Sunday, 25 April 2010

PBL - A Problem Best Left

She stands in the shower, the warm water dripping down her face. At least now, nobody can see that she's crying. She gets out of the shower, shivers as her feet hit the cold tiles. She wraps herself in her towel and sits on the edge of the bath. As she looks down at her scarred legs she feels that deep lonely ache in the pit of her stomach. She hastily pulls on her clothes and leaves the bathroom. She scrabbles around for her books and pens and throws them in a bag. She turns on her hairdryer to drown out the noise of the students talking noisily and happily in the street. She picks up her bag, pulls on her boots and walks out of the door. Today is just going to be the same. She gets to her seminar group 5 minutes early. She gets out her notes and takes her seat, saying nothing but a polite hello. There's no point saying anything else any more. She feels unappreciated and disliked by the group. As the discussion begins, she is frequently talked over and ignored, and even put down by other members of the group. This isn't what this should be like. This should be enjoyable, and sociable, but instead, she gives in and sits in silence. She sits, and just hopes that soon it will end. She leaves, only to go to her lecture, and sit and cry silent tears, hoping that nobody can see.

This is my attempt at trying to express what PBL days are like for me this year. It's a constant struggled with my group and I dread the days. My tutor has been fantastic, and a great help and support, but I just don't feel valued, and I don't feel like my presence is even noticed. I guess, this is just the way it's going to be.


  1. Stumbled across your blog quite by chance (through a search engine I think). Believe we are victims only if we allow ourselves to become so, that said, my heart goes out to you for the suffering that you are undoubtedly experiencing.
    Never thought though that the UEA Medical School would not deal with what is "Bullying" in a sensitive and appropriate manner: am appalled - at least your lecturer sounds helpful.
    I wonder how many other parents will hit your blog as I did and wonder whether Medical School at the UEA is an appropriate choice for their children.
    I have worked with the Evolve Project for Norfolk and will look more closely before assisting them again.
    Keep at it, do not be ground down by this and the very best of luck with your studies.

  2. THank you for your comment.

    I didn't write this as a criticism of UEA Medical School at all. My tutor has been fantastic in trying to help resolve the issues within the group, and has done her hardest to help. I am very grateful for how much she has helped me - I feel she has gone above and beyond her job description, and really made an effort to sort the issues with the group.

    The course at UEA is structured for those who are very outgoing and strive well with group work, people who are outgoing and outspoken will do very well at UEA. Unfortunately I'm not really one of those people, and I've been unlucky with personality clashes within my group - it just seems that not all the group are willing to really work towards being inclusive.

    I don't see it as bullying at all - it's just a mixture of factors that complicate things and make this year's group work more difficult. I had no problems last year and quite enjoyed PBL.

    I've been unlucky in that I'm not really suited to this course, but it's a very good medical school, and any prospective student would just have to ask themselves whether this type of course is right for them. In an idealistic world this course would be perfect for me, but unfortunately real life just isn't like that.


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