Fast forward 8 weeks.
Beep! goes the beauty that is my smart phone. Time to wake up ya'll! Oh wait, it's just me. Me and my phone. I scratch my head and bluebells wondering if today is the day I'm going to jump off my roof — only to survive (neighbors screaming at six feet distance), end up in intensive care, where some doctor wearing a welder's outfit will tell me I should've jumped 9 weeks ago. "You are shit outa luck, son. Pardon my Spanish."
Nope, not today. Today is going to be a good day.
Shower. Breakfast. Laptop switched on. Triple check. I love my work. What could be more joyful than spending the entire day staring at a screen feeling like a webcam girl minus the hot stuff or the eager viewers? Nothing. You guessed it. Meanwhile half my viewers struggle with their dime-store internet connection, and some are brave enough to ask me politely if perhaps everyone else can switch off their camera. Why, you wonder? Well, because that way their reasonably-priced computer has a chance of staying online without breaking down from exhaustion.
Sure, why not. What could be more satisfying than not seeing the people you're talking to on a 14" screen?
Nothing, that's right, because half the students attending my online classes look like they jumped out of bed 5 minutes ago, and I suspect half of them are still wearing their PJs. They look so engaged. Online teaching tears down the wall of shame and shallow shyness. You may want to say that twice. Online teaching means offering everyone a glimpse inside your private life. "Nice décor, Mr. Blue." "Thank you, Brenda. I don't mind your eco-friendly shabby chic Ikea rip-off blackout curtains either." I love the fact that I can't smell their unbrushed teeth this early in the morning. My colleague Mr. Smith (for lack of a better name) may have been onto something after all.
But there is more.
Online teaching can jumpstart a sense of humor you didn't know you had and instill a desire in you to go the extra mile. Especially when your hump-happy neighbors decide to test the durability of their recently online-purchased bed. Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Oooooh! Oooooh! Squeak. Squeak. Carmen? Carmen! CAR...MEN!!!!!!!! "That's right, class, her name is Carmen. Now, who can spell that?"
...if your other neighbors feel so bored they just know it's a good idea to rent professional jackhammers and complementary power drills to do a bit of very serious DIY. All week. Which is what is happening as I type this. I love it! Corona inspires creativity! Everyone knows that one of the joys of teaching online is that construction work makes it perfectly impossible to switch on a mic without damaging both the teacher's and the students' ears. How's that for an opening sentence? So I postponed my classes and now I'm luxuriating in the almost-summer sun. I love online teaching more than I love my mother.
And that, my friends, is saying a whole lot.
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