Published Aug 12, 2004

At Marshall, each class is divided into four core groups, each of which attends class together for the first year. Each core group is also divided into about a dozen study groups, each with five or six students in it, each study group working together in all non-elective classes for the first year. Membership in study groups is assigned, but each group is designed to have a balanced membership, with an accountant, a finance person, a marketer, a slacker, etc.

So yesterday we got assigned our core groups and study groups. I’m in Core A, group 8. Go A! Yeah! We were the most boisterous group, so we got 50 points in the race for ROI, an unfortunately-named plastic horse who comes with a keg. Then we went to Union Cattle in Hermosa, and I rode a mechanical bull for charity and the greater glory of my Core. Go A!

We also had to pick a name for our study group. Since too many of us had seen Anchorman, the answer was obvious: Team 8: The Ocho!

Actually, I love my teammates. I think we’ll get along ok, and, even better, we’ve got compatible goals. We actually had a big teambuilding workshop, led by this great prof, Dave Logan, who moved everything along with great energy, insight, and clear examples. Dr. Logan’s basic point was that everything we’d learned about teambuilding was wrong and had, at best, no measureable effect on team unity. So we discussed our core team values and turned them into actionable and measurable operating guidelines. This whole process brought our group together, and I’m happy to say that we were efficient at it and built strong consensus.

Those guidelines:

  • Creativity: For each project, we will set aside a specific, finite, agreed-upon time during which everyone’s ideas will be listened to equally and completely.
  • Fun: We will set aside breaks during study sessons and get-togethers outside of school, at which time we won’t discuss any work at all.
  • Strength: We will individually show confidence in expressing ideas and solidarity in expressing and carrying out the group’s ideas and plans.
  • Respect: We will listen without interrupting, keep personal disagreements out of the group, and understand and work with the many demands on each others’ time.
  • Efficacy: At the beginning of each project, we’ll develop a project plan, with specific goals and milestones for the overall project and specific goals for each meeting.

I’m excited about the group. At the least, I feel comfortable that I’ll be well-supported academically for the next year.


THE OCHO?? that’s also used in the movie Dodgeball, as the ESPN station that covered the final games. how funny.

Yes, that was my typo. It was not used in Anchorman but in Dodgeball. It’s their fault for putting all the same actors in the films!