Group Projects is a Precocious story arc. It ran in 2010 and consisted of strips #444-553. It is by far the longest Precocious story arc.
*** Group A ***
*** Group B ***
*** Group C ***
*** Group D ***
*** Etc. ***
Ms. Monster devises a way to unite her class: randomly-assigned group projects. The four random groups must learn to cooperate in order to keep their grades alive.
School is back in session at Poppinstock Academy, and an invigorated Ms. Monster is ready to unveil her latest assignment. She compliments her students' intelligence but feels that they do not sufficiently intermingle. Her solution is to force them to cooperate for the sake of their grades, via randomly-assigned group projects. All of the kids object, but Ms. Monster is committed to her idea. She randomly draws their names from a box to determine who will be assigned to each group.
Group A consists of Dionne, Bud, and Roddy. The three have never gotten along at all and, after minimal discussion, resort to brawling. This repeatedly lands them in the office of the school counselor, Bud's dad. The three enemies do manage to eke out a single compromise - meeting at Dionne's place in Diamond Bluffs instead of Bud's clubhouse - but can seemingly never last 30 seconds without a melee breaking out. They perpetually seethe and stew, refusing to make a single step of progress.
Group B consists of Autumn, Vincent, and Kaitlyn. Autumn only barely remembers Kaitlyn from previous encounters and doesn't even recognize that her group has a third member. Vincent sees a chance to finally catch Autumn's attention. Kaitlyn simply wishes to complete the project without too many headaches. The group meets up at Kaitlyn's house on Copper Road. Over the next few days, Autumn and Kaitlyn start to form a friendship while Vincent desperately tries to gain even a cursory notice. What the Copper kids don't know is that Autumn is covertly gathering intel on the "other" side of the class and planning to destroy them with her Sapphire Lake cohorts. Her plot goes awry when she loses her dossier binder. The young fox feels deep fear that Kaitlyn might find the binder and deep guilt for spying on her new friend. Fortunately for Autumn, Vincent is the one to discover her binder, choosing not to read it out of respect for Autumn's privacy. The keeshond pup returns the binder to Autumn the next day. Autumn rewards Vincent with a kiss. Kaitlyn, for her part, cherishes her new friendship enough to overlook Autumn's demented idiosyncrasies. The Siamese kitty snaps Autumn and Vincent out of their behavior long enough for the group to successfully finish their assigned project.
Group C consists of Quincy, Tiffany, and Max. All three get along well enough, and they decide to meet at Max's house in Diamond Bluffs after Quincy vividly recalls his near-death encounter with Gene Et. At first, Quincy and Tiffany do nothing but play games. Max gently tries to prod them to do some work, but he is far too passive to force either Quincy or Tiffany to stop slacking off. Gradually, a method of harnessing his classmates' gaming spirit dawns on him. Max excitedly announces that he is transforming their project into a roleplaying game. Max, as the Arbiter of Information, will guide the players in their quest for knowledge. The other two draw up their own characters: Quincy becomes the Wizard of Research, and Tiffany becomes a Knowledge Huntress. Max assigns them fetch quests for articles, rolling the dice and leveling them up if they procure relevant information. With this new mindset and matching fantasy costumes, the group easily completes their assigned project.
Group D consists of Jacob, Yvette, Xander, and Suzette. Suzette quickly appoints herself group leader, but Xander wants nothing to do with the other kids and angrily tells Suzette to shut up and stay out of his way. Suzette, steaming, drags Jacob and Yvette to her house in Emerald Woods. She assumes the role of queen in a group matriarchy, promoting Yvette to princess and demoting Jacob to court jester. All seems to be bending to Suzette's whims until Jacob hands in his portion of the project work. The queen recoils in shock upon learning that Jacob, Yvette, and Xander each completed their assigned part but did not do any work on her part as she demanded. Suzette is left to hastily complete her portion of the project work. Jacob and Yvette, both done early, get to relax together; the antisocial Xander, on the other hand, earns even more time to keep away from the rest of the class.
As the projects' due date draws near, Bud is sulking over his group's failure to work together. Surprisingly, he sits down next to Kaitlyn at the lunch table. The two slowly begin a rare chat. Kaitlyn sympathizes with Bud's plight, explaining that the group was doomed by its social makeup. She expounds on her point, displaying remarkable insight into the social dynamics of each side of the class. Bud gradually awakens to the symmetry between his friends and Kaitlyn's friends. The two geniuses pinpoint six roles and personality types that two corresponding individuals - one from each side of the classroom - respectively exhibit:
- The central leaders: Bud and Kaitlyn
- The obsessive best friends: Autumn and Quincy
- The loyal sidekicks: Jacob and Yvette
- The loopy floaters: Tiffany and Vincent
- The hired guns: Dionne and Roddy
- The total opposites: Max and Xander
- The sole exception: Suzette
Bud channels this info into a report for his group project, and the two sides of the classroom agree to coexist and interact (slightly) more often.
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