Grad School is Hard…

But not for the reasons you might think.

When you think school, what do you think about? I’d bet tuition and books are pretty high on that list.

Well, not to the folks in my “Learning Team.” Oh no! Books are optional! Yeah!

I am struggling for the words to express my complete dismay at the lack of responsibility, preparation, and readiness for school exhibited by the folks I am supposed to study with for the next 18 months.

Okay, to catch you up–my grad school program has a very large team component. We are grouped with three of our classmates into a “Learning Team” for the duration of the program. The team is required to do projects and presentations every week. It is a major part of my grade and my life. It is supposed to create a support system and synergize learning.

Well, it ain’t cutting it.

Of the four of us, two of them don’t have books 8 weeks into school–the third got hers late. One of them is planning a wedding and travels constantly, another can’t put a sentence together (subject-verb-period–how hard is it??) and doesn’t know the word “volunteer”, and the third can’t keep a promise to save her life.

“Oh, I can do that! I’ll bring that! I’ll write that!”

and then nothing.


And I am supposed to feel sorry for her because she meant to get to it.

I am such a bitch.

But after spending every weekend pathologically checking email for signs of her work only to be perpetually disappointed, and then spending every Monday scrambling to create whatever it is that she is responsible for, I am over it. The final straw came when she made some snide remark about my giving too much information to her for a project she has to do–and when I called her on it, she did her Famous Flip and denied saying it.

So, I had a Come to Jesus Meeting with Ms Flip. She heard me. She cried. She promised to do better. And then she decided to give me the silent treatment instead. (I told you she couldn’t keep a promise!!)

Mr Skate is another frustration entirely. He has yet to step up and offer to do anything. Literally. If we have 4 segments of an assignment he will wait until everyone takes a part and then just sits there. I have said things like, “So, what are you going to be doing?” or “Which part do you intend to cover?” to give him the opportunity to jump on board. I end up having to assign stuff to him. And then comes the clincher.

He can’t actually do it.

Given a bulleted summary of an article and the task of turning it into a 3-paragraph write-up, he actually randomized the points, removed all the apostrophes, misspelled “morale” as “moral” 3 times, quoted things that weren’t quotes and removed quotes from items that were, added words that had no relevance to the subject, and sent it to me “finalized and ready to print.” It seemed moot to point out that nothing was cited, and that APA has a manual to help with that.

The wedding-planner girl isn’t so bad. As a matter of fact, she is pretty on-the-ball. She works hard to keep up her end, which I appreciate. The downside is that she is a solid B student–and I haven’t made a B in 15 years. So, we have different goals. Her opening salvo was to make fun of me and to invalidate my entire life when she was assigned to introduce me to the class. Nice, huh? She is an ESTJ and I am an ENFP–which basically means we are outgoing opposites of one another. I am touchy-feely; she is all business. It can be a good thing–in a yin/yang kind of way–if we don’t kill one another.

I am not responsible for these people. I shouldn’t be carrying them through school. Yeah, my degree is in Human Resource Development–but I didn’t bargain for having to start out implementing a major intervention. I mean, that’s supposed to be the final project not the opening move!

Send chocolate.

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