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First Gloria Gaynor showed us how to wash our hands properly while singing “I Will Survive.” Now Michael Bruening, an associate professor of history and political science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is serenading professors with an online teaching-themed cover of Gaynor’s hit. Bruening’s lyrics, below, are tongue-in-cheek. They've nevertheless rung true with thousands who have shared his video via Facebook and YouTube.

Bruening said that his university was planning to begin remote instruction on Wednesday, but he learned late Friday that all University of Missouri institutions had to bump up their timelines to Monday. "So we literally did have just two days to adjust, as stated in the song," he said, though "I have to say the communication from our administration and especially the support provided to faculty by our educational technology support teams has been outstanding."

While he isn’t particularly tech-savvy, Bruening is not as uninitiated as his song perhaps suggests. "I am not particularly adept at Panopto yet," he said of video platform, "but I use Canvas regularly and have a decent grasp of Zoom," the teleconferencing program (which has other professors enthusiastic about being able to trick students into thinking they're working from Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry).

“Mostly,” Bruening said, “I just wanted to bring a little levity to what I know is a stressful time for faculty everywhere making this transition. I am overwhelmed by the positive response so far, and I am extremely gratified that the song seems to have brought just a little joy to people during this crisis.”

“I Will Survive,” coronavirus version

New lyrics by Michael Bruening

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never teach through Canvas all the time

But then I spent so many nights reading the help docs for so long
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along

And so I’m back
The students are gone
As all my colleagues try to figure out how they’re gonna get along
I should have kept up with the tech, not skipped that class on course design
If I’d have known for just one second I’d be teaching all-online
Go on now, go, leave me alone
I’ve got to figure out
Just how to lecture using Panopto
You gave me two days to adjust, to move everything online
Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to Zoom, I know I'll be alive
Oh, my students still will learn
And my paychecks I will earn, and I'll survive
I will survive, hey, hey

It took all the strength I had not to lay down and die
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my syllabi
And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high and you’ll see me
Teaching on Zoom
But just don’t cough into the mike or every eye will be on you
I can’t hear you, you’re on mute, your camera’s black, are you still there?
We’ve got some glitches to work out, but I know my grading scheme is fair
Oh now, go, walk out the door
Trying to get this lecture done
And I’m already on take four
Now the network has gone down, and I’m all out of wine
Do you think I’ll crumble
Do you think I’ll lay down and die?

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to Zoom, I know I’ll be alive
Oh, my students still will learn
And my paychecks I will earn and I’ll survive
I will survive, Hey hey