Wednesday, January 30, 2008
(Long, so I'm breaking this into lots of paragraphs. Hope it makes it easier to read!)

So we just had to work for this class in a group of three. The teacher assigned our groups, so we were working with new people. We had to read a paper together that someone else in class had written, then make suggestions for revision.

The one girl was totally adorable. Pre-med. She wants to be a pediatrician. The other was this girl who talked non-stop. The adorable girl was sitting in between us, thankfully. I was done with the article and the poor adorable girl was only on page 2 because the motormouth was ripping on the article the whole time, even though she had only read about a page. Saying how the arguments were bad. I'm thinking, "Um, you haven't read them? You have 5 pages to go?" Considering the teacher introduced the assignment by saying it was a strong paper, but needed a little work, there was no grounds for her opinion that it was shit.

I finally cut in and said something along the lines of the fact that it would help us a lot if everyone would READ the article first, and we would talk about it afterwards. Like we had agreed to do at the beginning. She half-read, but mostly just talked. And talked. And talked. The adorable girl and I kept exchanging looks. We had questions we were supposed to answer, such as, "How do you feel about the paper's organization? What do you like about the paper?" Getting her to talk about specifics or admit something was good was like pulling teeth. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be biased," she kept saying. "But I just don't like the way it's written." On and on and on. And how someday she's going to be a teacher, and how she knows she needs to set her biases aside then, but she really just can't help it.

She didn't care if we were reading or writing or anything, she would just PLOW AHEAD WITH HER OPINION. Even after we had agreed with her, or said good point, or said, "Okay, we'll write that on the paper, you're right." She'd just keep explaining how she was right. It was almost like she was talking to herself at one point. OH MY GOD. The poor girl typing would steal quick glances at me (turning away from the girl), like, "Get a load of this girl!"

Or, like, she claimed the paper had no thesis. We pointed it out to her. I'm like, Jesus, what do you have against this paper?! You haven't even READ IT!!! It was a draft, so it had some grammatical errors, and it went on a bit too long, but it was a good paper!

I sat there the whole time, just wishing this thing were over.

After class, I go back to my seat and open my email. The room all but clears out. That girl goes back to her section of the room and starts blabbering to the girl she sits next to, all pissed. The teacher goes over and asks if everything is okay. With three other people in the room, and me in the back corner, she starts saying how the group he put is in was out to get her.

"Obviously the two girls you put me with were close-knit friends and they were against everything I said. I can't help my opinion." She started going on about how everything she said was wrong, etc. Her opinion, her opinion, her opinion... (Maybe thinking the teacher would say, oh dear, everyone is entitled to their opinion!)

The teacher was apologizing for her being in a difficult situation, but then pointed out the fact that this assignment wasn't supposed to be about her opinion; she needed to back up her arguments with fact. (Insinuating that maybe her group partners had merit...?) And then reminded her that group projects were just that; they weren't all about her. Much more diplomatically worded, of course. But she responded with more whining about her opinion.

After about 30 seconds of this, I started to feel a little funny about being here, even though, in my defense, I was visible. I said, "Um, I'm still here." She looks at me like, "Awwww, shit." The other people in the room were probably very amused.

And then I said, "And the whole problem was that you started ripping on the paper before you had even read it. I was done with the paper before you had barely started, and the girl sitting between us, who I had never even talked to before today, couldn't get hers done because you kept talking. She was only on page TWO when I was done with mine."

The teacher is, like, "Oh." Like, that's how it was.

I continued: "And part of the assignment was that we were supposed to find good points, as well as points for revision, but all you wanted to point out were the things wrong with it, even though it was a pretty good paper."

The teacher's like, "Okay, I think I'm going to leave now." :D

Anyway, she apologized, she didn't mean to get all upset. I said it's okay. I'm annoyed. I mean, c'mon - let's take it up with the teacher that you were a mess? I mean, it's kinda crazy, because I found her annoying, but I certainly didn't think we were engaged in a CONFLICT. Apparently she did. Whatever.

She'll be a fun teacher someday, I guess!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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