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An open letter to lecturers using Zoom

Written by Campus Comment

After the first week of Zoom seminars and recorded lectures, I have a few things I’d like to say to our academic staff.

Firstly, thank you. The adjustment from teaching in lecture halls and seminar rooms must be massive. Without your effort in moving forwards, we’d all be screwed. But there are a few more observations I’d like to make.

Start with this. Although it must be liberating to be free from timetabling, using the lack of restraints to waffle on a lot more really isn’t productive. While we were all happy to glaze over and have a daydream in the lecture theatre, it’s a lot more difficult to do that with the TV staring at you from the corner of the room. If you want anyone to make it to the end of the ReCap, now is the time to hurry up, not slow down.

Why do I have to put my camera on? Do my eye contact provide you with some deep emotional nourishment?

Secondly, I don’t really like looking at my face, and neither does anybody else. I also don’t like being dressed. Why do I have to put my camera on? Do you gain some kind of confidence from eye contact? Do I provide some deep emotional nourishment? Also, don’t start complaining if my girlfriend comes in with a cooked breakfast and I start eating it. It’s breakfast, what else am I going to do with it? The breakfast really doesn’t need to hear you describe the structures of Old English Poetry. I, however, had quite a lot to drink last night and really need the breakfast. Just let me have this. Please.

Finally, I know we’re all struggling with Canvas, even though it’s nice. Early days, and of course we’re all still getting over the breakup with Blackboard (we all thought it’d be our learning platform for life). But it really isn’t helpful to describe the home screen by holding your hands up to the camera and say “Wow, my hands look really big!” and then proceeding as if you haven’t just acted like a total lunatic.

These are difficult times, and poking fun at ourselves is a great way of moving forwards. I’m so thankful to all our academics for their tireless work, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do brilliantly. But don’t disturb my breakfast.

Featured Image: Joe Molander

Last modified: 26th October 2020

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