February 22 Day 716: A Glimpse of the Most 2sday Tuesday

Today is February 22, 2022. That’s 2/22/22. And at 2 pm Pacific time, I hosted a Speed Networking event for the Mathematical Association of America. Eighteen MAA members (including myself) were matched for 3 minutes conversations–round robin fashion. I cycled through 13 conversations (missing only 4 participants). We talked about teaching, family, MAA, and mathematics.

I tried to extend each conversation for the maximum of 60 seconds–though I will admit sometimes I got too focused on the topic and forgot to request the additional time until it was too late.

What did I learn?

  • I really enjoyed meeting new people, finding out their interests, and thinking about ways to get them more involved with MAA.
  • Since the start of our pandemic ordeal, there are people I have only met through MAA’s Virtual Social Hours. I really consider them my friends. In some cases, we have met in-person since. In other cases, I look forward to meeting them very soon–like at the SEICCGTC in two weeks or MathFest, August 3-6. And finally in others, it is likely we will only ever interact online. And that is OK too. I want to be sure we continue to have these opportunities to connect especially for people less likely to travel whether due to health, family, finances, or any combination there of.
  • What a treat to connect with old friends even for 3-4 minutes. It’s a good thing we were limited to 4 minutes maximum, or I might have monopolized their time.

I ran my first networking session a while back, June 29 Day 478: Just a Glimpse. Glimpse has improved since then–or maybe I just know how to manage it better. Apparently they were recently acquired by twine and are working on a Zoom integration. I love the idea. I had thought about using Glimpse for my students to get to know one another as an icebreaker but I chickened out–partly because the first opportunity to try was this winter in the “temporarily remote” emergency pivot brought about by the omicron variant. I decided not to invest time and resources building remote relationships because we were supposed to go back to in-person after one week. (I suppose I should have known better). Additionally, I was too afraid of losing them as we moved between applications from Zoom to Glimpse (and back again?). A direct integration in Zoom would prevent that.

Perhaps this means I need to figure out what twine has to offer next?

At least this part of my day felt successful. The in-class interactions were a swing and a miss but I will leave that for another day.

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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