Why is it that group projects turn out to be horrifying disasters? Whether it's a lazy partner, nerves in front of the class, or explosive diarrhea, something is always bound to go wrong. Even if it's a solo project, the best solution is to avoid class entirely. COntent has been edited for clarity.
"Believe it or not, two of the weirdest guys at my school got into a fight over the weirdest girl at my school. For a little while, there seemed to be a love triangle going on amongst the three of them, but really it was the two of them doing her bidding like they were her servants. Finally, these two guys get to the point where they're completely tired of this girl seeming to only give time and attention to the other guy. They deiced the only solution is to fight. They publicly agree to a time and a place, and they schedule a fight. This was truly bizarre to witness. The day of, neither guy shows up to the fight, and one of the dudes left the other one a voicemail, saying that, 'Bad things happen to bad people,' with literally no other context.
An important fact to include here: these guys are both juniors in college. Maybe they weren't full-fledged adults quite yet, but they were adults with the training wheels on. Everyone in our school has to take this class, where we all give a ten to fifteen minute presentation on our personal growth and that that means to us personally and professionally. The main idea here? Ten to fifteen minutes. Weirdo number 1 gets up and tells the class, 'I was once too afraid to claim what was mine. You probably know what I'm talking about. I'm not afraid anymore.'
And then he sat down. He had a fifteen-minute block of time to use, and he really just spoke for about ten seconds. MAN, that guy was bizarre."
"Now this one wasn't the absolute worst presentation I've ever witnessed, but it most certainly was the most bizarre. On the day of the presentation, there was a huge malfunction with my local metro system, and the busiest metro line was out of order for about two hours during the morning rush hour. I was an hour late to my class. The second student, we will call her Anna, showed up ten minutes after I did, and the third student, let's call her Becky, didn't even arrive. But we still went to the front to present to everyone else. Now because the class only had twenty minutes left and two groups still left to go, we tried to quickly zoom through the presentation.
The professor decided to give us some terrible options. Either we would be getting half of the points because we were late (never mind that half of the entire class was late that day due to the metro), or we could find a different topic and make a presentation for the next class's lecture. We chose the latter option. After class, I did the entire preparation for the second group presentation on my own, because the other two students promised to do their parts, but they never came through. Becky completely ignored me. Anna told me, 'Yeah, I will send you stuff in a bit!' but she never did. Before the next lecture, I just gave them both my notes for their parts, and off we went. The professor said that the presentation was way too long and overdone as compared to our last efforts. She had a hard time giving each of us points, because I seemed like I knew what I was presenting about, unlike Anna and Becky, who simply read their notes. She finally decided to give me an 8/10, and the other two students a 4/10 because they clearly showed up to class and were given something already prepared for them.
Anna barely reacted, telling me, 'Yeah, that's fair I guess.'
Becky, for whatever reason, started hysterically crying over how this low score will totally ruin her overall grade. I just stood there, completely done with everything, telling Becky that if she wanted a better score, that she at least could have responded to my messages the week before and done something. Then she started yelling at me about what a heartless witch I really am. Her hysterical sobbing and excuses continued for about five minutes until the professor decided that enough was enough. She still got that 4/10 because no amount of tears would make this professor budge. Becky continues to be this emotional over every time she got a grade she wasn't happy about for the rest of the year. Last I heard, she had dropped out of college."
"So I had this book report in the ninth grade. I chose the book 'Lord of the Flies'. I loved this book. I even read if four whole times just for this one report! I spent hours researching different social topics relevant to this book, focusing particularly on how social order can deteriorate in the absence of authority. I spent hours the night before adjusting and practicing my presentation, and I even performed it for my drama program director in advance! I received high praises from him. I just knew that I would knock this report out of the park.
When I got to my English class the following day, everyone else barely tried with their measly reports. I scoffed. I knew that mine would surely be a slam dunk. I got in front of the class and totally killed it. I even made an additional poster board on the topic of anarchy and its parallels to this book. When I had finished, I looked to my English teacher, my eyes brimming with tears in appreciation of my extensive efforts and eventual praise. But I will never forget what she said. 'Your book was 'Animal Farm', not 'Lord of the Flies'.'
It turns out that I missed class on the day that I was assigned this book. She gave me a 70% for effort and mostly for pity."
