Thursday, 8 March 2012


The second day of the Creative Communications IPP (Independent Personal Project) Presentations are over and done with. Only half a day left.

Watching the second years give their spiels about their inspirations, motivations, and trepidations concerning their respective books, video docs and assorted other projects, I was most interested in the ones done by a team.

2 people. Not one. Now initially, you could be forgiven for thinking that two people means half the work. But not so – at least in my experience.

With a team, there are the constant checks ins to make sure you’re on the same page, the long-ass conversations when you realize that you’re not, and the assumption that your mate is putting in as many hours as you are.

Thankfully, in CreComm there aren’t many group projects. (She said dryly.) Sitting in the auditorium, listening to quite a few beautiful speeches, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I was falling further behind my own list of things to do.

I’d venture that the end of term is like this for everyone in school. It’s that panic that sets in with just over a month to go and a list of projects longer than both my arms. Everything will get done, it always does. It won’t be your best work, it really can’t be.
But what’s killing me as I start my own home-stretch is that I can’t control whether my teammates are running along beside me at full-steam.

Because it’s not just that they’re bits aren’t done, which in an individual project would only cause THEM additional stress. When you’re working in a group, if somebody’s not finishing with their phase one, there’s only so far you can go with phase two.

It waiting that peeves me right off.

So what does this mean for my mental health? I’m asking this question: When working in a group, where should we set our expectations? Should they be as high as the ones we set for ourselves? I don’t think so – we tend to be a lot harder on ourselves than we need to be and it seems expecting that out of someone you’ve know for eight months is setting yourself up for certain failure. I’ve known myself for 20 years and I still don’t meet all the ones I set for myself.

But I can’t accept that we should expect to do more for the group than the others. I’ve always been the kid who said ‘Oh, don’t worry about it. I’ll finish it up for us at home.’ But now, the projects are bigger and we can’t do it alone. Well, we could. But we’d need a little more time than CreComm allows.

So again, I ask a question: At what point do you blow your top. (Naturally, in the most professional manner possible.)

And I’ll tell you. I’m not the only one asking that today. With 5 major assignments due next week, anyone is likely to combust with frantic energy.

And now, I must sign off. My shoulder is killing me.


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