It felt like just yesterday that I was writing my first reflection. I thought about this very day and just said to myself ‘eh, that’s so far away’. But it has finally come. The debates are over and I think that absolutely everyone involved did very well. They were all really, really enjoyable. A lot of nerves, a lot of laughter and a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all about. Anyway, let’s get into the final post.
In terms of learning something, I know it sounds cliche, but i really did gain some valuable skills and this was unlike any other group or team experience ever. The one thing that sticks out to me is the amount of times I actually met up in person with my group. I’m not sure if It’s because I had really enthusiastic and positive teammates (especially Eileen) or just because of the fact that our Thursday lab meant that we go to meet up a lot. Either way it really helped, because there’s something about face to face contact that just makes everything seem so much easier. When you’re right next to someone you can just say whatever it is you need to say instantly and there’s no burden of typing or texting etc. So i truly believe that when you are only a meter or so away from someone you say way more (because you don’t need time to type) and thus you just tend to pitch more ideas. It’s also easier for people to make suggestions on how to adjust those ideas and so editing and refining are also far more simple. So I really learnt the value of meeting up with people in your team (as ridiculous and silly as that sounds). I think most people (when it comes to teamwork) just think ‘eh, we don’t need to meet up, we cant just do it over Facebook or Skype’.
In saying that, I also learnt the power of technology. Stuff like Facebook and Skype chat meant that all members of my team were able to contact any other member at any time of the day. This led to an array of impromptu meanings and as I mentioned earlier, this would have led to an even greater influx of suggestions and ideas. Finally, I discovered that cooperation is key. What i mean is, at times I feel like I try to take control in a group project. I dont mean to, however, I’m loud and boisterous and I tend to get exicted and this could lead to me trying to organise everything. However, the three girls in my group were really level-headed and so whenever I started to get in that kind of mood, they made sure that I didn’t get overly ambitious and tried to split up the work as much as possible. So I really know now that being in a team ACTUALLY MEANS that you are part of a group. It’s very easy to just want to do anything, but one really has to understand that there are other people ready to help you.
In terms of my role, I was a speaker, an enthusiast and I also delegated. Those of you who saw my teams debate would have noticed that I tend not to shut up and I had obviously known of this trait. So I decided that since it was one of my individualities, I would make the most of it and turn it into a role for my team. The other three girls in my team were also pretty quiet and softly spoken girls and so each member of the team complemented the other nicely. I was also involved with the writing of the script and the rebuttals. I have a really ‘over the top’ kind of writing AND speaking style and so i thought it was best that I wrote the script to that it would match my style of speaking. Therefore, I guess you could say I was the ‘actor’ of the team, with my remaining three team mates being the director, producer and editor; all critical roles.
I also feel as if I was somewhat of a delegator. As I said I’m a very loud and boisterous person so again I put that to good use and got enthusiastic as often as I could to promote working/research deadlines, group chats, group meetings and overall excitement for the debate. Thus, I really felt like if anyone in my team had a problem they could ask me for some advice and I was willing to help them. For example, when Eileen finished the power point presentation she asked me what I thought about specific slides just so we could match the script as best as possible. In this way I felt like a valuable team member and I think we all worked together quite well. I also hope that I brought a lot of charisma to the time (in terms of the actual debate). I tried to be funny, I tried to be emotional and I tried to be as vivacious and crazy as I could without crossing the line (I hope I didn’t do that either). I made people laugh a few times and hopefully tat enjoyment resonated with the markers (even though I dont think that was part of the criteria). I really hope that I represented my team well and did a great job for them, because they all put a large amount of work in behind the scenes.
Finally, in terms of problems there weren’t many. There were some minor problems, but there are always are (just like any drug will have a side effect regardless of it’s therapeutic value). For example, we had a problem with what was going to be our third and final argument. For most of the weeks leading up to the debate we were going to speak on ethics. However, one quick chat with Nicole and we realised that the ethical ideas presented by stem cell therapies were really weak ones. This was one week before the debate and so we had the issue of replacing this argument. However, we solved this very quickly because of our great ability to put together group meetings in an instant. Yizhou, Eileen and I met up at Wallace Wurth on a Thursday and within minutes we had determined a third argument that had already been brewing as I was writing my speech.
Another minor problem reflected some of the meeting times. Since many of the labs were not to account for group meetings, team members often utilised this free time for other things (work mainly) and that was totally okay ( i think we all had issues with timing at least once). So there was the issue (especially early on) of when/where to meet or when to organise a meeting on Skype. However and again, we were all really friendly with one another and within minutes we quickly figured out a time in which we would all be free. Furthermore, another issue I can think of was our team line. This was very early on and we were on Skype trying to figure out what out team line was going to be. We went through some pretty clever (but not perfect) suggestions. Finally, we all decided to just keep it simple and we made a nice, honest and direct line that related straight back to the question.
All in all, it was a really fantastic experience. I’d like to thank Nicole’s for putting this together. In medical science you really get to debating like this and I really love debating so this was perfect for me. It wasn’t a typical written assignment, it was not a research paper on something ridiculously specific and it really was quite fun. I think the fact that it was so original was probably the most fantastic aspect. Again, congratulations to absolutely everyone involved. You all did a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone of the debated. Also, a big thanks to my team 😀 So long word press! It has been a pleasure 😀
Good luck to everyone for the remainder of the course, their other subjects, exams and the year in general. See ya 😀