"During a high school English class, one girl created a PowerPoint slide that was a literal solid block of text. Then this student buried her face into her paper and started mumbling. It took us a few moments to realize that she was reading the entire slide from her paper word for word. When she was finished, she proceeded into the next slide, which was another massive wall of text. She also read this entire thing verbatim. The teacher made her stop and suggested that she actually try to present her word, not just recite it. You know what she said? She lowered the paper, simply replied with a, 'No,' and went back to reading her text wall.
During another high school English class, another girl's PowerPoint wouldn't open on the screen correctly, and the teacher refused to allow her to present another day. All she could do was to stammer through the entire five minute presentation from memory. She was holding back her fearful tears the entire time. It was beyond awkward."
"Way back when, when I was in the fifth grade, this super cringy strange kid in our class brought his acoustic guitar to show his many musical talents. I remember thinking, 'Oh good for him! I bet he has some hidden talent and maybe he'll get some social points for doing this!'
Not whatsoever. He proceeded to play literally one note, not even a chord, while singing these following lyrics, 'Going downtown. Going downtown. Going, going, going. Going downtown.'
The entire class, including this teacher, could only stare at him with slack jaws. At long last, someone finally couldn't hold it in any longer and snorted a little. That was what opened the floodgates, and everyone proceeded to start laughing. This kid stood up red-faced and walked out of the class. I felt really bad for him, but what on earth was he thinking? Why did his mother not give him lessons before sending him out into the world to perform?"
"So I made this post board that was supposed to describe myself. The assignment was for everyone to collect a bunch of pictures of themselves and their families, as well as write about their personality traits. My poster features a lot of pictures I found off of the internet, representing myself. Now I'm not a very shy person, but I do get stage fright easily. So I was squirming the entire time and struggling to find what sort of words to say, especially after the students before me had some stellar presentations. My lowest point of this entire thing was when I gestured to a cat meme on my board. It had dilated pupils and the caption read, 'Catnip kitty tinks colors r pretty.' I stammered out somehow that this picture showed that I was funny. Nobody in that room even cracked a smile. By the end of my sorry, sad presentation, I was tearing up and so hot with embarrassment that I felt like someone had poured hot coffee all over my head. Did I mention that this happened in college?"
"So there was this public speaking class I had to take as a freshman in college. This was a super easy class that was required for everyone in school. IT was taught by whichever TA drew the short straw. My section of this class also happened to fall on every Thursday evening, from seven to nine at night. This particular week, everyone in class was presenting. We were planning on focusing on six students during this class, including their presentations and critiques. I was number ten on the schedule, so there was no way that I was going to present today, right? Because of this, I was absolutely in no way prepared. I still have a week to figure out what I was going to do, right?
Well, it was just my luck. Nine out of ten people in front of me were supposedly sick that day and had not shown up to class. Uh oh. So I now have fifteen minutes or so to furiously create a PowerPoint and outline just what it is that I plan on saying. Luckily, I chose a subject that I was quite well-versed in, actually more of an obsessive to be honest. So I got up to the front of the class and began my little presentation. Even with such a rapidly made PowerPoint, everything was going surprisingly swimmingly. This was a subject that no one else in the class knew anything about, so I could straight up just made up things on the spot if it came to that. I sat down after my presentation, so relieved to be finished. My friend leaned over to my seat and whispered to me, 'Why on earth did you do a half hour presentation?! you only needed it to be five minutes!'
I was so nervous that my presentation wasn't going to be long enough that I must have rambled on for half an hour! There were many clocks in the room. I have literally no idea what I said for at least half of this presentation. During that time, it was like I was watching someone else run my body for me!"
"In the fourth grade, we had to do this presentation on what sort of career we might like to do as adults. Another kid and I both chose the subject of stand-up comedy. Naturally, the teacher paired us up together. I think my teacher's idea for us was to talk about the history of comedy, especially focusing on old historical duos such as Abbott & Costello, and then we would shift towards the more modern track of performing at night clubs and eventually arenas if you got really popular. Of course, we planned on telling a whole bunch of jokes during this presentation too. Unfortunately, me and this other student didn't really know each other very well at all, and we had absolutely no chemistry or timing. This presentation was a total disaster. We kept fumbling over our lines and talking over each other.
