Virtual Coffee Zoom Mini-Reunions

Notes for Participants in U High ’67
Virtual Coffee Mini-Reunions

All U High ’67 classmates are invited to join in a series of “Virtual Coffee” mini-reunions using the Zoom meeting platform. Our first Virtual Coffee takes place Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at Noon CT (10 am PT, 11 am MT, 1 pm ET, and 7 pm in Europe and South Africa).

Please Click Here to Register for the event. The link takes you to a Zoom registration page. After you complete the registration form you will get a personalized link to join the meeting.

 


Helpful Information and Hints for Zoom Users

If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, click here to go to section of this page that can help you get set up to participate in the call, or simply scroll down past the Conversation Prompts.

 


Conversation Prompts

During the mini-reunion you will have the opportunity, only if you wish, to share experiences and thoughts in reconnecting with UHS classmates. Here are some questions to prompt the conversation. You can choose to answer one of these questions, but you’re welcome to share any personal story or experience that’s meaningful to you.

Introduction

  1. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
  2. What made you very happy and smile this week?
  3. Have you found a “silver lining” amidst the challenges of the pandemic?

Elementary and High School

  1. What is one of your best or funniest memories of high school?
  2. What did you want to be when you were 16 years old?
  3. What memories do you have from elementary/high school summers?
  4. “My favorite teacher was…” Why? Do you remember an anecdote about the teacher?
  5. What is the biggest thing you would do differently if you went back to your time at UHS?
  6. “I’ll never forget the time when…” (Something that really sticks in your mind from UHS.)
  7. What was something in high school that only you and a handful of others knew about?
  8. “One of the hardest things for me at UHS was…”
  9. What was one of the best things that happened to you in high school? Example?
  10. What was your nickname in high school? Who gave it to you, and how did you feel about it then? Today?
  11. What was your “role” at UHS and give an example.
  12. Can you remember any UHS pranks?
  13. “A particularly memorable UHS event for me was…” (Prom, senior skip day, sports event, graduation, etc.)
  14. How did you feel coming to UHS at the very beginning?
  15. Did you ever feel like an outsider at UHS? Did anything help?
  16. If you could go back in time and “re-do” high school, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
  17. “One of my happiest times/moments at elementary or high school was when…”
  18. “My best friend in (pre-school/elementary/high school) was…” Do you know where that person is now?
  19. What is one of your earliest memories of elementary or pre-school?

After High School

  1. How did your meet your spouse/partner?
  2. What was your first job after high school and how did you feel about it?
  3. What was your first job after college and how did you feel about it?
  4. What hobbies did you have that you no longer do?
  5. How many places have you lived since high school?
  6. What did you think you were going to do when you finished high school?
  7. High points of your life since high school?
  8. What’s something you went through or saw during the crazy ’60s or the years after graduation?

 


Getting Ready for a Zoom Virtual Meeting —
Easy as 1 - 2 - 3!

(Adapted by Tom Smerling)

First - pick your device

Computer/Laptop

  • Recommended
  • Bigger screen

Tablet

  • Good Choice
  • Audio and Video

Cell Phone

  • Not recommended
  • Screen too small

Second - pick your seat

Find a spot where signal strength is strong. Get closer to your WiFi modem if signal strength is low. (The more bars the better.)

Avoid locations where signal strength is weak. Also, consider “wired” connection (see below).

Third - practice and PLAY before the session starts

Load Zoom Software

Watch TWO 2-minute training videos

Practice and play!

 

First - What DEVICE should I use?

  1. The bigger the screen the better! A large screen will display more images in more detail (laws of physics). Normally, your computer at home has the largest screen. But — your device needs to have SOUND as well. And a camera is helpful too. We are all cooped up at home and it is good to see each other! So, ask your home tech support if your home computer has a SCREEN, CAMERA, and SOUND. (Cameras and speakers are common as “standard” equipment on laptops. This is less the case with desktop systems — they are likely not to have a camera or a microphone; the speaker or speakers, if installed, may provide less-than-acceptable sound quality).
     
  2. Tablets are a very good choice as well. Modern iPads, Android devices, and other tablets have screens with integrated video and audio. This may be the best choice for you if you are not comfortable with desktop/laptop computers. Think about using a stand — a video for a simple homemade stand is HERE.
     
  3. Cell phones will work, but are not recommended. The screen is typically too small to see everybody and see screen-shared graphics. For the best experience, we suggest a computer or a tablet. However, you can always join by telephone (cell or land), which will be audio-only, of course.

Second - Where do I sit?

  1. You want the best signal you can get for smooth audio and video. Find a comfortable place to sit where the signal meter reads the highest. In general, the closer you are to your router (usually an ATT box, a SPECTRUM box, or a GOOGLE box) is best. Note than in a number of markets, the modem supplied by your service provider (e.g., Cox, Xfinity, etc.) has a WiFi router built in.
     
  2. For the very best possible speeds and the ultimate in reliability, connect your computer to your router with an Ethernet CABLE — watch THIS. Note: many late-model laptops are not equipped with an Ethernet jack; in that case, you may require some type of adapter (e.g., Ethernet-to-USB-C).
     
  3. Consider the lighting in your space — if there is a large, bright light source directly behind you (for example a picture window) you may end up “backlit”. This might make you look rather tan (if you’re Caucasian) or even like a wrinkled-up old raisin if you’re a darker-complected person-of-color.

Third - How do I get started with Zoom?

  1. First, establish a FREE Zoom personal account and download/install the Zoom app.
  2. Next, watch TWO tiny training videos
  3. Finally, Practice and Play - For many people the easiest way to get comfortable with Zoom is to simply start (i.e. host) a private solo practice meeting. Here’s how:
    1. Go to the Zoom website at www.zoom.us and login to your account (in upper right).
    2. On the Zoom home page, mouse over the “host a meeting” button in upper right from the dropdown menu, and select “with video on”.
    3. A small pop-up window will appear asking, “Open Zoom Meetings?” Click button to “Open Zoom meeting”.
    4. Another small pop-up will appear with audio options. Click the blue button to “Join with Computer Audio”.
    5. You’re in your own meeting now! Take it for a test drive.
    6. To see the Zoom in-meeting controls, mouse to the bottom of the screen until the Control Panel pops up.
    7. Then try out these three basic controls, which are all you need for most meetings including the U-High Virtual Coffee.
      • Mute/Unmute your microphone 
      • Start/Stop your camera
      • Open/Close the chat window
      Note: How to use these and other controls is explained in training video #2 above.

A final tip: If you ever get stuck and can’t figure something out, the fastest way to solve a Zoom problem is simply to Google the question. The first results will include a Zoom tech support page devoted to your exact question.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that Zooming is fun and a great way to connect with friends and family. Enjoy!

PS: If you feel you really have this “dialed,” and would be happy to lend your new-found expertise to a fellow classmate, let us know — depending on how popular these sessions become, there may be a role for an entire “help desk” department (of which you could become a founding member!)