Monday, March 2, 2015

Group “Work”

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The university year has just kicked off and you know what that means, a bunch of late-teens grumbling about group work. In class! In the hall! At dinner! On the train! We know! So I'm not about to add to that. But what does make the inner-Ryan thrash against his cage is when people say that group work in school is an authentic replication of the forthcoming workforce. Teachers say this and I've never heard such bullshit! Which leads me to wonder if those that make the claim should even be allowed into any workforce at all; here's why.

1. You don't need a resume (or a C.V. for fans of dead languages) to get into university
But in a job, you do need a resume...and an interview! Every job opening gets a bag of flour's worth of applicants which they sift through in a long-winded series of reading, recycling, analysing and confronting-conversation. They weigh things like your skills, job history, your overall attitude and how much your old bosses hated you. For university however, they choose whoever could remember the most shit and whoever can pay up. Actually, strictly-speaking, if you consider bridging-courses and alternate-pathways into university, grades aren't even really a consideration, only money. They don't care what sort of person they are or if they can perform, they just wan’na see that wallet. I cant imagine that bribing my way into a position would be very effective, except in mobster movies when they're being hung out a window or they have  their head in the toilet.

Most importantly, employers make sure that a person can play nice with others and that they're hardworking. The absence of such assurances before receiving an offer of study is, at the very core, why group work has become the education-equivalent of Nickelback to students and is more like an episode of Big Brother than work.

2. Full time work and full time study aren't the same thing
I know this because I own a clock! Typically one foolishly pursuing a career will ritualistically blow nine to five, Monday to Friday on it. That's pretty common. A full-time student, however, could get away with eight hours spread over two days like peanut butter. Hm! Where’s that cafeteria? The career-oriented live their work; students have other shit goin' on, like working at a real job for instance! And not the pretend one teachers claim group work to be. To make matters worse, there's community and volunteer work if they're at all serious about winning scholarships.

A career is like a massive puzzle and study is only a few pieces of it. Now if only we can work out where the hobby and social life pieces fit. They have jagged, peculiar edges and shit! To bolster my case shut further, I didn't even mention part-time study.

like the facebookz3. Students aren't being paid
The opposite actually. The biggest motivating factor to work and to work hard is money. With no motivation comes laziness. School is sort of like if you were Keanu Reeves who, in addition to selling your soul to the Pacino-lawyer-devil and watching your wife be assassinated like university does a social life, loses his job, loses the money and the benefits that came with it, but had to continue working there because Pacino has your soul, aaaand then they realise you owe money back due to a hellish computer glitch. Having to pay to fake-work is not a very motivating thing, being paid to real-work is.

4. If this was really a job, then the job-security is phenomenal
Being fired however stops the money, so you might say that another motivating factor to work hard is to not get fired. So if teachers are really convinced that group work is like real work, then get that fucking job and never let it go. This is the crème de la crème of roles because you can't lose it.

Any other job you can get the boot, but not this place! You can't actually fail university; that's a little secret. So long as you show up most of the time and put your shit in around the time it's due, you'll pass. And if you don’t do that stuff, we'll there's always next semester. I'm pretty sure I couldn't just show up at the first cafe I worked tomorrow and pretend like I didn't quit. Don't forget what I've said, school is a business and if you go, your money goes with you. They'll always give you another chance. So what's the point in working hard.

I guess what I'm driving at is that I agree with these idiots; group work is exactly like working in a real workplace. Of course, you just need to take out things like being paid, fear of being sacked, not having to prove yourself on a resume, not being interviewed, and not having a tonne of other external activities distract you. Now let's see what we have left, a lazy-ass teenager with a university library card in their fucking wallet! You want to show me what it’s like to work, then pay me.

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