the groups will be assigned by the end of may. you will have
plenty of time to develop your ideas and coördinate your
efforts. but i expect that time and effort to be reflected in
"we need a strong individual who's also capable of being
a team player. a sense of humour is a must. they have to be adaptable
to unusual and stressful environments: humidity; heat; cramped,
close quarters with no privacy at all. they need good judgment
and just a dash of self-analysis-too much may lead to depression.
we need someone with good language skills, who thrives on cultural
diversity and who has strong social and interpersonal skills"
that's dr. al holland, the chief nasa psychologist, describing
the appropriate personality for astronauts going to mars. it's
not a 392a group-member description. your requirements are higher.
you need all of that, and some design sense too.
you'll have to manage your time well; aside from some brief
discussions and possibly overlapping projects, no class or workshop
time will be allocated to the projects.
i encourage you very strongly
to make this a real-world project. it's going to have inevitably
the taint of the transcript about it, since we're all trapped
on campus and you're trying to escape with a piece of paper that
makes prospective employers sit up and beg, if not lie down and
roll over. but try to find an existing programme, product, or
place that needs documentation, and supply it. if you sign contracts
and collect filthy lucre for this project outside of class, so
much the better.
given the focus of the course, design issues
will be weighted most heavily, but i'll be assuming a fairly
high level of writing competence, accuracy, and usability as
half of your mark will come from
the other group members' assessments of your contributions
everybody in the group must submit a memo assigning
an individual grade for participation to every one else in the
group, along with at least sixty words justifying that grade.
if you do not submit this memo, you will get either an f- or
an inc, at my discretion. this memo should be similar to the
course participation memo, with more specificity, something like:
fred derf, A+
he surprised the hell out of me. i always thought he was a bonehead,
but he knows everything there is to know about granite, and provided
virtually all the technical material. he worked very hard, especially
on the last-minute layout problems, and was relentlessly encouraging
to everyone. can we get him to solve the balkan crisis?
wilma amliw, F-
a complete washout. she missed meetings, fought with us about
trivial issues (or, worse, matters we'd already decided) when
she did show up, and blew her deadlines. in the end, we gave
her some small jobs, writing some of the copy, but nobody was
happy with that, and we had to group-edit it. if i meet her five
yeras from now, and find that she graduated and got a stable
job, i'll drop dead of apoplexy.
dino onid B,
a good team player. he never seemed to go out of his way, and
his contributions weren't particularly inspired. he pulled his
weight, though, and brought his sections in on time. he clearly
wanted the project to proceed, but was happy to let others do
the main work.