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Crash course in Zoom


Today I’m going to go over the basics of Zoom, for those who are interested in or curious about using it for online teaching. I’m going to try not to talk too much, but I do want to walk you through the features, settings, and options before we try a group meeting. Which I’m sure will get a bit chaotic, depending on how many folks join, but hey—these are trying times, so that’s what we’ll do: try.

In my experience, Zoom is pretty easy to use—very intuitive. So, I’m not going to create a handout; there are tons out there already, along with lots of training materials and tips. Google it! If you do want a handout, here’s a fantastic step-by-step from Liz Lawley at RIT. Note that some screens will look a bit different for you.


Achebe and the Center


In my tutorial today on the postcolonial novel and theory, we’ll discuss The Empire Writes Back and the chapter on “Re-Placing the Text,” in conjunction with the first part of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and, if we have time, Yeats’ “The Second Coming”:

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?