"Mom, there were THREE people in class that I wanted to partner with. I didn't get any of them."
"Did any of those kids end up paired together?"
"No, none of us."
"Well, perhaps the instructor wants you to make new friends and work with a new team."
he says exasperated working his next sentence into a huffing staccato,
"They partnered me with a space cadet and a crazy person!!"
(They're probably thinking they got partnered with a snob.)
I got him to talk about the characters and story they came up with, to try and focus on the positive. He seemed to have calmed down a bit, but he did express his disappointment once more.
"Sometimes you have to work with people you don't want to when you're a grown up. It's good practice."
(No kidding. At least they pay me.)