November 13 Day 250: Quintessential Remote Learning Question

My late night habits are catching up with me.

In this afternoon’s faculty meeting, I dutifully zoomed in; I listened to the initial updates. I knew I was tired—so much so that I did not turn on the camera. My “resting zoom face” looks like a scowl and I didn’t want speakers to think it was any kind of judgement on their ideas.

There is a freedom in not having the camera on. It allowed my mind to wander. I can neither confirm nor deny that I fell asleep at my desk. But the next thing I remembered, I was being asked to join a breakout room…and I did not not know what we were supposed to do in that space.

This brings me to a quintessential remote learning question of 2020 —one faced by our students on a regular basis: Do I join the breakout room and confess that I don’t know what is going on or do I leave the meeting because no one is going to notice that I disappeared?

What would you do? I feel like my students are opting for the latter. Me? I chose the former and confessed to my breakroom partners. We had a good chuckle over it.

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.

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