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Zoom Presentation Group Keeps Quarantine Fun

It’s Wednesday night in COVID-19 quarantine. You’ve worked hard to create a presentation that will impress your graduate school peers and colleagues, and tonight is the night to show it off.

Is your topic controversial? Yeah, it may be a little controversial. But it is unprecedented and groundbreaking research. The title of your presentation?

“Why Wearing Socks to Bed Is Literally the Worst.”

Title slide from one of Sara Salisbury's presentations, reading "Why wearing socks to bed is literally the worst."

(Title slide from one of Sara Salisbury’s presentations, reading “Why wearing socks to bed is literally the worst.”)

Every Wednesday night, a group of graduate students gather in the Zoom meeting room of Sara Salisbury, a Ph.D. student who was looking for a way to interact with friends in a socially distant way. Their task each week is to create a PowerPoint presentation on a fun topic that they can provide insight upon, and the result is something truly beautiful.

“My favorite thing about these meetings is being able to connect with folks across the country, many of them my close friends whom I don’t often have time to talk to,” says Salisbury.

Ranging from “Which Plants in My Yard Are the Tastiest?” to “Bad Parenting 101,” these seemingly silly topics spark conversation, lighthearted debate, and laughter – something we could all use during these uncertain times.

Slide from one of Sara Salisbury's presentations, "Which Plants in My Yard Are the Tastiest?"

(Slide from one of Sara Salisbury’s presentations, “Which Plants in My Yard Are the Tastiest?”)

The contents of these presentations aren’t all silly, though. Actual research is put into their presentations, and more often than not, you learn something new each week.

“It’s been crazy to see folks from so many walks of life (some of us are graduate students, some engineers, stay at home parents, etc.) come together and find joy in the process of sharing knowledge and stories. We’ve had folks from the MTSU program, some from Memphis, New Jersey, Texas, Washington state, Massachusetts, and Kentucky.”

The virtual meetings aren’t limited to presentations. During finals, the students found themselves playing card games instead of presenting, as a way to relieve some of the stress built up during finals week.

In a time where socially distant human interaction is key to staying sane, this is yet another awesome example of MTSU students making the most of the COVID-19 crisis!

Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.