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Group Presentations Galore

Eileen Robinson

I’m a science major, so I’m used to your average “four tests and a final” grading system. This semester, I was thrown for a bit of a loop when I learned I would have group presentations in three of my four classes.

For Psychopharmacology, we had to present one drug and it’s synthesis, metabolism, side effects, therapeutic uses, and possibilities of addiction for about 25 minutes. Luckily, one of my good friends from Sutherland freshman year is in that class and we quickly formed a group with one of his friends too. Because we all knew each other, working together on the powerpoint was a lot more casual and I felt more comfortable giving/taking criticism.

For Biological Basis of Mental Disorders, we had to present one mental disorder for about 15 minutes and try to engage the class with videos, personal stories, and asking about hypothetical situations. I paired up with a sophomore in my sorority who I didn’t know well until this semester and now I’m so glad I did, because she’s hilarious. This presentation was the final grade and since groups were only composed of two people, there were 4 presentations a day for the last three weeks of class (because it was a Tuesday/Thursday class). Attendance was mandatory but after we were done presenting (which was two weeks ago for us), we were essentially done with that class and got to enjoy free breakfast (because the presenters had to bring in donuts, bagels, coffee etc.).

For Social Cognition and Neuroscience, we had to present one assigned topic (mine was the amygdala and social situations) for 75 minutes and include lots of studies/research done in that field. Our groups were randomly assigned and while my group definitely worked well together, it was harder to find good times to meet/hold each other accountable since we didn’t really know each other outside of that class. The presentation still went well (we somehow managed to take up the full 75 minutes) but if I never have to type “amygdala” again, I’ll be a happy camper.

While these presentations were all stressful at times, I’m glad that these three classes forced me to use those skills again. I get so used to studying on my own and simply taking a test that sometimes I forget how valuable those experiences are that force you to stand up straight, speak clearly and teach others about a topic you’ve become an expert in.

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