After his professor was suddenly disconnected from a Zoom seminar, the automatically selected new host of the call Charles Goodwin ’21 was quickly recognized as the new alpha of the group by the rest of his class.
“When the professor left and I was made host, I guess I kinda became in charge,” Goodwin said, as if his classmates had initiated primal submissive behaviors to show deference to their new pack leader. “Everyone was pretty silent, so I tried to fill the air a bit with some banter.”
“At some point I suggested that we continue talking about the week’s reading,” Goodwin recounted, describing behaviors reminiscent of an ape beating his chest and pant-hooting at his inferiors to cement dominance. "I asked if anyone had thoughts on the beginning of Chapter 7, and I managed to get a discussion going. I was really steering the call for a moment.”
“Some other people in the class also tried to start conversations, but everyone was pretty much just listening to me at that point,” Goodwin continued, as though he had won a fight for alpha status by demonstrating his strength and sexual prowess, with his rivals exiled to barren grounds. “I just ran with it and put everyone in breakout rooms for a few minutes.”
When the professor finally returned, Goodwin promptly became silent, like a chimp presenting his rump and ceding control to a new superior.