Zoom university symphony
The sounds that go on in the background while we’re muted on a Zoom call.

It seems that with every new semester, we get hit by a new strain, which really puts a bummer to the phrase “new year, new me.” Since Omicron is going on its grand world tour nowadays and we’ve all been forced to resume lockdown and “Zoom University,” I thought it would be interesting to revisit my last column and see how different the university experience is from home. Of course, these sounds are the ones I hear around my house, and they will differ for each student and their circumstances. Yet, I hope some of these sounds are familiar or relatable to you as you slog through another two-hour Zoom lecture or sit in awkward silence during a breakout room. 

The first sound I hear in the morning, like most people, is my alarm, which I set to wake me up ten minutes before my class because I refuse to wake up earlier just to flip open my laptop and click a Zoom link. As I carry on through the day, I can hear my younger siblings sitting through their own online classes, from math, to art, to gym. 

Gym class basically consists of my brother doing half-hearted jumping-jacks and push-ups as the china in our display cases shudder and clink together. While I gather my last shreds of energy to log in to another Zoom class, I can hear my other brother start to practice his saxophone. Sometimes the music flows beautifully, but most times, the wrong notes squeak louder than my professor’s nasally voice. Either way, it is entirely unhelpful for my already wavering concentration. 

As the day draws to a close and the sounds of my rambunctious family begin to quiet, I can finally sit down and focus on some of my readings. That is until my cats start to fight and wail. 

So much goes on in the background of our lives that impacts our learning, both in our control and entirely outside of it. So, while every households’ cacophony may be different, know that you’ve made it through almost two years of a global pandemic, and at this rate, you might have to make it through another two before we’re done.     

Until next time!

Aya Yafaoui

Opinion Editor (Volume 50); Ear to the Ground Columnist (Volume 48) — Aya is a recent UTM graduate, having double majored in Political Science and Sociology. She's worked at The Medium for four years, starting in Volume 46 as a Staff Writer, then becoming Opinion Editor for Volume 47, serving as a Columnist for Volume 48, and now reprising her role as Opinion Editor for Volume 50. She loves the opinion section for its opportunity to spotlight student voices and allow for a range of tones, from serious to satirical to silly. Aya's passionate about engaging in robust, thoughtful, and meaningful discussions through writing and hopes that the UTM student body will join her in doing so!


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