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Unformatted text preview: COPING WITH HITCHHIKERS AND COUCH POTATOES ON TEAMS BY BARBARA OAKLEY You will usually find your university teammates as interested in learning as you are. Occasionally, however, you may encounter a person who creates difficulties. This handout is meant to give you practical advice for this type of situation. To begin with, let's imagine you have been assigned to a combined homework and lab group this semester with three others: Mary, Henry, and Jack. Mary is okay-she's not good at solving problems, but she tries hard, and she willingly does things like get extra help from the professor. Henry is irritating. He's a nice guy, but he just doesn't put in the effort to do a good job. He'll sheepishly hand over partially worked homework problems and confess to spending the weekend watching TV. Jack, on the other hand, has been nothing but a problem. Here are a few of the things Jack has done: When you tried to set up meetings at the beginning of the semester, Jack just couldn't meet, because he was too busy. Jack infrequently turns in his part of the homework. When he does, it's almost always wrong-he obviously spent just enough time to scribble something down that looks like work. Jack has never answered phone messages. When you confront him, he denies getting any messages. You e-mail him, but he's "too busy to answer." Jack misses every meeting-he always promises he'll be there, but never shows up. His writing skills are okay, but he can't seem to do anything right for lab reports. He loses the drafts, doesn't reread his work, leaves out tables, or does something sloppy like write equations by hand. You've stopped assigning him work because you don't want to miss your professor's strict deadlines. Jack constantly complains about his fifty-hour work weeks, heavy school load, bad textbooks, and terrible teachers. At first you felt sorry for him-but recently you've begun to wonder if Jack is using you....
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2012 for the course CGT 411 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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