Can we talk about school group work? Is there a person alive that went to school, cared about their grades, was genuinely interested in learning, and then got assigned a group project or presentation, and thought, “YES, group work!” ??
I’m not a gambling gal, but I’m putting my money on NO.
Yet teachers seem insufferably attached to group work, and I think it’s getting worse. I get that we may end up in jobs where we have to work in teams, but being paid to work in teams, in hours when you’re all already there anyway, is so totally different from what school group work entails. For me right now, this means coordinating 5 peoples genuinely-packed schedules in an attempt to put together a 45 minute presentation on the difficulty of pressing charges in domestic violence cases, where we all coherently take a turn speaking and are ready to field questions on any related content.
Really, I believe group work is all about professors having a healthy respect for their own time (less marking, fewer presentations, easier to critique) and having no respect for students’ time. Yes, I love school, but school is not my life. It cannot be my life. If you give me a group assignment as a dominantly weighted portion of my grade, I immediately lower my personal expectations by a full letter grade, at minimum. This is not because I don’t believe the people in my group are intelligent, competent, or reliable – they probably are. We just all have other things going on that seem more important than a jurisdictional review of practices in three other countries on this issue.
For instance, I have a need for the best Zucchini Lemon Loaf taking up my time.
In the dead of winter (or, if you live in my neighbourhood, the dead of lawn-mowing spring!), fresh, bright lemon recipes and that freezer stash of grated zucchini are the stuff that brings groups together.
If you didn’t freeze zucchini, you can always buy a little one, since you only need a cup…although this doubles really well and we all want to do the same minimal amount of work for double the outcome, right?
Just like group work!
You see, there IS logic. Don’t be doubting.
This is up there in goodness with my declared favourite loaf-child, Orange Sunshine Loaf. Apparently loaves and citrus work for me. I hope they work for you too. Up next will have to be grapefruit! Then, maybe, the group work.
- 2 cups cake and pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk or sour cream
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil and sugar until very smooth. Add buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk well. Stir in zucchini.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Remove to cooling rack and let cool 5-10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge to loosen and removing from pan to cool completely on rack.
- Make glaze and spoon over the bread. (I like to put a piece of waxed paper under the cooling rack to catch the drips for easy clean up). Let the glaze set before slicing and serving.
- If freezing, wrap completely cooled loaf in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze until needed.
Adapted from Lil Luna.