A villain for the weak

I already know that university in the second and third year is going to be a difficult thing to work through, and in my case part of that is because the schedule for completing my project is very tight. Since the beginning of this academic year, which was Monday this week, we have ten weeks of this semester to complete our project, one of which (the week of October 5th) will be interrupted by a special event involving students across various art and design courses coming together in order to make some kind of product. I have learned that whatever plan we make or whatever we set out to create, we have to make sure it’s done before literally the next session of a module. I definitely feel there is a certain severity to what we are going to experience, but this post is not about my attitude towards that severity. It’s about my attitude towards how others within my design team seem to be dealing with it.

Yesterday we had to decide what we were going to do in order to improve a portion of our level, and I decided to create a floor asset before the end of the afternoon lecture. It was easy for me to create, and I handed over the asset to another member of the group so that it could be reviewed by the others and taken into the game itself where the texture we need and already have for it can be applied, and we’d have the asset in the game, but I didn’t hear anything about whether or not the floor asset I created was satisfactory. I sent a message, waited, sent two more and was finally assured that my asset and the message it came with was apparently not read yet. This was bothersome enough until I tried to talk about what I could do next. All I wanted was to discuss what we were doing, and the only one talking to me treated it as though it didn’t matter at all. He said I worried too much, he thought I was asking the group to shepherd me into working instead of having myself use my initiative, and when I told him I have the right reasons to be concerned and that as degree students we should be more committed and more willing to adapt to that one week disrupting our normal routine, he chose to ignore me.

As you can probably imagine, that made me angry, mostly because it feels like he’s just using next week as an excuse not to take the course seriously. He always wants to get me to relax, but I’m not the type to be too relaxed when I know how tight our schedule and I’m trying to get discussion going around for what we as a group do next. He speaks of me being shepherded by the group, but if anything I think it’s HE who needs shepherding because. Honestly, it’s only been six days of the course, and already I’m sick of feeling like I’m the bad guy in a group, when all I’m trying to do is have something to do and make sure we all have a plan for this course. Is it too much to ask that we all discuss our next order of business for our project? And the timing for this is just bitter. This past week it felt like my morale for the game design course has been, for the most part, increasing. The prospect of doing new projects in certain modules has piqued my interest, and I’ve even gotten excited about the prospect working with people, albeit because we’re working with the animation students for one of our modules. Then I go back to being viewed as a nuisance or even a burden because I insist on there being communication about our activity on the course, and every day. All I want is some consistent communication (which to my mind was vital to succeeding in the course) and order, and the only reason I want that is to do well in the course and be able to do what I want to here. Anyone who finds my concerns a burden to me is weak-minded and foolish. It feels like ought to be the tyrant taking the helm, but frankly I feel that sounds below me.

Now I know it’s too soon, but I already feel that if I have to continue dealing with the perception of being an annoying nuisance and feeling like an asshole or doing more harm than good, my morale is just going to die and all that’ll happen is that I’ll give up game design and do an art-oriented course where at least my success will depend entirely on individual progress and I make art or design without ever having to do it collaboratively. But the downside of that is that I feel like I’d be proving that I’m incapable, though I guess if I’m consistently sensitive about group work in design, then maybe game design isn’t for me. I’m not willing to give up the course yet, and I want to prove myself as a competent student, but I still feel that there’s a real danger of morale being killed by dealing with others in the group.

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5 responses to “A villain for the weak

  1. it doesn’t sound like you’re asking to be shepherded at all, it sounds like you just want them to care and communicate. If anything it sounds like it’s them that *need* shepherding, and they are just passive aggressively putting it back on you, either projecting on to you, or shifting the whole issue. I guess the crucial thing is do they deliver when it comes to the crunch, ie even if you have different communciation and work “styles” (to put it diplomatically), can it work and not let you down? If it can, then you could just give what you need to make it work, and try and not worry, but document all you do, in case they fail to deliver.

    • To be fair I only really talked about one person in particular. Let’s not risk distinguishing the good and bad elements of a group. At least a couple are actually helpful. I do worry about embodying the Tyrant Takes the Helm trope even as a power fantasy, because even if I like the idea of stepping up as a leader I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of bringing order by being a stern figure.

  2. I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to say and not sound harsh…lol. First off, I understand your frustration. This is why I prefer to work alone. I find humans incompetent and quite lazy. Normally, if someone I’m working with gives me a hard time, I just take over the whole project and do it myself. But I’m a Leo, so it comes naturally. I also understand it’s a school project, so you have to work as a group.

    On the other hand, I feel (and I do stress “I”) that you’re taking it too personal. I understand that it’s important and agree that it needs to be discussed, but I don’t feel you should internalize what the person said to you to the point where you’d consider changing classes. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody but yourself. Fuck everybody else.

    Also the last sentence of the third paragraph, I’m not sure what that means…

    “It feels like ought to be the tyrant taking the helm, but frankly I feel that sounds”

    • I did say it might be the case that I’m a perhaps a little too sensitive.

      Don’t worry about that sentence. It sort of refers to a trope where someone takes charge and makes sweeping changes that people don’t like. You can be assured that I consider reveling in the “tyrant” aspect to be beneath me.

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