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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Today’s Lesson

I have some fears — fears about the future, fears about my children, fears about money, etc. There are more, but definitely not any that hold as much weight as those do. But the thing about fears is that there really isn’t much you can do about them. They are just fears: things or situations that cause me dread or apprehension.

One of my fears that only holds relevancy at Guilford is my fear of the Group Presentation. I cringe every time I see this on a syllabus and think hard about ducking out of the class and choosing another one. Unfortunately, all the classes with this requirement are ones that I have to take, so I can’t quit.

My fear of the group presentation isn’t because I don’t like speaking in front of people. I actually like that and even get paid to do that on occasion, so that’s always fun.

The fear stems from these issues: scheduling meetings, extra work because someone doesn’t share the load, receiving a grade based on someone else’s work or performance, having to do all the work for the whole group, and procrastination. The list can go on depending on the class and who’s in the group.

My dilemma as a CCE Student is the fact that I am juggling the responsibilities of owning and operating my own business, carrying a full-time class load, an internship, community activities, and somewhere in there I have to be a mom to my four children. This means that a lot of my school work is done in the wee hours of the morning or the late hours of the evening and sometimes both.

When there is a group presentation to be organized, put together, practiced and performed it means that something on my list that happens during normal hours gets put to the side and may even mean a loss in time to work — which means for a self-employed person, no work – no pay.

So with all these frustrations that happen before I even get to a meeting, it is even more frustrating when someone doesn’t show for the meeting, forcing one of the other people in the group has to carry a heavier load.

I know that I am not alone in this fear and hatred of the group presentation so, what is the point and why do we have to endure this in a large number of our classes here at Guilford?

I don’t have a definitive answer from any one professor, but from my experience in life, a group presentation is indicative of the way a lot of life goes, so in essence it can be used to prepare you for how life on the “outside” may go.

We’ve all seen it in the movies where there are two or three people that prepare a huge presentation or snag a great customer and only one person gets the credit for it. It is usually the person who has free loaded the whole way, but has the biggest mouth, and so gets all the attention.

It may not be that dramatic in real life, but it would definitely fall into the category of one of the fears of a group presentation and would definitely override and have longer lasting results than just receiving a “C” when you should have received an “A.”

Maybe struggling through group presentations at Guilford will better prepare you for how to handle such a situation in the outside world. But I bet if we had a choice, we’d all rather just skip this training and learn some other way.

By the time you are reading this, I’ll have struggled through my one group presentation this semester and I’ll be glad it’s over and for now, I’ll be able to put that fear behind me.

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