The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shutdown of most public areas, businesses and institutions, including the University of New Brunswick. UNB announced the suspension of all classes for the rest of the semester on March 13, and as of March 24 all classes have moved online.
Needless to say, this has taken a significant amount of adjustment for all those in the university community.
For many professors, this reliance on online services is pushing the limits of their technological knowledge.
“I am one of the few remaining profs original to this institution. I have never once used a d2l page. Why should I start now? They didn’t make us do this for the last influenza pandemic,” said Professor Norman Olde of the history department. He was, of course, referring to the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918.
Another professor was caught in an embarrassing situation, unable to use Microsoft Teams, the video calling service most UNB profs have adopted.
“I think she thought she had logged off,” said Sabrina Booker, a student in this professor’s class. “That song, Renegade, I think, came on? She was practicing TikTok dances.”
The professor in question refused to comment, assumingly out of sheer embarrassment. No one in their right mind would admit to learning TikTok dances.
Students, too, report difficulty in coping with this learning transition.
“I find it so difficult to learn in a different environment,” said Kate Taylor, a third year Computer Science student. “So I’ve just decided not to.”
Taylor has instead enlisted her cat, Tigger, to attend her classes for her.
“Tigger has been a welcome addition to our virtual classroom,” reports Taylor’s professor, Felicia Wiseman. “And he takes great notes.”
“Oh my god, it was horrifying,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous. “I had a presentation, so I was sharing my screen. I finished, turned my camera and microphone off, and decided to visit an, uh, adult website.”
The student soon learned that their screen was still sharing with the rest of the class.
“First year biology! There are 300 people in that class,” they languished.
“Dude’s got some weird tastes,” said Noah Jugin, another student in the ill fated biology class.
With approximately a month remaining in the winter semester, here’s hoping these instances, and others like them, can serve as learning moments, and comedic relief in this trying time.