Thursday, 17 March 2011

FIFTY PERCENT to your finals.

Teamwork means "I tim, you work." 
-Ai Fern from Ee Ping, Facebook-

I am so effing pissed off.

Lecturers should allow students to pick their own group mates. What is the rationale behind randomly dividing students into groups and forcing them to work with complete strangers?

That by itself would be fine by me, if not for the fact that my group mates are all NOOBS.

First off, some background on the situation:

I'm taking this elective course, and for our project which counts 50% to our finals, students are randomly divided into groups of 3, and each group is supposed to work and research on a topic, and at the end of it, produce a presentation and a report not exceeding 100 pages. I, unfortunately, was grouped up with two other guys, both first year students: T from Kazakhstan (it's some Middle East country, I Googled it) and R from Indonesia.

Usually, I wouldn't discriminate people by their race or nationality; that's just low. However, I am NOT PLEASED with both my group mates.

Before I start my rant, you should know that I was appointed group leader. At first T was the group leader but 2 weeks later, he wanted out and asked me to take up the role of being the leader instead. I didn't want it, but seeing the (potential) incompetence of T (we had been communicating for 2 weeks now, so I had it in my guts he wasn't cut out for it), I decided it'd be best for the group if I took it. So as you read on, don't go thinking I'm being some meanie who bosses everyone around. I'm just doing my job as a leader.

Okay, back to rant.

For starters, T CANNOT. SPEAK. ENGLISH.

Like, seriously. He speaks like this: "Rachel, errrr... I am... errr... you want to... err... need the report... err... by this Saturday, yes? I... err... am quite... err... busy... err... can you... errrrrrrrrr... give me... errr... a few more days?"

Like WTF man, he takes half a minute to say one sentence I could spit out in 3 seconds.

Once again, I am NOT discriminating people who can't speak English well, but SERIOUSLY.

IF he was your GROUP MATE.

And he SPEAKS LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME.

And you're supposed to WORK WITH HIM FOR A PROJECT AND PRESENTATION.

And that project counts FIFTY PERCENT to your finals.

I assure you, you'd feel like killing yourself him too.


Half of the time, he does not understand what I am saying because I probably speak too fast or my English is too 'cheem'.

Trust me, I tried all ways. I tried talking slowly, I tried Singlish, I tried simple sentences, I tried broken English. It's like talking to a three year old kid.

Like, seriously man. No offense, but WHY THE FREAKING HELL DID YOU FREAKING COME TO A ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY IF YOU CAN'T SPEAK ENGLISH.

For instance. I didn't go to China for my tertiary education for a reason. I CAN'T SPEAK CHINESE.

So anyway, I decided that since T obviously does not understand spoken English, I'd communicate with him via e-mail. I sent him an email telling him the topics that he had to research on, and I even gave him explicit instructions on how to go about it, and to give me a 5-page report on the topic. I gave him 5 days to complete it, till Saturday.

Guess what?

Saturday came and he did not reply my e-mail, and definitely DID NOT stick to the FREAKING DEADLINE. Come Sunday, I called him up and he gave me some excuse which probably meant he was busy. I can't be sure. More than half the time I didn't get what he was saying. So I gave him instructions to finish it by Tuesday.

Monday night, I received an e-mail from him with two attachments: a Word doc and a pdf.

*finally!*

Oh, how wrong I was.

I opened up the Word doc, and what did I see?

A page and a half of an article on the topic. The format and style written seemed oddly familiar. Not to mention there were hyperlinks EVERYWHERE.

HELLO, IF YOU WANTED TO COPY FROM WIKIPEDIA, COULDN'T YOU AT LEAST REMOVE THE HYPERLINKS AND REPHRASE THE SENTENCES SO THAT IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE YOU BLATANTLY PLUCKED THE ENTIRE CHUNK OUT AND NOT EVEN BE BOTHERED TO EDIT ANY PART OF IT?

Next, I looked at the pdf file. It was a 20-page full of math jargon, and the pdf file was obviously downloaded off the Internet. Did he really expect me to insert the entire chunk of 20-paged math equations into the report? I SAID FIVE PAGES, DUMBASS.

If I wanted information, couldn't I just have gone to Google Wiki and gotten the article myself? Would I still need YOU to do the research?

I don't believe it. Fucked up first year student who does not understand English, does not reply e-mails, does not adhere to deadlines, does not do his research, and apparently does not know that other people, namely me, can see through plagiarism and laziness as clear as glass. Especially when it is so obviously thrown into my face.

So I sent T yet another e-mail, telling him how his "report" was unacceptable and I told him to write me another one. Again, he did not reply my e-mail, and it wasn't until I sent him another one today that he replied. I gave him till Saturday. I hope he does not disappoint me this time.

I don't believe it. Even if he did send me his report this Saturday, he is still waaaay past the initial deadline by an entire week.

***

After much complain about T, it suddenly feels like R isn't so bad after all.

But still.

R is an Indonesian, also a first year student. His English is acceptable, so there's no problem there. However, being a first year, he apparently still does not understand the shortcuts and tricks of writing a report that compromises legality, but not quality. He insists on doing everything "right", even though he obviously has not been here long enough to know what "right" is. In other words, a perfectionist with zero knowledge.

He, similar to T, did not adhere to the deadline, but at least in the end, he gave me something of considerable quality. (By considerable quality, I meant horrible quality, but as compared to what T gave me, I think it was pretty impressive)

R also copied from Wiki (and also did not remove hyperlinks - seriously, what is it with people and not removing hyperlinks before submitting their works???) but at least he also got information from somewhere else, and at least he structured it in such a way that it looked like a legitimate report. Also, he gave me his references. Which is better than nothing, coz at least he credits other people for his work.

Of course, he made a grave mistake no university student should ever do (sadly, I also ignorantly made this same mistake for a period of time longer than I am proud of): Cite references from Wiki.

One. Should. Never. Ever. Ever. Cite. From. Wikipedia.

It's general knowledge.

Citing from Wiki is as good as saying "I know this because the wind whispered it to me." In the end, nobody believes you and you're just destroying your own credibility.

But whatever. At least he gave me something.

***

In the end, I'm the one compiling the entire report.

At least I worked my way around getting them to do most of the "research" part (pathetically), while I worked on the literature review.

Being a leader has it's benefits too, I guess.

Just not so much when your group mates are dumbasses.

The longer I stay in NTU, the more queer people I meet.

2 comments:

Gabriel said...

ouch... I feel your pain.
I think you'll just end up doing everything by yourself.. that just seemed 'easier'

raedarling said...

lol yeah i did think of just doing everything myself. but what the heck. ill just chase them down till they give me what i want. haha