The worst memory that pops into my head from this horrible event was when the other student gave me the setup to a joke. Instead of me saying, 'I don't know, what?' for him to follow up with the punchline, I actually delivered the punchline instead. The other student was stunned and just said, 'Uh, yeah, that's very good?'
The teacher finally put a stop to it, thank god. Our classmates were beyond confused at what they had just witnessed. This other student and I were not friends after this disaster of an event."
"This happened when I was in the fifth grade. There was this kid in our class who you could tell really wanted to fit in, but he was so social inept. He was socially inept in a way that you could only see from old 80s sitcoms nowadays. He wasn't a bad kid in retrospect, but he was definitely accident-prone, prone to flatulence, and was super awkward in general. So this kid is doing this history report, which he has to stand up and present to the entire class. He speaks about his entire report like this. 'So and so was born in 1900. in 1910, he was ten years old and went to school. In 1920, he was twenty years old and had enrolled in college. In 1930...' and so on and so on and so on. I don't think this kid ever broke up the different intervals in his report. He always stated things in the most boring, monotonous decades. I think that the entire thing took about seven or eight minutes tops, which isn't a very long time in retrospect. But once you think about how rote and dull the entire thing was? It felt like a lifetime. I turned to my friend during the middle of the presentation and whispered to him, 'Jesus, is he just doing a timeline?' and the teacher suddenly glared at me for talking. But when this kid was all wrapped up, I even heard the teacher mutter under his breath, 'Well, it is obvious your parents didn't help you with that report.'
"Thankfully, this didn't happen exactly to me, but to a poor fellow student in my ninth grade English class many, many years ago. This was supposed to be merely a simple public speaking presentation. All it consisted of was a five-minute speech. I had already given mine beforehand, so I was barely paying attention to anyone else, doodling in my notebook or whatever. My classmate, we shall call him Chris, is give an exceptionally boring speech on an exceptionally dull topic. He has this horrible monotone voice, essentially reading off of his note cards. It is beyond boring. No one is really paying attention here. No one is laughing or reacting in any way. All of a sudden, I hear a massive WHAM! from the front of the classroom. I suddenly look up. Chris is now on the floor. He has somehow passed out or fainted. The interesting part is that, even face down on the floor, he is still actually mumbling out his speech! Fainting didn't really help his speech. My teacher rushed to the front of the room in a panic. She had been sitting with the students in the back of the room to observe and grade Chris's speech and performance. Chris is okay. She gets another student to take Chris to the nurse's office. In the end, it definitely turned into a memorable speech, even though over thirty years later, I don't remember a single word of it! Thankfully, Chris was fine. There wasn't any permanent damage, except to his poor ego."
"During my seventh grade, we had to do these skits about all of the different ecosystems. Our particular group was assigned to report on the indigenous forest. I was really hoping to get this specific topic, so I was super duper pumped. I decided to nominate myself as the group leader. I designed an entire plot, characters, and corresponding costumes for each character. I even unearthed my old owl Halloween costume from several years ago. My group and I spent several class periods rehearsing this elaborate skit. Then finally, the official presentation day had arrived. I think that I did a very excellent job, but no one else really did. They all had bland line deliveries, and they even kept forgetting and repeating their many lines. I slowly died on the inside while performing all of this. What made this one my worst presentation was the fact that our teacher decided to record each and every skit and compile all of them into one video. So when all of us watched the video and my group came up on the screen, I had to firsthand witness this sort of embarrassment all over again!"
"So a very good friend of mine at the time totally forgot that we had this huge presentation due soon in high school. This project would be worth a fourth of our grade in high school! My friend had already been pretty heavily involved with some personal stuff at the time, and this project just completely slipped his mind leading up to the due date. This was the day of the presentation. He had made a 'work in progress' PowerPoint that still had a lot of work to be done. I told him that it would simply be the best solution to pass that one off as his final version. I told him to cheer up. Maybe last minute work could bring out his hidden creativity? It turned out that I would almost give myself a concussion with how hard this kid made me facepalm. The presentation was supposed to be around fifteen minutes based on a knowledge theory question, such as, 'How can we use personal bias to create new unbiased knowledge?'
