March 12 Day 4: No More Black Name Tags, Please

This was my last “teaching day” of winter quarter. The senior seminar again proved to be inspirational. The students modeled how to move forward in uncertainty. They adapted what they knew to this time and place. We had Google slides, Beamer, and PowerPoint, zoomed live or streamed recordings.  I am looking forward to two more days of presentations during finals next week.

After several Zoom meetings today, I have a new pet peeve: I HATE staring at a screen with only black boxes and white lettering. It is so boring that I can hardly pay attention. Can people please use a picture or avatar or photo of something that represents you? Even Anonymous Aardvark would be superior to the little black name plate in Zoom.

March 12, 2020. Posted on MAA Connect.

I found this blog post by Rebecca Barrett-Fox ,  Assistant Professor of Sociology, Arkansas State University, very comforting. I quote:

“You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.”

from: Please Do a Bad Job of Putting your Courses Online available at

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

One thought on “March 12 Day 4: No More Black Name Tags, Please

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