Presentation fustration part 1 | Uni/Student

WARNING: LONG MOAN-Y POST

So, I’ll just give you the background of what I’m going to talk moan about! So, for my English language module we’re doing a called “World Englishes” which looks at varieties of Englishes that have been born out of colonial/post-colonial contact, and it’s actually quite interesting.  There is two assessments in this module a presentation, worth 30% of the final mark, and an exam worth 70%. In this module there is a mixture of students so there are English Literature with English Language students (the course I do) and English Language and Linguistics students but for the presentation the groups had to be balanced so, two lit/lang students and two lang/ling students. We got to pick our own groups so my friend (I will call her “K”) and I – we’re both lit/lang students – picked one of out other friends  (I’ll call her “W”) to be our lang/ling partner, and another guy (He will be “R”) who’s like our acquaintance to be in our group, and it was all good and dandy.

In the first group meeting it was just breaking down presentation work between us because because R & W would take on the more linguistic aspects of the presentation and we’d take on the more social, political, and historical aspects and issues. By the way our topic is African American Vernacular English (AAVE) so, actually a topic with a lot of history and sociopolitical issues, and a type of English that is influential today.

Anyway, in the second meeting last week K and I suggested that considering we’re doing such an interesting type of English that we take on influential names for the presentation that contributed to Black people getting rights ect, so for example we suggested Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Tupac, and Rosa Parks. Obviously, we were in no way doing this to mock or undermine anybody we were just doing it to make our presentation more dynamic and engaging for other class members. So, everyone agreed on the idea of this and we all put our names down to who we would be, I was going to be Malcolm X, and we got relevant books ect out. Then, later on in the week I was just texting W because like I said we’re friends, and she just drops it on me like a passing comment saying “Oh, yeah, R emailed “Ian” (lecturers name for this post) about the names that we were going to use to present ourselves to make sure it wasn’t anything bad and Ian said he doesn’t think its needed”, and I just got annoyed immediately because in the group meeting we said communication would always be kept open about everything, and there he goes gallivanting off emailing a lecturer without asking, and also if you don’t like an idea that’s presented in the meeting why not voice it instead of saying yes but being unsure in your head and then emailing the lecturer without telling anyone! So, I vented my annoyance at her, and she rang him (I didn’t ask her to ring him she just did  it), and then rang me and was like “I don’t want confrontation, I want this to go positively, and I don’t mind following R because he gets high marks, and if we do it his way it’ll all be safe he’s linear and objective blah blah”, and I said “the point of the presentation mixing two skill sets is because the lecturer wants to see a dynamic engagement between us all, and we’re in a sense really lucky to have got African American English because it’s had to fight for itself and Black people have had to fight for their identity and language ect, and what happened to communicating issues to the group this isn’t individual work where you can just tell the lecturer your problems, I mean, if he’d voiced it in the meetings or through the group email we would have maybe been able to come to a resolution (then I was ranted) I am going to tell him that I’m annoyed with him at the next meeting because we can’t just have people emailing the lecturer about things without group members knowing and it wasn’t really his idea so if anyone should’ve sent that email it should of been the people who came up with the idea. Plus, I don’t even know how he presented the idea in the email especially if he wasn’t presenting his worries in the meeting who knows how he actually presented them!” As you can tell I was very annoyed.

To be continued… where I’ll actually tell you guys if I voiced my annoyance at the meeting today.

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