MENTAL NOTE

"Not reading a newspaper and you are uninformed. Reading a newspaper and you are misinformed."
"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
Will you ever reach Bora?

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Joys of Working Online

"Hooray! No smelly students today! I can't believe my luck! Thank you, Virus! Thank you, God! Thank youuuuuu!" Or so my colleague Mr. Smith (for lack of a better name). I'm not sure if he's still alive.

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?"

OR... 

...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.

Blue

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39 comments:

  1. I imagine it's a royal pain in the butt. Another friend who is a teacher said less than half her classes show up. Why? Doesn't matter if they do or not, they are already predestined to fail or pass anyway.
    What could you rent that's louder than a jackhammer?

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    1. It sure is one royal pain with a capital R. "It's good to be the king..." Now, who said that?

      What could be louder than a jackhammer... Let's see. My ex?

      Delete
  2. My step granddaughter, a freshman in high school, was given a laptop by her school. Had to use it only for school work. She was given assignments but no online teaching. She did them all. My niece and her hubby are music teachers in the DC area. Online teaching is very hard for them. An article in our paper here said half the kids show up for class or do the assignments. It's a mess for sure! Glad it is working for you though Blue! You teacher a are underpaid and under appreciation.

    Betty

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    1. We're underpaid, all right. I'm lucky to be a college professor... Other than that it's all good hahaha!

      What a mess, Betty.

      How are you today?

      Delete
  3. Lol, now that's a movie I might be interested in! I have many friends and relatives who are teachers. Most are flying by the seat of their pants because there was zero advance notice and no systems were in place. My son, however, teaches English online for a living and loves it. He gets paid whether the kid 'shows up' or pretends to have technical difficulty and unplugs the computer.

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    1. I sure would want to direct that movie. Oh how I hate my neighbors. They are making noise as I type this. I want to sleep. Sometimes I just go and hide in my car. Love that car, I'll tell ya, just for all the wrong reasons.

      Good to hear your son loves teaching online. I would love to love it, too. I'm old school.

      Have a great day.

      Blue

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  4. As if teaching wasn't hard enough anyway... Hard work, underappreciated and underpaid. Which remains the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my experience. I wish it wasn't.

      Good to hear from you.

      Blue

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  5. My brother in law was just telling me the ideas that his school district has for starting in the fall.. oooooh boy

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    1. Oooooooh boy, all right. Ooooooooh girl, too.

      Delete
  6. On the bright side, you don't have to brush your teeth either right? I'm working from home and I'm hoping it sticks and we change to working from home forever, or at least until I retire in a few years. I really love not having to pay for fuel and saving wear and tear on my car and not having to pay for lunch everyday, but then again I don't have neighbors drilling and DRILLING non-stop throughout the day! Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My neighbors are trying out their new drill as I type this. I kid you not. So I'm thinking about hiring a sniper. Thinking... just... entertaining.... the notion....

      Good to hear you love working from home.

      Thanks for stopping by, Alicia.

      Blue

      Delete
  7. Are we allowed to come to one of your online classes and spice it up a bit?

    My God - are your neighbours still at it? This is years now… that’s what I call chemistry. Geez..

    Please tell me he’s not called Don José…

    You luxuriate, Blue. Make the most of it. ❣️

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My neighbors deserve to be sent to Siberia, is what I know. We're talikng many, many years. I'd say a decade... at least. He is not called Don José but the owner's ex-boyfriend was called Don Pedro. I kid you not.

      I was planning on sleeping in but that idiot neighbor is drilling. I should go and sleep in my car.

      You're the best, Jules. You hang in there, you hear?

      Blue

      Delete
  8. Hi Blue,

    I have been telecommuting since early March, I've done skype meetings and now they have pushed out the new Microsoft team meetings and of course the constant ping, ping, ping all day lol

    I have friends with kids learning remotely. If they don't have their assignments handed in on time, the teachers email the parents until it is turned in.

    lol over the neighbors, at least they are having fun, when most of the world is not.

    Teach me poetry 101

    I have loved from afar a distance star
    dreaming of a day that has never come
    my heart beats wildly to a lover's drum
    are we but two fools, in life's vast bazaar

    ReplyDelete
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    1. PS I love it when you are creative with artwork and humor. We all need a bit of humor in our lives.


