Five reasons to keep your camera off on Zoom

Dal students share their most embarrassing on-camera moments during synchronous classes.

Editor’s note: This is a satirical article.

Zoom is a video conference tool used by many professors at Dalhousie University to host synchronous classes. While it is a useful application, there are some unpleasant outcomes of being in class while also being at home. 

Here are five Zoom horror stories from Dal students who wish they’d kept their cameras off.  

1. They saw everything!  

Still shaken from earlier that same day, Dale Smith shared his story with the Dalhousie Gazette about a Zoom meeting for his Mandarin class. 

“It’s not normal,” Smith said. “I mean, I usually wear pants to class. I do. But this morning, I was running late.” 

Smith described his Zoom ordeal in awkward detail. He awoke late and couldn’t find his jeans. Rather than missing class he logged on, relieved nobody could see below his chest level. That is until his teacher asked him to read from the class textbook.  

Instinctively, Smith stood up to grab his copy of the textbook. Smith’s classmates got an eyeful of his green Minecraft boxer shorts in full view.  

“The worst part,” Smith said, “is that it was a good 20 minutes before I realized they’d seen anything. A classmate finally piped up and asked, ‘Lǎoshī [teacher], how do you say Minecraft in Mandarin?’ I almost died.” 

Getting caught sitting on the toilet during a Zoom call is bad, but it could be worse. (Photo of woman on toilet by Brandi on Flickr; photo of video call by Jagrit Pajaruli on Pixabay)

2. The wrong kind of movement 

Sybil Jennings is part of the music program at Dal. She recently adopted a puppy and has been spending time sitting on the floor as a way to teach him not to jump on furniture.  

Last Wednesday, as  her class was beginning, Jennings left her place on the floor to find a new reed for her clarinet. 

“I was only gone for two minutes. I still can’t believe he did that,” Jennings grumbled. 

As the class looked on, Jennings’ three-month-old goldendoodle performed a movement no music student would ever let loose in public.  

“I mean, at least he missed the laptop, but my clarinet will never be the same.”  

3. I’ll never look at my professor the same way again 

English professor Jordan West likes to have a monthly group chat with his first-year creative writing students. According to one of his students, Virginia Wang, this month’s meetup was unique.  

“He just forgot or something. It was like he didn’t realize we were there,” Wang explained, “You know when you butt dial someone? It was like that. He was having a full-on conversation with his cat about the new season of The Bachelorette, and then he started dancing with it. I mean like waltzing with his cat.” 

According to Wang, the class called to get the professor’s attention without success. 

“Eventually, we just logged off. But honestly, I haven’t been able to look at him the same way since,” said Wang. 

4. Breaking up live 

One of the more dramatic Zoom foibles at Dal happened two weeks ago to Amare Nkosi. He was just logging into a statistics lecture when his girlfriend, Amber, stormed in. 

“I tried to tell her I was live on Zoom, but she just launched into me,” Nkosi said. 

Amber, not realizing Nkosi’s class was watching, told him she couldn’t be with him anymore and she was moving out. 

“I couldn’t speak. I just sat there dumbstruck as she packed. Eventually my stats partner, Phil, shouted something I won’t repeat at her and she looked up.” 

Nkosi hasn’t seen Amber since, but says he’s single and is hoping the app Tinder will offer more success in the relationship department.  

5. Karaoke has never been so entertaining 

Forgetting a Zoom meeting is one thing, but sending an entire history class a video of your latest home karaoke performance is another. This is what happened to student Shayna Thompson. 

“One minute I was attaching a sample assignment, the next, my entire class was humming David Guetta’s “Titanium.” That’s when I knew I’d sent the wrong file,” they said.  

Since that day, Thompson said things got better. 

“The mocking was easy to cope with once I started getting invitations to virtual karaoke events. I just wish my professor would stop calling me Sia.” 

Leave a Comment





Mandy King

Posted in ,