By Aisha Jaffar
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many of society’s existing problems worse: economic and housing crises, failing health care systems and most recently, the technical difficulties facing professors at Ryerson.
The Eyeopener interviewed professors and students alike about their past experiences with technical difficulties and their concerns with moving to an online format this fall.
First-year chemistry student Tim Ferclass said that in a lecture last year, his biochemistry professor Roger S. Router had trouble starting a PowerPoint slideshow.
Ferclass said the lecture started 25 minutes late as Router had to call in the tech team—just to find out all he had to do was hook up the HDMI cable. “I used the extra time to read my daily horoscope and it said something bad was going to happen this year,” said Ferclass.
He also mentioned that he and his friends are worried about how professors will adjust to teaching online classes if they can’t even figure out how to plug in one simple cable.
Barry Dinbooks, a third-year philosophy student, said he’s really worried about getting his degree on time because of online classes. “My English professor, Will Gates, used a permanent marker on the whiteboard multiple times during the semester,” said Dinbooks. “You’d think an English professor would take the time to read what the marker says, but not Mr. Gates.”
Dinbooks said he is unsure how Gates will be able to use a computer when he can’t even use a whiteboard correctly.
“I can’t teach classes online, I still use a Nokia 3310”
Unlike some folks, at least Gates is honest about his inability to use modern technology. “I’m not sure why I was hired back this year,” said Gates. “I can’t teach classes online, I still use a Nokia 3310.”
Shirley Gettingby, a second-year business student, told The Eye she’s concerned about online classes going smoothly because her economics professor Connor O’ltdelete still uses Microsoft Office 2004. “Last semester it took him 15 minutes to figure out how to export a Word doc as a PDF,” said Gettingby. “I love his lectures because I get so much time to do Buzzfeed quizzes.”
O’ltdelete seemed genuinely distressed about teaching online in the upcoming semester. “I’m not sure how to get Zoom working and I still don’t understand Google Drive,” said O’ltdelete. “My students are always complaining about me not posting their grades on D2L. I’m too afraid to tell them I don’t know how.”
Journalism professor Joe Briteness said that after classes went online in the winter semester, he had a hard time with his computer during Zoom lectures. “One day, my screen stopped working, I tried everything to fix it,” said Briteness. “I later realized that my brightness settings were just on low.”
First-year journalism student Noah Tendence was there to witness the blunder. “That was pretty hilarious. It gave me enough time to roll myself a joint,” said Tendence. “I stopped attending his online lectures ever since, I’ve just been too turnt up to turn up to class. I’m not really sure what to expect in the fall semester.”
Not everyone can be as relaxed as Tendence. The rest of us, students and professors alike, are unsure what this semester has in store for us. All we can hope for is that our professors join us in the 21st century. Remember to turn on your D2L notifications, on the off chance that your professors know how to use it.