Student Hopes to Gain Full Participation Credit over Zoom Through Vigorous Head Nodding

Student Hopes to Gain Full Participation Credit over Zoom Through Vigorous Head Nodding

By Julia Schreder


Artwork by Mai Morsy

Artwork by Mai Morsy

ZOOM LECTURE—Arthur Ashten, CC ‘21, has one key strategy for the Fall 2020 Semester: to charm his professors through repeated aggressive head nodding. Although Ashten never intends to speak out loud, he hopes to attain full participation credit by simply nodding knowingly whenever his professor says something deeply profound.

Ashten has developed four different models of spatial nodding. 

The first, the Sympathetic Nod, is for exclusive use when a classmate tells a personal story that relates to the text. It involves the minor bob up and down of the head and should be accompanied by the slight protrusion of the lip to indicate, “Hey. I’m a white man who shares none of your experiences, but I get it.”

The second nod is known as the Affirmatory Nod. It should be used when someone wants to “push back a little on what the author is saying here,” and by golly, you think you agree! Take down those power structures! Fight against the machine! YOU GO, GIRL!

While the Affirmatory Nod is powerful, it should not be confused with the Dissenting Nod, which should be saved for the rare occasion when your professor may have just… crossed the line a little bit….? Did anyone else hear that…? I mean, you aren’t going to say anything, but you will let your outrage be felt through your MacBook Pro camera with a very slow and solemn head motion.

Finally, there is the most powerful nod of them all, the Self Congratulatory Nod. This is to be used after you *gasp* actually speak on the Zoom, or better yet, after you’ve asked a three-paragraph-long question in the Zoom chat. Once you’re done with your intellectual heavy lifting for the day, sit back in your chair and nod in satisfaction. You’ve earned it, champ.