three stooges are better than one

Today, as we were hunting for ERP groups, Ms Kuang commented that the same three people were always working together. She felt that we were excluding them by forming cliques, especially when it came to groupwork.

I don’t think that our class is divided into cliques – not everyone, anyway. Some people like to work together all the time, but it’s probably true that they work well together in a partnership that shouldn’t be broken. Some pairs are always in the same groups, except with different partners. I’m not in any clique, but I don’t really have much trouble getting into a nice group most of the time. Then there’re the leftovers who slot into groups after the initial pick – they’re still fine. In fact, I’d say the only true clique would be the Three People Who Sit In Front Of Me.

It is a touchy issue, but it has to be discussed. Many people – teachers, students from other classes – probably think that we’re ostracising them, openly showing them that the class would simply be a better place without them. In that I don’t agree. I won’t say I dislike them as people – because if you’re nice to me and you say constructive stuff in class I probably won’t really care about how unfit or how ugly or poorly endowed with psychomotor skills you are – but I have issues with some of their attitudes, and that is different. It has been one year and a bit, and they’re still unreceptive to us. If anything their clique has solidified. They hang around together, work with one another in group projects by default, make lame jokes as a collective. If these are the roles they’ve decided to play in class, I don’t think it will make any difference if we make desperate attempts to integrate them into the class and pretend we’ve always been the best of friends. Such attempts are painful for them, and painful for us.

I won’t say we’re perfectly right. Perhaps we should help them, by openly inviting them into our group, but we’re but fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds, the same as them. I don’t think we’ll know how to handle them if they’re just so antisocial. We have to get on with our own lives. Besides, they don’t seem to be interested in working with other people, anyway. As we were looking for group members, they were standing around, talking to each other (Benjamin was somewhere detached from the rest of the class, standing around and looking morose), obviously not interested in hunting for a group. If they had asked we would have considered them as we would any classmate. I have worked with Spencer before, he does contribute ideas . I wouldn’t exactly mind working with him if he had gone around asking for a group, but they hadn’t bothered.

In the end, Ms Kuang did some re-sorting and placed the three in different groups. So we needed a teacher to do this for us. Let’s see how it works out.

(also, why have I been posting contemplative stuff? Covering up my lack of humour by pretending that I’m capable of thought! Sweet. Uh, if birds hiccup once a day, what will happen to the icebergs?)


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