Today in class we divided up into groups for consumer report projects. Fun, right? Charlene and I decided to work together and decided lingerie would be a fabulous topic to research. We decided that we would announce our topic later and see who was interested. Unfortunately, while we were talking about it the two other people at our table overheard and asked to join. One girl dresses in the gothic style (and may very well live the lifestyle, I don't know) and she seems pretty cool, so she was totally OK. The other woman (not a girl, she must be in her 30s) was someone we didn't really want to work with. She's from Germany, and (hopefully because of the language barrier) can be quite slow. She was the last person in the class to finish a 50 question test (35 of the questions are multiple choice, and the rest are short answer!) but again, I'm hoping that's just a language problem. We had already said we didn't want to work with her when discussing it amongst ourselves, but we didn't know of a polite way to say, "No thanks, don't join our group" so she's in. Later we had to divide the work, and Charlene and I immediately pounced on doing the market research, which involves going to different lingerie stores and comparing prices, quality, etc. (Oh how painful!) Torres (the goth girl) volunteered to do the visual display. I'm sure she'll do a good job on it, if her personal style is anything to judge by she has an excellent eye. I said I'd write the report, which involves doing some background work on the history of lingerie and the companies we're researching, and tying that into the marketing research. Since I was already doing the market research, it would be pretty easy to do the report as well (especially since A/I work for the same parent company as Victoria's Secret and B/I've taken History of Fashion.) That left the job of presenting, and somebody hadn't volunteered to do anything.
But does Ms. Germany want to do any talking? No, she does not. She just frowned when Charlene asked her if she'd like to. So we asked her what she wanted to do. She re-reads the assignment sheet, either extremely slowly or re-reading it three or four times. Finally she says, "I'll do the report."
How do you politely say, "I'm sorry, but I fancy you aren't quite a master of the written English language and you do not strike me as a prize-winning writer anyway, so why don't you do something else because I don't trust you to do a good job on this report!" She was quite insistant that it was what she wanted to do if "we do all the research and bring it to her." Charlene and I exchanged looks, but there was nothing to be done, so we wrote her name down for the report. Then we decided the whole group would do the presentation (Ms. Germany was again silent and frowning) and called it a day.
But I'm paranoid. Ms. Germany refuses to speak in front of the class, so I guess she'll hold a sign or something and the rest of us will do the talking. What's more, I think I'll have her do the report early so that I can "proofread" it. Hopefully I'm just terribly paranoid and she's actually a brilliant writer. Otherwise, I'm sooooooo re-writing it. There is no way I'm getting less than an A in this class. I'm turning into such a control freak. I trust Charlene to do her work well, and Torres to do well, but even then I still want to finalize the visual, write the report, and give the speech. (One thing about being in a class of all-shy people is you get over your fear of speaking because you're ALWAYS the one talking.) I'm turning into a CRAZY CONTROL FREAK, and it's not good.