      Delete
    2. Don't you just love that ping, ping, ping all friggin day? Wish I didn't have to sleep so I could listen to that ping, ping, ping all friggin day (but literally!). Sigh. The way I see it, online teaching is tantamount to being a webcam girl - it looks exciting but it really is not. Do you know what I mean? It's all fake. Two inch students all day long. And that's on a good day.

      My neighbors are drilling as I type this. It isn't annoying at all.

      If I could teach you anything about poetry, I'd probably be Shakespeare himself. You are something different, True. You're gifted.

      I'm rarely creative these days. It's a shame.

      You take good care, True.

      Blue

      Delete
    3. Hi Blue,

      I am sure all that nailing is getting a bit annoying.

      Why does this song come to mind?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD-pyWALro4

      Delete
    4. Hi Blue,

      I wrote something you might find interesting on my blog "Once in a Lifetime" it came to me after your Shakespeare comment.

      Delete
  9. 2020 had such a nice ring to it on 1st January and now here we are on 20 May and what a mess we are in!

    Where will it all end? I don't have the answer …

    Take care Blue

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who could've guessed a couple of months ago?

      Where will it end? Well, my guess is governments are going to milk this to push their agendas. "The new normal." Right.

      Take good care, Jan.

      Blue

      Delete
  10. Well, your neighbors are entertaining. lol
    Hopefully things will get back to normal soon.
    I hope you are well.

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    1. They are so entertaining I'm thinking about shipping them to Siberia. I don't think things will get back to normal soon, Mary. But what do I know...

      You hang in there, Mary.

      Blue

      Delete
  11. Oh my goodness! I totally lost it at "CAR...MEN!!!!!!!!" I guess some can never say that remote learning is too boring (or PG, I guess).

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    1. Sorry for making you lose it haha. (Why am I laughing?) Yep, her name is Car.....MEN!!!!!!

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  12. Oh Dear. Luckily we are only renovating on the weekend :-)
    PS a demo saw could possibly be louder than a jackhammer...

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  13. You need to drill a hole in that wall and enjoy the show at least... If they're hot, of course...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'd go blind in a second. Does that answer your question, Dezzzmeister? Yikes!

      Delete
    2. Yes, and something could poke you in the eye if the hole is too big... you know...

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    3. Mongo would have a field day, too.

      Delete
  14. You're storytelling skills are phenomenal! Thank you first and foremost for being a college professor. Not an easy job. Thank you for keeping your sense of humor in tact and sharing it with us. I had a smile on my face as I read because your description was perfect.
    About that description, now I have visions and sounds in my head of your noisy neighbors using their new bed. I'll have to work on replacing it with you in front of your classroom of students who may or may not have brushed their teeth, combed their hair, or changed out of their PJs yet. Side note: I may be guilty of this myself on some work mornings...not the teeth part. The PJ part. Well, sweatpants. Kind of the same thing.

    Second side note: I love your quote at the top of page about newspapers. So apt!

    Elsie

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    1. Hi Elsie! Why are you making me blush again? No, it isn't an easy job but it's a rewarding job most of the time. That I do know. Can't be a teacher without having a sense of humor, especially when the money's, well, disappointing once again (smile). Oh well.... Do try to get those neighbors of mine out of your head. Life's better that way.

      Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it.

      Blue

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  15. Aww! If you were my teacher I'd listen AND brush my hair! :) Hope you are faring well.

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    1. A sudent who listens AND brushes her hair are hard to find these days, I'll tell you. Yes, I'm faring well. Knock on wood. Hope you're doing fine, too.

      Thanks for always stopping by Yvonne.

      Blue

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  16. My daughter said half the kids don't show up for her online classes either because they were told they were going to pass whether they signed in or not. Mine tried pulling the no show shit once, but I promptly squashed that and said even with a guaranteed pass, you're still getting up and signing into those daily zoom meetings. She was not happy, but I'm not in the business of making her happy. I'm in the business of making her a responsible, productive young adult.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's why I like you so much: "I'm not in the business of making her happy. I'm in the business of making her a responsible, productive young adult." Nothing to add.

      Delete

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