The Prairie Staff is dedicated to hearing both sides of an opinion. We are not biased and welcome all views, which is why we are publishing a letter received a few days ago in retaliation to Sam Carter’s What’s On My Mind article about group work. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we encourage opinions that are based off of some facts, not just anger.
Keep in mind, while we know some topics are heated, think of both sides before spewing in your comeback letter. While there are always at least two sides of any issue, we expect anyone to write in about an issue we have discussed or your own. This is what comes from the joys of free speech.
While the polls of last week’s opinion piece clearly showed students want group work to stop, not everyone, mind you, in the University texted in. However, you would think the majority who texted in wanted group work to stop, which represents the “leaders” in these groups who go above and beyond and take the extra time and effort to text in, not the “slackers” of the group.
Below is the letter from Mr. Ryan Hazelwood.
Web Editor’s Note: Feel free to add your own comments at the end of this article!
LETTER TO THE EDTIOR
Dear Mr. Carter and Prairie Staff,
While reading the September 17, 2009 edition of the Prairie I came across the What’s On My Mind article speaking to group work. I must say that I found it a little off base.
First a little about me, I am a full time employee of WTAMU, graduate student, teach a SCOM 1315 class, assist with Maroon Productions, assist with Live Crew, am currently working on my thesis, a graduate student senator and full time single parent; this is just off of the top of my head. I know as much as anyone of the time demands students face on a day to day basis and because of the circumstances of my situation. I also understand group work and can look at it from both sides of the aisle.
First, instructors and professors are anything but lazy for assigning group work. The idea of group work is as real as the job that you will hope to land after you graduate. Aside from my current life course, I have also worked in “the real world” after graduating with my B.S. in 1999. If you think that it is harder to get a couple of fellow students together to work on a project than coworkers living in different cities, working in different time zones , working in different departments (production, marketing, sales, etc.), with family obligations as well as professional you are just plain fooling yourself. As someone who has been asked to do just this, the world of collegiate life that you live in is a dream.
As an instructor and staff member and someone that has worked in “the real world”, what I have seen as the problem with group work is the reluctance of the typical “complainers” of group work to do one of two things. First to step up and be a leader that holds others in the group accountable. Sure in both college and “the real world” there will be those in your group that you have to hold their hand and coddle through any process. Welcome to “the real world”. Second, most of the time someone in a group work situation complains it is because they are not easy to work with and that person tends to hinder the work that the rest of the group gets done and no one wants to work with them because of this. You see being a leader is something more than demanding something of your group, but being an example that the rest of the group is inclined to follow. These two problems that I have observed really work hand in hand.
I would challenge you that the next time you are in a group work situation:
1) Be that type of leader that you would follow and 2) Realize that however hard you think working in this fantasy world of an academic setting may be, you have not seen anything yet… depending on your level of achievement after graduation.
Department of Communication
WTAMU Box 60754
Canyon, TX 79016