“You have been removed from the online meeting,” read Tina’s screen on a Monday morning when she was right in the middle of her Biology class.She sighed, as yet again someone had removed her by mistake.
The online school was the new normal since the lockdown had started and it had come with a set of problems,as if that also was a part of the syllabus assigned for them. Network and wifi issues,sharing of laptops, lack of dedicated space, screaming family members,people hovering in the background,not being audible – these were just some of the things which one had to deal with while participating in these online classes.
An extremely hilarious incident took place with Tina, while she was seriously engaged in an online session for public speaking recently.
The class was going on in full swing with the instructor giving tips and tricks to help one become a good speaker. Tina was diligently taking down notes while ensuring she was on mute. After the other students had spoken on their given topic, it was Tina’s turn to demonstrate her vocal skills on her topic.
Tina unmuted herself. As soon as she did that, a loud bang greeted the other participants of the online class, followed by her siblings visible right in front of the web camera and pulling each others hair. They were fighting over the TV remote and were pulling at it as if they were playing tug of war. This was followed by her father trying to admonish them at the top of his voice and to top it all her mother trying to feed the kids bananas in the middle of it all !
Before Tina even realized what was happening, the class burst out in laughter while they witnessed the remote being broken to pieces . Hurriedly Tina switched off the camera and tried to mute herself but it was already too late . To her utter embarrassment, all her class mates and the teacher, Ms Nyss had already seen more than enough.
Ms Nyss was a teacher Tina was very fond of, was someone who had mastered the digital learning space. She quickly got the students engaged in a conversation related to ‘world leaders and role models.’ Her attempt to divert everyone’s mind from the small interruption truly worked and within minutes all the students were back to being fully attentive and involved. Once the class got over Tina sent an apology note to Ms Nyss, promising her that such an incident would not be repeated in future.Her kind words of reassurance that it could have happened with anyone, gave Tina a huge sense of relief.
Even though Tina remained the epicenter of all jokes for the next few days, Ms Nyss’s reaction to the whole episode gave Tina the courage to handle all the teasing easily.
The episode made her aware that though she had initially thought that the comfort of attending school from home would be a novel and exciting experience it was far from the truth. She was waiting for the day when the corona virus pandemic would be history, things would get back to normal and she would be able to attend her beloved school and be in the company of her teachers, friends and class mates.