Apparently Zoom teaches more than academia
By CJ Sommerfeld, Staff Writer
BATABATABATA! The sound of a helicopter pierced Betty Yetterson’s dream. In her half-dazed state, she remained cocooned in her covers, relishing in the ultimate fantasy of a dream which she had just been woken from. An alternate reality where students sat in class, on campus, not social distanced, and—gasp, maskless!
“FRICK!” Yetterson screamed, remembering that on Tuesday mornings she had MUSC 1106, a piano class—on Zoom… of course. After a quick trip to the toilet, she dragged her keyboard from its usual dark corner across her apartment to a better lit area. En route to the better lit area, she stepped on the peddle, stumbling, but thankfully catching her fall. She opened up her laptop atop the table that she placed next to her keyboard’s new location so that her teacher could see her key-fingering. Once her chair, instrument, and laptop were positioned in harmony, she clicked on the class’ Zoom link.
Please wait until the host lets you in the grey box read. “They’re probably in breakout rooms… fuuuuuck, I’ll never be let in.” She told herself, eyeing yesterday’s leftover coffee sitting on the kitchen counter. She waited a couple more seconds before excusing herself from her seat to grab the cold cup of joe. Suddenly, she heard her teacher’s voice blaring from her laptop’s internal speakers: “Betty, you’re late! And I’m talking to a chair.” Yetterson looked across the at her cracked pleather chair, impersonating her presence. She grabbed the cold cup, anxiously skipping back to her seat.
Only when she saw the reflection of her unshaved legs in the tiny Zoom box that read Betty Yetterson did she realize that in her fury to get to class, she had forgotten to put pants on! Yetterson sat quickly, hoping to mask her hairier than usual legs out of the frame. In doing so, her quick motions jolted drips of cold coffee onto her shirt. “Frick, what a slob!” She thought to herself, hoping that her Zoom square was not one the default squares that was [showing] to her classmates.
“Before I put ya’ll in ‘breakout rooms’, let’s grab some manuscript paper and notate Bethoven’s “Shepard’s Song.” Yetterson’s manuscript paper was in her bedroom, which was across her apartment. Looking down at her skivvies, she reminded herself no can do. She peered at each of her classmates little Zoom squares. Each displayed an image synonymous to one another: a keyboard or piano, accompanied by the top of a head, their eyes down notating the song which the teacher had asked them to. Yetterson blankly stared at her keyboard waiting for the others to complete their task. She exposed the top of her head to her camera, imitating her classmates, pretending that she too was completing the task.
She then noticed a button that read metronome on her keyboard. Despite being in a music program, her rhythm was comparable to Steve Martins’ in The Jerk and had been searching for a good metronome app to no avail. Without thinking, she tapped on the metronome button. UH OH! Instead of some subtle noise to assist in keeping rhythm, an EDM-like melody nearly ruptured the keyboard’s speakers. In a fury, Yetterson began pushing different buttons on her instrument to mute its dissonance, eventually turning the keyboard off in its entirety. As she looked up, her Zoom screen read “The host has muted all participants, click alt+shift to unmute yourself.” The small Zoom boxes which once exhibited the tops of her classmate’s heads now displayed wondering faces, some were smirking, others collapsed in laughter behind their muted screens.
Yetterson never did figure out how to use the metronome knob on her keyboard. She did, however, remember that putting on pants was as important a step in the morning as coming to class!