“And your major assessment will be a group assignment.” My tutor announced. I looked around in horror, this was the first tutorial for the semester and she was asking us to choose a group. Now if I was twenty this would be easy, I would be hanging at the back of the room, feasting on Facebook, oblivious that there was an assignment. Fast forward twenty years and there I was in the front row with my hand up.

My group was formed by geography, basically who sat where. Seated in the front row, were we the outliers of the class?On a positive note I was excited by our diversity; four members of all of different ages and backgrounds; who could all bring different qualities to the project. As the weeks passed, I would learn that besides writing, the main quality that I would bring was to mother them. As if hassling my own children to do their homework isn’t enough, my brood had now grown to include three males ranging from 18 to 30. (Would it be mean to say that my teens have proven to be more competent?).

Six weeks after the brief and we were supposed to be working to a timeline that I had prepared. Each deadline has come and gone and the only contribution besides my own was from thirty-year-old. At this point I must add that we all get the same grade. As the days passed my persistence intensified and my demeanour began to change from loving mother to wicked stepmother.

I began to realise that I was learning a different lesson than how to build a website.

I have learnt that sometimes things are beyond my control and it’s not the end of the world. This is not an easy concept for me to grasp. Over the semester I have struggled to manage my unruly brood (my own kids have been a breeze), I have bored my husband  with my complaints. I even wondered if I should do the whole project myself. But last night, just before the stroke of midnight, as I was unpacking the dishwasher and preparing my tax return, I decided against it and I changed back to Cinderella.

Earlier today, I submitted our group assignment. On time. I even wrangled an extra piece from one of the wildlings. It’s not a perfect assignment, but at least I got my tax done and when the return comes in, I’ll spend it on something enjoyable; and I’m sure that when I’m lying on the massage table the group project will be forgotten. Until next semester, when perhaps I will look more closely at the unit outline. Is it possible to get through university without a group assignment?