By: Annie Dineen
I probably check the status of my microphone on Teams about thirty times per class. It is the worst feeling when you find out that you are unmuted. The questions start racing through your head. “How long was I unmuted for?” “Did they hear the vacuum in the background?” “Or how about when my mom yelled at me for not cleaning up after breakfast?” Our worst fear is saying something that we aren’t supposed to while on the call. For example, when I was in physics last year, Dr. Shen asked the class a question, and I said “huh?” outloud. I knew I was in trouble after Dr. Shen asked, “Annie, do you need help?” I uttered out an embarrassed “No, thank you” before scrambling to find the mute button.
I know I can’t be the only one. When talking to Fish, she explained that her class had trouble finding the mute button for when they did a group reading of Hamlet. This unfortunately led to some funny, yet concerning comments. Some teachers, knowing the dangers of unmuted virtual learners, have decided to utilize the chat bar for at home instruction. But no one is safe. Chat bars have become the ground for memes and gifs. There is no cap on the amount of The Office gifs or even Bernie memes that can be launched into the chat at the click of a button.
Until we can find a safe alternative to student replies, the microphones will have to do. Just remember to find that mute button before you eat a whole bowl of cereal in front of your chem class. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.