Friday, March 12, 2021

My new co-worker - 3.12 #sol21 Story Challenge

This week, I've been preparing for a launch of hybrid learning on Monday (weather permitting). Part of that effort has been getting familiar with REVAS: a way to connect students at home as seamlessly as possible with what's happening in the classroom. There will be some seams, I predict. The 'S' in REVAS stands for system, which may be an overly generous name for the combination of tripod-mounted web camera, oversize monitor, and Chromebook. Since any Chromebooks on campus have long ago been pressed into service, I found myself with a deprecated model in the classroom where I teach. It didn't seem to have enough something (memory? bandwidth? stamina?) to stay reliably connected to a video call. In hindsight, maybe that's because I test drove said system during meetings that necessitated having an unseemly number of tabs open. Or maybe, while Chromebooks have their niche, crisis response isn't quite it. At any rate, I scrounged up a newer device to swap in and enjoyed marginally better connectivity.

I kept trying to press my advantage, wondering if there was a hint of speed to be gained by deleting the dozens of user accounts that had aggregated on the device over its years of service. I started clicking names followed by the remove-account sequence and found myself plunging into a whirlpool of memories. So many of those names came with faces I could still picture and stories that left me with some combination of smiles, smirks, eye rolls, and head shakes. At varying spots on the list of accounts, I saw siblings, years apart in age -- another sign that the device on which I was typing was at least a metaphorical graybeard.

This is where the pandemic has relegated me, distant from colleagues and imagining instead trading tales of students' shenanigans with a chunk of plastic and transistors. [Cue eye roll and head shake.]

1 comment:

  1. Your post had me smiling and nodding in recognition, but what stood out even more was something that I've been noticing in my own writing (insert emoji here). I've been writing things down and as a sort of shorthand, I'll either draw an emoji or, after a rather challenging meeting, I wrote (eye roll) underneath my notes. Good luck with your connectivity! I'm quite sure your students will connect with you.