McSweeney’s: “Welcome To Your Hastily Prepared Online College Course”

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Yup.

Here is a taste of Ryan Weber‘s hilarious piece:

Due to concerns about COVID-19, our university recently gave me three hours to move our entire class online for the next three to sixteen weeks. I am providing these instructions for a seamless, uninterrupted course experience. I have never taught online before, but with the help of our men’s field hockey coach turned online-learning coordinator, I have developed a virtual experience that matches the intimacy and rigor we cultivated in our Philosophy of Face-to-Face Discourse In the Public Square class.

COURSE COMMUNICATION

We will use AOL Instant Messenger to recreate our passionate in-class discussions. I assume everyone has an AIM account, so please send out your usernames. Mine is HangingChad2000. For fun, I encourage everyone to include their favorite Donnie Darko quote as their away message.

VIDEO LECTURES

Lecture One

Content: I look in the camera and say, “Is this on? Is this on? Oh, I think it’s on! Wait, it’s not on! No, it is on! How do I share my screen?! I don’t think this is on.”
Takeaways: The camera was on.

Lecture Two

Content: I rhapsodize beautifully about Habermasian theories of the public square as they apply in times of pandemic before I realize that the camera was not on.
Takeaways: I don’t remember what I said, but it felt like a pretty amazing lecture. You would have loved it.

Lecture Three

Content: I provide an introduction to Amartya Sen’s work while my cat repeatedly sticks her butt into the camera and then knocks the laptop to the floor.
Takeaways: My laptop is now glitching after falling on the ground. This should not affect our course experience.

Lecture Four

Content: A YouTube clip of Bill and Ted meeting Socrates.
Takeaways: “All we are is dust in the wind, dude.”

Read the rest here.