This was definitely not a traditional course, but it was super duper interesting. This kid still spent the next ten minutes rambling about how Einstein was somehow connected to Easter Island or something. But he did make it very, very entertaining. I had a good laugh afterwards, and so did the entire class and our teacher. His grade had a good laugh as well, it was very bad!"
"This took place during a high school world geography class. I was working on a partner presentation about the Middle East with another student. I didn't know practically anything about any other regions, so I was just happy to be enrolled in the right course for me. The other student was from a Middle Eastern country, and I actually learned a ton directly by getting to know her while making this presentation. Well apparently the day of the presentation, right before class, she went in and changed some key facts in our PowerPoint slides. Let's just say that she actually had some pretty hateful feelings about some of her neighboring countries over in that area. I recall so vividly how I was completely blindsided and embarrassed once I realized what was going on. It was pretty normal at first, but I quickly found myself in the middle of some massive arguments that I didn't really understand."
"Way back when, when I was in the sixth grade, I lived in an incredibly tiny town in a rural area. So naturally, all of the kids would hang around the local pub. I know what you're thinking, but there wasn't much to do in town, and one of the kid's grandpa owned it. This guy would hand out sodas and popsicles to all of the kids int he summer. So there was this kid that we'll call Eddie, who no one really liked that much. Eddie decided that he was going to make his older brother buy him some drinks, and Eddie would get to drink them outside, while we all watched. Eddie got completely wasted. He threw up EVERYWHERE. This also included right onto the girl whose grandpa owned the pub. This little girl was so upset. The following Monday at school, the fates seemed to align against Eddie. Our teacher is telling us about how we will be working on group projects based on the negative effects of different illicit substances and drinks. Well what do you know? Our teacher pairs up Eddie and that girl to do the one on drinks. On the day of the presentation, you could easily tell that Eddie didn't do any of this work at all. While the two of them were presenting, the teacher shouted, 'EDDIE! I can tell that you didn't do any of the work! Why didn't you?'
Eddie simply stood there for a second and very plainly stated, 'Well, Miss, I, uh, I have some firsthand experience with this?'
Yeah, that wasn't a good enough explanation for the teacher."
"I was enrolled in a college art class when all of this nonsense went down. My class assignment was to paint something inspirational, and we were asked to present this in front of the class. I painted a very surreal epic, featuring myself rising up, with balls of light floating away from me. These balls of light represented my struggles. I spent a ton of hours trying to get this piece exactly right. I even splurged on extra fancy paints to complete this project! Finally, presentation day is upon us. My turn came up, and I explained to my professor what my painting was about. Well, I tried to at least, but I was suddenly interrupted by my art professor. Apparently he took issue with the fact that my drawing style wasn't very realistic, and I drew in more of an anime style. I was aware that my work was different from that of my classmates, but I had not really thought much of it, because I believed that I would develop and hone my skills with some more time. My professor told me that I would not get anywhere if I continued drawing anime. I vividly remembered how I gripped my canvas tightly as my eyes began to water. I told my professor to get lost, in front of the entire class. He had always treated my work this way, and I had had enough! My professor glared at me and stated that he would report me to my uncle, who happened to be one of the deans in the college. Nothing came of it though, and at least I got to stick it to that nasty professor of mine!"
"I had to do this book report in college as a pre-med. It was based on the deeply fascinating subject of the gastrointestinal system. Unfortunately on the night before, I had eaten way too much of this really excellent five-alarm chili. So the day of the presentation on these book reports, I get up to the front of the class. I had been polishing off this flawless presentation for months beforehand! As I begin my speech, my pencil sort of pops out of my hand. I bend down to the floor to pick up my pencil, and I swear, it was like the gates of heaven in my butt hole opened up. I bent down and suddenly unleashed all of the contents. It was like a massive earthquake had ripped throughout the entire classroom. A bit of my butt must have been poking out of my pants, because some of the squirts were getting out and peppering diarrhea spray onto the presentation screen. I don't remember how long the fartocalypse or the diarrhea were, but dear god, they took forever. It felt like an entire hour from my point of view. I cried and cried and cried, and I ran out of the classroom in pure shame. I didn't want to know what anyone's reaction had been! I only got a C- in the class. I took it and tried as hard to move on from it as I could. The less said about that experience, the better."