Group Presentations. Yikes!


In any group presentation, collective effort is very important. Despite any one person’s effort, it is the effort of the group as a whole that makes or breaks a group presentation.  In this English 313 Studies in Pop Culture course we were put into groups of seven to present on a given topic. The topic that my group was given was the film “Lost in Translation” and how it relates to our class material and discussions.

            Being the second group to present, we had some sort of example of what we were to be doing with this presentation. We also had a few weeks to plan and meet regarding the content of our presentation. The class session after we were initially put into groups we all traded e-mail addresses and briefly discussed how we wanted to cover the movie. At this point we all thought we would be covering “Summers Palace.”  We all worked on finding the movie with no luck, after two-weeks of such luck the professor changed the movie to “Lost in Translation,” a movie that most of us had seen before.

            After the movie had been changed I sent out an e-mail to all of the members of my group asking which days they were available to meet. Everyone was fast to respond and we coordinated a meeting time. In class before the meetings we asked that everyone watch the film before our scheduled meeting. We met in the Oviatt library and made a list of class topics that are relevant to this movie. From there we each chose a topic we wanted to discuss and brainstormed on scenes from the movie that would showcase that topic in one way or another. I chose Globalization because I found that many Euro-centric cultural entities have invaded every other country in the world. I find this phenomena interesting and worthy of a closer look. I recalled a scene from the movie where the characters are doing karaoke, and all the music they are singing is of American or British decent. Also, the fact that Bob, one of the main characters in the movie, is an American actor in Japan being commissioned to advertise products and appear on talk shows, shows the extent of cultural imperialism. American films are viewed in other countries, while in America we hear little about foreign films. So I chose this topic so I could share this idea with the class.

            When our first group meeting was over we decided to meet at the same time and place a week from then. I e-mailed those who were unable to attend with an update of what we went over in that session. At this second meeting we all knew concretely which scenes we wanted to cover and how we wanted to relate them to our topics.

            I think I played a big role in initially coordinating our group, but as I said earlier it takes a collective-effort to make a group project work. I think our group worked well together, and we used our time wisely. I hope that our effort shows when finally present our information and movie clips to the class.




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