This past Wednesday was my first time in a Zoom room. I didn’t zoom in. I crept in, one baby step at a time.
Meanwhile, school children all around the world blithely zoom in and out of such rooms. Good for them. I’m old. I don’t zoom anywhere. (Beam me up, Scotty. I can’t move!)
I got in. Somehow. I fiddled with the mouse (here a click, there a click, everywhere a click-click). I looked up and—lo, and behold—I saw a gallery of 24 beaming faces, like Hollywood Squares squared.
The Zoom website says it’s “super natural.” (I don’t know about that. But it’s not far from “miraculous.”)
This was a test run for my Shepherd University Lifelong Learning class, “Jesus Before Christianity.” The class begins in earnest next week. Four weeks ago, the virus doomed it. Zoom saved it. We are together again, face-to-face, without touching.
Zoom, I found out, is a contagion. Everybody’s getting it.
It connects teachers with students, bosses with employees, committee chairs with members, parishioners with pastors, physicians with patients, grandparents with grandchildren, lovers with each other.
Zoom is saving the world from a worse fate. It keeps us together while apart. All because engineers are lovers, too.
Zoom originated in China. Well, I should say, in a certain Chinese boy’s head.
Thirty years or so ago, Yuán Zhēng, an engineering student at Shandong University of Science and Technology was in love. To see his girlfriend, he had to take a train. It took hours and hours. Ten to be exact.
There’s got to be a quicker way to see her. If only I had a way to zoom out there.
He started dreaming in algorithms.
Yuán married his girlfriend, moved to Silicon Valley, and went to work on his dream. After all, the world is full of lovers longing to be together when apart.
Yuán is now a billionaire. When asked what he requires of those who work for him, he has a one-word answer: Care. I want all my employees to care for others. It’s not our slogan. It’s our practice.
I once thought of China as paper, fireworks, pagodas, dragons, Confucius, the Tao, the Great Wall. I still do. But I’ve added two other words: Zoom. And love.
Love makes the world go round. Zoom keeps it from falling apart.
See Paula’s photograph on the home page.
Great article and so relevant. We had our first Zoom experience with our son and family yesterday and it was amazing. So we don’t have to be together to work together.
My older daughter taught me how to do “Google Hangouts” — and I have been hanging out with Google and kids and grand kids (plus a Friday afternoon happy hour with friends in Florida)! I will download Zoom now in hopes of being able to participate in some lifelong learning. This technology is spirit lifting, if not miraculous.
First of all – you have to stop thinking of yourself as “old” – we are the same age and I’m still 39 (yes, I borrowed this from Jack Benny). Secondly – the Zoom went great – for the most part. I have been doing Zoom meetings for a couple of years (so much better than driving to Flatwoods). You are right – I am in love.
I think our kids will remember 2020 as the year of zoom and hangouts and virtual hugs. Slowly acclimating to it all. Interesting story, thanks! Now if I can find my big puzzle I never started, I am good for awhile!
Yes, I too have found myself thrust into the world of zoom, teaching all my yoga classes there now. Yesterday evening we joined my sister and her friend living in S.C. for happy hour. It is indeed a new world!
I’m zooming to church for coffee with the pastors. Great way to stay connected.
My 81 year old mother is having her first experience of Zoom this week. I’ll forward it to her. Enjoyable read, Randy. Thanks for sharing,