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Are you wearing a tie and bunny slippers?

Are you wearing a tie and bunny slippers?

Dear Students,

I have been working from my bedroom for a while now with regular meetings throughout the day on Zoom. Every day, when I get up and "go to work," I also generally put on a tie. In my virtual meetings, I get asked a lot of questions about my tie. Are you wearing pajamas pants? You probably have on bunny slippers that no one can see, right? Do you really dress like that every day?

The answer is yes (at least on most days). I wear a tie as a simple reminder to myself (and others) that, despite that I'm at home, I am actually now at work. It also allows me to take off my tie at the end of the day and remind myself that I am now back at home.

This fall, you will be taking some or all of your classes remotely. The University has an array of resources to help you with your online learning. I'm going to highlight one idea: that you create ways to signal to yourself and others about when you are going to class. While I'm not suggesting that you all start wearing a tie, I am suggesting that you be intentional about your approach to "going to class" online.

As you are able, create for yourself a learning space. This is not the same as a study space. When you are studying you are completely in control, you can take a break and you can be interrupted without much consequence. When you are in class, you need to stay connected. You need to take notes in real time. You need to participate in breakout groups. You need to stay engaged for the whole class period.

If you have a defined learning space, it will signal to yourself (and to anyone else in your home) that you are now in class. Your space could be defined physically (a particular spot in which you attend class). Your space could be defined symbolically with a simple "in class" sign that serves as a signal that you are now in class. The possibilities are endless. Pick something that works for you. Maybe you'll even opt to starting wearing a tie to class.

Best,
Dr. Vanden Bout

Joke: I've got to be honest; I'm running out of puns. I have to stop at the fabric store for new material.

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Thursday, 29 October 2020

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