Let’s face it—no one spends every second of a Zoom class fully engaged in the meeting. While I try to pay attention during my lectures, it is inevitable that I become distracted. I focus on other homework, social media or whatever cute thing my cat is doing. The platform lends itself perfectly to multi-tasking, and what can I say—I love efficiency!
Since transitioning to Zoom University, I can eat a snack and then brush my teeth without leaving class. Why would I deal with bad breath for the rest of the lecture? I want to enjoy my hummus without reeking of garlic afterward.
When I had classes in person, I had to suffer with those gross “teeth sweaters” until I got home, or I had to rely on gum to save the day. I am now easily able to solve my problem. I turn my camera off for a few minutes while I brush my pearly whites.
I do not advocate for spending your entire class in “camera off, microphone off” mode. You won’t truly pay attention, and your professor probably feels bad teaching into the void if no one has their camera on. Show some respect and turn it on, even if you’re having a bad hair day or are still wearing pajamas.
Sometimes your needs outweigh the costs, and you have to take advantage of Zoom-multitasking. Students with a tight schedule can reap great benefits from this learning configuration. Working from home doesn’t just allow for better dental hygiene—as a peer tutor explained to me, “I don’t like showering during office hours, but sometimes that’s all that my schedule allows.”
Yes, some students are cleaning more than their teeth during their required Zoom time. Rarely does someone come to her office hours, so this peer tutor takes advantage of precious minutes that would otherwise be wasted. “I actually feel guilty about it, but I also think it’s better than sitting in my sweat,” she explained. “I have also gone on multiple Zoom meetings at once if they’re both scheduled for the same time.”
Even students in the dorm have taken the risk of showering during a lecture. An RA explained how this awkward arrangement worked in her building. “I walked into my hall bathroom—minding my own business—to discover my resident in the shower with her computer outside, displaying her Zoom class. Her camera was off.”
Thank goodness her camera was off. This “camera off, microphone off” function of Zoom is honestly just a little too powerful. I often wonder what those with no video are doing. Are they out for a drive? Cooking a fancy meal? Taking a nap?
It’s rejuvenating to lay down to rest your eyes while a professor goes on an unnecessary lecture tangent. I have a three-hour online class with no break, so I’ll turn off my camera to take a few laps around my house. I doubt my professor would want me to walk around the classroom during an in-person lecture, but nothing can stop me at home!
I am not brave enough to take a shower, but I salute those who take the chance. It’s in the name of efficiency!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on Zoom?