There is a special room in Hell just for Zoom. Zoom is the new attempt to do remote education. And while it is remote, it does not offer an education.
Classrooms are sites dedicated to promoting academics. In lower grades, the walls are adorned with alphabet charts and geometric shapes. Bookcases line the walls. The shelves are replete with science projects and class pets. In the upper grades, relevant academic gear is displayed.
Zoom is done at home, with the clutter and distractions home offers. Children are distracted by their toys, pets, kitchen aromas, television, and other media. Adults are distracted by the same. With Zoom, you are inviting unknown guests into your house. You have no idea if they are invasive species, assassins, or just barely polite visitors. You suffer from Zoomtrusion. With Zoom, all classes are parties where the guests are making assumptions about you based on your decor, or lack thereof. With Zoom, you are constantly cleaning before classes, constantly organizing. You have to make up yourself for the Zoom cam. Zoom is exhausting. And schools offer no help to their hosts. With Zoom, you have spies in your house and you never know when they are there. Or if they are there. I feel no acrimony for the reporter who thought he turned off the video and then fondled his penis. It's what the XY's do. From the moment they can grab it as an embryo til way after their brain turns to mush and they have the IQ of a lentil, they reach for their comfort zone. What do women get? Speaking for me, I now have Zoom headaches and Zoom acid reflux.
One cannot concentration, persist, or maintain pace with Zoom,no matter how hard you try. Hello, Wifi lags, Zoom bombings, and Zoom down. Not to mention other Wifi problems, batteries dying, and equipment epic fail. And then there is the constant wailing of sirens, of gunshots, of screaming, the never ending audio input which just becomes noisome background static to elevate your pulse and put the rat-a-tat in tachycardia. Forget about the assumption of the "safe" place in Zoom hell.
I am now teaching adjunct via Zoom. Students have had to leave early--dog having seizures. Loss of battery power. Need to cover for other family members. Homeless shelter doesn't offer WIFI.
When I write in my times for teaching in my calendar, I just write: "Hell: 12:30PM-7PM." I know exactly what it means. Will I be able to log on promptly? What if my computer updated itself yesterday--will the Zoom still work? Or will I have to randomly punch buttons, hoping to somehow connect. Because my school doesn't offer a manual for Zoom. And the designated Zoom helper never returns calls or e-mails.
If you complain to admin--oh, we have all sorts of Zoom classes for Zoom. We don't see you registered for any. I reply--I cannot do any more Zoom than I do. I am filled to the back teeth with Zoom. I cannot even do any electronica on my hours off. At this juncture, to only offer Zoom is plain lazy, unimaginative. No reply is offered. I am putting in three times as many hours as I would if I were teaching live. Tell me how computers are time savers? Not when it comes to instructing others. I now spend roughly 12 more hours a week just on admin tasks. Last year, it was a few hours. And I did it in the adjunct office, in company of my fellow adjuncts. If I had any tech problems in the classroom, I called IT and someone came up within minutes to see to it all I had to concentrate on was my teaching.
Admin makes much dinero off all Zoom,all the time. No xeroxing. No toner-cartridges. No reams of paper. No equipment expensives. No need to equip software--all that cost is laid onto staff. And if students drop out--good on that. We all know that tuition doesn't get refunded after the first week. So what if the student endangers their ability to complete their education, due to the finite amount of student aid over the course of an education.
At the end of the day in Zoom hell, I go to the Y and work out. The Y is another special room in hell. You go through the worthless temperature check (I always measure between 95-97, no matter what is going on) If I am walking in from the autumnal chill, how are you going to get a valid check on my health with the temperature gun? If I do cardio, the room is quieter than a morgue. No one interacts. No one even looks at you.
If I go swimming, it's swimming in hell's morgue. A sense of grim finality hangs in the purified air.
The Y, like everyone in this country, is not into positively reinforcing the good things, but just wants to punish, shame, and blame. You didn't cancel your scheduled work out--that's a $15 fine (as opposed to--no one can plan their future 48 hours in advance, which the Y requires for a "fitness" reservation) You didn't put your locker assignment card in the right slot--that's a 15 minute, two supervisor discussion about your failings as a human being, and all the things that could happen to you in the future (like I might decide to quit being a member and they lose my fee)?
Shame and blame, that's our game.
I try to avoid this. To not say anything at all, if I have nothing nice to say. As the Torah says, "You shouldn't follow a multitude to do evil."
And then I go to sleep, and it's dreams from hell. The main theme--I call for my mother to help me, but she is useless and inept and just frustrates the hell out of me--hahahahah. Or sometimes I just wake up screaming in frustration and have to get up, wrapped still in my inchoate fogofhellcoat and have a gargle. It's the only thing I can do.