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©2000 Zhan Huan Zhou
Updated Jan-01-2000

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A Group Thing

©1999 Zhan Huan Zhou, Fall 1997, Issue 3

Well you made it. The dreaded week of midterms is finally finished. You may have lost a few more years off your life but itís done. Not to worry, Iíve just discovered the a way to reduce stress, studying time and get a better mark. Iím not talking about cheating, that would be bad. What Iím talking about is teamwork.

How many times have you written an exam, but were unsure about one measly step in the solution? You agonize about which method is correct and inevitably, you erase the proper solution and put the wrong answer down on the paper which is going to be marked. Somehow, I imagine that an employer would be quite disappointed that you tried to attain the correct solution by yourself and had to guess at the proper answer. However, during a midterm, if you even lift your head to look at the clock, the proctors can accuse you of cheating. HELLO! Do you see a difference between school and the real world?

Employers donít expect a student to know everything. If you need to know something, just ask a fellow co-worker. If you still canít find the answer, you can consult books. Imagine, a hundred engineers in the same room all working on the same task. Theyíre all stuck on the same problem but canít ask each other for assistance. Sound silly? Now, donít imagine anymore because YOU are one of those engineers. You all experienced this during midterms Iím sure. The point is, you are never as isolated in the work environment as you are during an exam.

If you try to make it anywhere in the world by yourself, alone, you will most likely fail, no matter what it is. For example, the success of many major high-tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft are not the product of a single individual. Apple was founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Neither one could have done it by himself, but it took the combination of the two. "It was Jobs's garage that Apple started in, but it was Wozniak's computer" is a quote a pulled of the internet showing the importance of teamwork. Moreover, Bill Gates could not have built up Microsoft to dominate the PC software market without his partner Paul Allen.

People in the real world canít succeed by themselves, why should people in school be any different? The only explanation I can give is that school has nothing to do with the real world. In that case, WHY THE HELL ARE WE ALL HERE?