We’ve all been there. One minute you’re paying close attention to Professor [Redacted]’s lecture on quantum mechanics, and the next minute your eyes have wandered off to your classmates’ rooms in the background of their Zoom squares. What does that poster behind Peter say? Hold on, does Jessica have a dog? Whether you like it or not, getting distracted by your peers is pretty much an inevitability, what with all of us having short attention spans. Here are just some of the things we’ve noticed on our little “brain breaks.”
A common item, posters are an inexpensive way for people to show off their interests. There’s only so much you can fit into your 30 seconds or so of professor-mandated sharing time, after all. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find someone else with a similar Jonas Brothers obsession.
Like posters, but with more effort. Because of its low visibility, it’s there more for the person the room belongs to than for anyone else. *Squints* Is that Taylor Swift?
If there is a map onscreen, there’s a good chance its owner is a School of Foreign Service student. When picking out a world map, please make sure that it’s not missing New Zealand or any other small island that might be forgotten.
Usually an American flag. Though putting one up is usually a controversial decision, all we at the 4E can say about the flag of the United States of America is that it …exists. It wouldn’t hurt to have some variety though, which makes the ever-elusive sighting of a state flag or a flag from another country a pleasant surprise.
Very cute. 10/10. No complaints here. If you weren’t already distracted from the lecture, you are now.
If sighted, kids will usually be on a professor’s screen. They help humanize their parent as you’re about to be assigned a 10-page research paper due the following week. Oh, and by the way, that paper is worth 30% of your grade. At least the kid is cute!