING. I don't want to take responsibility for messing something up that I didn't want to be in charge of to begin with.

Usually they're a waste of time. In the educational context they're usually meant to illustrate something thatI understood fifteen minutes ago, and suspect everyone else has as well, but the teacher feels this inane need to "reinforce" things and waste my time.

Oh yeah, and little projects. I hate little projects. Like this one time, when this teacher who always drove me nuts with her little projects and group thingies wanted to illustrate the population explosion in cities during the industrial revolution. Not only did she have a little thingy on the overhead projection, where she drew houses and stuff (and did the job quite nicely, of course, I'd already read Tale of Two Cities and Les Miserable at this point, so industrial revolution was old news to me). Next she gives us these huge sheets of yellow paper and little cutouts of houses and schools and churches and stuff. I really wanted to destroy someone or something. This was not grade school. Crap, I didn't even put up with this crap from my grade school teachers.

Coloring things in AP English was also another moment when I wanted to stab someone with an icepick. Or all the stupid crap I had to do in groups in college. Inevidably you'd do the "project" in three mintues because you could just do it real fast, everyone else in the group let you fill out whatever lame worksheet was on the menu for the day, and you'd spend the next 20 minutes talking about how the professor sucked and the class was a complete jerkoff class.

I'm sick of this 'lets get together and learn in groups' bullcrap. Just say it. If there is some piece of information you are trying to impart unto me, just spit it the hell out. Don't make me guess by doing these crappy projects and filling out worksheets.

Lectures have become passe. But what's so wrong with lectures? The teacher thinks you need to know it, and he tells you. No shitting around. Maybe draw a little example on the board. Whatever. My favorite professors and teachers were the ones that could tell a good story. Mary, Queen of Scots is a sad and tragic tale. The Law of Diminishing Returns is always way more fun and interesting when told in the context of your roommate in college eating Tootsie Rolls well past the point of him not wanting them to eat them any more, and yaking on the carpet. That's just good times. Where're the story tellers?

Also, I've discovered that "class discussions" that require "critical thinking" are only fun and only possible when at least some fraction of the class has brain waves. It's hard to talk about the "meaning" of the guy turning into a roach in that Kafka story if the rest of your class is just drooling, muttering about eating brains. Meanwhile, you've scribbled angry evil clowns over every inch of your notebook for class, because you're waiting for them to buy a clue. Which might be why I fell asleep in this one class a few weeks ago. I'm like it's a fricking search engine that uses some antiquated variation on boolean search strings involving numbers. It isn't rocket science. And it runs on telnet, so I'm sure there's a help or man menu if I need help. I literally could not keep awake.

Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I stood up and screamed "YES, WE HAVE IT! The fricking DESK understands how to do this!!!! can we move on???"

Oh, my disgust is vast.

Really, I just dont want to do anything that's a "team sport" any more. I want to hole up in my home office and just write and never deal with actual human interraction ever again. It's just too tedious. Really. Jello shots and Kara's boobs aside.

Oh yeah, and I hate academia. They make my head hurt with their stupid intellectual ellitism bullcrap.


Anonymous Daily Dog said...

Welcome to the world of 'edutainment', that's what we call it here. Knowledge is BAD, kids have to learn how to deal with knowledge not acquire it. Most of all kids need to learn about social interaction and most and foremost: education must be FUN. I happened to teach English. When I taught grammar I was not supposed to talk about rules or refer my pupils to a grammar book. No, I had to come up with dozens of activities that would make them 'see' the rules. Just like that. Now I am a private tutor. I have the leisure of just plain drilling and it feels a lot better. Even the kids say so, and that says it all. They're just as tired of being treated like retards as you are.

6:57 AM  

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