It turns out that I'm not actually a "team player" | Do Try This at Home: It turns out that I'm not actually a "team player"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It turns out that I'm not actually a "team player"

But I am number ONE on google if you search "how many ways can you be decapitated," And that is such an honor in and of itself that I barely have to worry about not being a team player.

My parenting advice has always included moisturizing really well, 'cause who the heck can be a good parent if their face looks like a bundle of stress? And those kids DO cause a lot of stress. Notice that I'm using the term "stress" interchangeably with the term, "school activities".

My boy and my gal have both been required to complete science fair projects each and every year. If you're unfamiliar with science fair, it's like this: take your basic eighth grade science lab and include a research paper on the subject. Then instead of just writing down the information on a sheet of notebook paper and handing it to the teacher, require a display board with a bunch of fancy graphics and photos. Then pit the projects against each other in a competition.

The only saving grace is that they only have to complete one a year instead of a certain number a week like I used to.

The other difference is that science fair offers an option to work as a group. It sounds like fun, but it always ends up excruciating. So here's more very important parenting advice: don't EVER, EVER get involved in a group project if you can at all help it.

Up until earlier this week (when The Guy told me that it's not actually a requirement for life), I was under the impression that being a "team player" was a positive thing. This was a result of being interviewed by a principal for a teaching position.

The principal asked me if I liked working alone or in a group. It was a tough question. On the one hand, what I enjoy most in a job is when the boss will stay out of my hair and let me get done whatever the heck I was hired to do. On the other hand, I've disliked jobs where I felt isolated.

I floundered around for awhile until the principal gently lead me to declare that I was a "team player".

I did learn from that job interview that just because you share a sense of humor with a boss and can follow her leading interview questions does NOT mean she will be fun to work for. But I forgot to learn that I'm not a team player. And so I have, on more that one occasion, consented to my children doing group school projects.

Here's the thing: even if your goals are aligned with the other people in the group (pass science fair, or win science fair) AND the children get along well AND you agree on how much adult help is permissible AND you work at more or less the same speed, your schedules will never, ever match up. No mater what, it's torturous.

And since I'm never going to learn my lesson, maybe one of you folks with younger children can learn it for me.

To turn to less agonizing subjects, here's one of the roses The-Guy is growing. I just wish I had a scratch and sniff blog, because it smells that yummy:

And here's a ladybug release party, otherwise known as a particularly expensive and cruel way to feed the birds:Notice how much better my boy's eyeball looks without the scratch on the cornea:The Guy and my boy and gal released all the ladybugs, and the birds had a nice snack, but presumably not before the ladybugs ate all the pesky aphids.

And so just to recap: group projects will make your life miserable and you should avoid them whenever possible. And kids look cute releasing doomed insects from captivity. Oh and also, apparently I am some sort of expert on decapitation because I mentioned it once.


Suz said...

What a beautiful flower

Arizaphale said...

Yea but I want to know what the science project was ABOUT. Ladybirds?
btw: Good lookin kids too.

Unknown said...

Well Jill for what it's worth, I don't know if I'm a good team player either. Science projects? I thank the heavens that I'm out of school.

ALF said...

I have never liked science fairs.

I am totally in love with the idea of a scratch and sniff blog.

Anonymous said...

I always did really well in Science Fair. I'm struggling to remember any of my projects, but I can't come up with any.

What's the ladybug exoeriment?

Jill said...

Thanks Suz & Arizaphale! And Arizaphale, the science project was about how long it would take screws to rust in different liquids. The ladybug thing was just a way to get rid of aphids on the guy's roses. :-)

Ricardo - Yeah, & you're not planning for kids, meaning you don't have to relive it over & over again. For whatever that's worth.

Alf - Let me know if you figure out a way to make it work! :-)

A Free Man - the lady bug thing was just to kill the aphids on the roses. It had nothing what so ever to do with science fair, but I guess I didn't differentiate very well.

Unknown said...

You are a decapitation expert google says so. It HAS to be true.

Anonymous said...

THat flower is so pretty is almost looks fake!

Unknown said...

It's worth a lot to me Jill. A whole lot.

Jill said...

SJ - I'm TOTALLY an expert on decapitation!!!!! Who'da thunk?!?!?

Thanks Kristine!

Ricardo - Yeah. :-)

Bruce Johnson said...

This sort of hits a nerver when you mention "team player". I have had enough experiences with this term in my life that I almost get violent when I hear it. When ever I hear it in a meeting, I start updating my resume becaue I know that the axe is about to fall on somebody.

My favorite retort to this over used term is this; "We don't have a team. A team consists of two things. 1) A shared goal and 2) Competency in all the team members. If you don't have both, you don't have a team." Sadly, most of the 'teams' have been on in my life were anything but.

Jill said...

Shared goal AND competency?!? Well, you've set the bar high Bruce, but I hope you find the work team you're looking for one day. :-)


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