Friday, December 4, 2020

Background Noise

Last week was Thanksgiving break, so this is from the week before last.

Chemistry. I was on day four of a four-day assignment. They had a review assignment (finals are coming!), so I had spent four days in silence. 

This distance learning thing can be very, very quiet. Teachers tend to leave independent work when there's a sub, and they still do. Virtually, that means the cameras and mics are off. I can check to see what got turned in, but I don't actually see them at work. 

Fourth period. I did my intro. I then turned off my mic and started taking roll.

As they log in, their cameras and mics might flash on for a moment before they turn them off. But Brian's mic remained on. 

Once I was done, I heard from Brian's mic various background noises. A dog. A sibling, maybe, making a passing remark. Keys on keyboard tapping. Then music started playing. (It sounded like The Beatles, but it was not a song I am familiar with.) 

Then Brian started singing along. 

I was torn. I totally could have muted him. It's a simple click. I could have told him his mic was on. 

But, I rather liked hearing him. I know some people work better with music in the background (not me, I need silence), so I'm a teacher who allowed them to put in their earbuds on independent work days in the before. To me, it sounded like Brian was doing what he was supposed to. It felt normal. 

This didn't last long. 

After a minute of me not doing anything, Brian's classmates chimed in. Two turned on their mics to let Brian know he was not on silent. 

Brian thanked them, and he went on mute. 

I was sad to hear him go. But the others needed the quiet. I'm sure his music clashed with theirs.

14 comments:

  1. HAHA....had that been me singing someone would have come on and told me to SHUT UP!!

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    1. Well, two of his classmates did just that.

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  2. To this day I refuse to ever wear earbuds or headphones because way back when I was a teen I was wearing headphones while listening to music. I didn't even realize I was singing out loud until everyone in the room was staring and laughing lol. Thankfully I was just with a few friends and not in a classroom, I would have died of embarrassment!

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  3. You should tell him his voice sounded nice. Uh... Never mind. It would probably not go over with someone his age. lol

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    1. I meant go over 'well'. ~rolls eyes~ I'm sure you knew my intent.

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    2. Oh, I could have made it work. Most of them know me from other classes in other years, so it would not have come off as creepy.

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  4. They're probably all going "Why didn't the sub say anything? Was she not paying attention?" XD

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  5. When you are so isolated, the noise probably made your room seem a little more normal. Although I am sure when things are back to normal you will wish for silence ;)

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  6. I went to school long before the age of cell phones, iPods and headphones, so I don't even know what goes on in classrooms anymore (except when people like you tell me). Are you at all interested in singing to Google and see if it can identify the song?

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    1. I don't recall enough of it now to be able to do that. The melody didn't stick with me.

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  7. Hi Liz - well the others took the lead - they might learn from that ... interesting read though. I hope they were all working away ... take care - Hilary

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  8. The new normal ...he would not have been singing in a classroom

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    1. Well. . . There have been students that forget. Of course, in class I would not have let it go on.

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