I know I’m going to regret bringing this up. I was watching JaidenAnimations’ group project story and got all frustrated with some of my own experiences. Then, I wondered about other people’s stories.
Maybe we can laugh about the ridiculousness of this stuff. Tell me your group project stories.
Here’s mine. It’s long.
A Creative Writing Class Group Project
I was in a creative writing class in my senior year at my university. At the end of the class, we were made to get into a group, critique each other’s stories, and then present them as a group to the class. There were five people including me. Two girls, two guys, and me. The two girls and one guy, they’re okay. The other guy…Jim (I’ll call him), hardly ever talked and if asked a question, barely responded.
So, based on our stories, lead girl…Aria (fake name) has a great idea. What if we presented our stories as if it was one story? And then for each person, we create a slide with something on it that represents our stories? Oh cool! The professor would love if we did that, she says.
Aria decides the order based on our stories and for some reason Guy (not Jim, the other guy) says it would be cool to make it like a “How I Met Your Mother” thing.
I wasn’t up for this silliness. The professor just wanted us to critique each other and read our final versions in class. Not some elaborate show, ARIA. But whatever. She was all sparkly eyes about it. So what if she wanted to stand out because she may, or may not have had a crush on the young professor
Beginning with a story about a grandfather remembering a grandmother (Guy), sisters playing and meeting a talking banana (Aria’s and yes, it did have a talking banana with gloves and shoes), a story about a man going to a new town (Jim), a story about a journey into a fairytale, and at the end, my fantasy story. And then Aria’s idea was to have Guy say to the audience at the end, “And that’s how I met your grandmother!”
It was going to be funny, apparently.
For the three weeks leading up to that, each week we only have class once but we have two periods in a row. During that time, we critique each other’s stories, get to know each other, but Jim is ABSENT. He doesn’t even come to class from that first day we formed the group. He just appeared that first day. No answer to his email.
The slides, so, I volunteered to make the slides. I’d been making book covers at that time already, so a little bit of graphic art would be no problem. I ask people’s preferences and think yes, I’ve gotten something nice. I send it in the group. No one says thank you when they get the final product and two of the people swap my photos with some weird thing they picked up off the internet
It’s totally fine because I made my slide look EPIC. Take that.
Anyway, coming close to presentation day, it’s the class week before. Jim is absent. Not a peep. We don’t even know if he’s changing his story or what. After class, finally Jim sends his paper to us and says he changed it. Based on the story, it should come first. So, Aria takes it upon herself to email Jim that he will be first. Jim has no slide for his reading, but what can we do? I’m not about to make something he might change
But I read it out of curiosity. And WOW. The first two pages looked like some professional author wrote it. A striking contrast, the last page and a half looked like a new writer wrote it. In other words, it looks as if he had someone write half his story and the last bit he added himself. I saw his other work. He’s a Level 1 or 2 writer.
What??? What is going on? And why??? None of our writing was professional level perfect. Why do that?
Well, at least he sent it in
Day of the presentation, Jim IS NOT THERE. But Aria wants us to go first (because she wants to show off or whatever). So, thanks to her, we go first, down a man. I’m worried. Jim is not here. It won’t work without him here! Aria and Guy are talking like we should just make Jim go last…
Just right before we get started, right as we all huddle in the front before the screen, Jim shows up, staggering in. And Aria tells him he’s first, hurry!
He looks so shocked. “I’m first???” As if he didn’t know. We all thought Aria told him. And then Aria looks at Guy, “I thought you told him”.
Jim reading his story, he didn’t sound like he was reading something he wrote. Like, he was reading someone else’s work. I was positive now he cheated.
But we got through it. Guess what? No one got Aria’s joke of “How I Met Your Grandmother”. No one.
At the end, Jim had nothing to say for himself. Aria did question him about his no-show. He was silent. I wish he had at least explained himself. And guess what? All the rest of the classes until the end of the semester, Jim had vanished but came the last day
I still have those slides and when I look at them, it makes me cringe. I’m also certain Jim cheated.