It’s been three weeks since in-person classes were formally substituted with Zoom lectures and discussions. Since the transition, there have been numerous occasions during which I have heard, “Hey, you’re muted,” “Want to see my dog?”, “This is my baby, guys” and “Dude, where are you?” Maybe some of you have had similar experiences now that we are subscribed to UC Berkeley via Zoom. Although the previous statements and questions are not super profound, you don’t typically encounter them in a traditional classroom setting. Perhaps the baby and dog ones could be more realistic in a nonvirtual space, but I seriously doubt my GSI would have brought his baby to section.
Of all the mentioned quotes, however, “Dude, where are you?” is the most entertaining. As long as you have internet access or data, you can pretty much use Zoom anywhere. From my experience, most classmates seem to be in a bedroom or living room, but there have been some interesting cases. For instance, one student I saw was Zooming in to class on a rooftop with a stunning view. It’s moments like these when Zoom becomes a point of inspiration for us at the Clog. That being said, here are some interesting places to serve as your backdrop for your next Zoom class.
Although most students are required to practice social distancing at this time, that doesn’t mean you can’t pamper yourself. While your professor sends out a virtual poll, you can have an internal poll about which face mask to apply. As you get put into a breakout group with a couple other students, you can begin applying leave-in shampoo to your hair. And, for the grand finale, you can prepare the bubble bath you’ll be taking after the lecture ends. Get that water running and those bubbles bubbling. Maybe you can inspire others to do the same. You know we are in 2020 when having a spa day during class is even an option.
A grocery store
Do you need to get some essential grocery shopping done, but have a Zoom class in 20 minutes? Well, why not kill two birds with one stone? Shop and listen to a lecture at the same time with Zoom. You won’t miss a second of your professor’s words, and you also won’t miss out on the restock of necessary supplies. With Zoom, the multitasking abilities are endless. This also works if you’re opting to buy a meal via drive-thru (e.g. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Panda Express — you name it). Just place your phone on one of the specially designed phone holders that mount to your dashboard, and you’re ready to Zoom!
Has your stomach ever grumbled midway through a lecture? If so, you’re not alone. With classes being virtual, you can now listen to your professor while you make breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Whether you want to make a simple quesadilla or a challenging beef Wellington is up to you. There’s no limit to what you can cook up. After all, smell doesn’t travel through computer screens as it does in a lecture hall, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing your peers. In addition, having yourself on mute prevents anyone from hearing the pan sizzling or you munching away.
A family common space
Many of us have gone back to be with our families. For those of you with large and loud families who are constantly active in the house, make sure you include them in your screen. Remember to have your camera and audio on. This will probably annoy everyone, especially you, but it would definitely make for an interesting Zoom session. Your classmates will get a kick out of your mom shouting at you to make your bed or your siblings fighting over the TV remote.
Zoom on your roof. Zoom in the forest. Zoom by the ocean. Zoom in a desert. Zoom on a mountaintop. With Zoom, you can be anywhere.
If you are presented with the chance to use Zoom in an interesting place, you should definitely seize the opportunity. Odds are you will receive some questions from your classmates, professors or GSIs. This activity only works if your camera is on, so be mindful of that! We at the Clog only provided you with a select few suggestions, so feel free to get even more creative. Just remember to be safe and respectful during these times.
Zoom, Zoom away! It’s mobile, it’s portable, it’s Zoom!
Contact Gina Wright [email protected].