If breakout rooms do not start talking I will take action

October 31, 2020 — by Atrey Desai
Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 2
Photo by Graphic by Atrey Desai

In an all too familiar scene, I enter a breakout room, meeting black video feeds and silence. Come on people! The whole point of having small groups is to work with peers with cameras on and mics unmuted, is it not? 

After my math teacher made explicitly clear that we should discuss the problems and sent us to our breakout rooms, my classmates disappeared immediately. So much for group work.

This is literally the closest we can get to normal classroom discussions, but people still don’t seem to realize that they’re not only not following directions, but they are also hurting the education of their fellow students. It’s quite a bit easier to solve trigonometry problems with actual people — black screens tend not to have helpful tips for solving the triangle.

 The next time I see that lifeless screen, I swear I will get out of my seat and rage at whoever is there to see. In reality, though, I’ll probably be sobbing in a corner. I will also have my camera off and mic muted.