Who’s Behind The Mask?

Students, Teachers Adapt To Life With Face Coverings

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Aydin Kantner, Reporter

Junior Brenden Burke is shown wearing a mask on one half of his face and not on the other. Wearing masks has become the “new normal,” but it leaves people curious about what someone’s full face looks like.

Aydin Kantner and Adam Arthurs

It is no secret that masks have become commonplace in the past year. For many, however, masks still do not ‘feel’ normal. Because of this, some people are surprised when seeing the bottom part of new acquaintances’ faces for the first time.

Because the school has enforced a mask mandate all year, many teachers have never seen their student’s faces, so they have no point of reference when looking at them with a mask. 

As a freshman English teacher, Tanner McLean has not seen most of his student’s faces, but he said he has managed to get as used to it as possible.
“I think we just have to overcome and adapt,” McLean said.

Even when adults do know what faces look like under the mask, such as in the case of their own children, some feel  it has been difficult to adjust to seeing them wearing face masks. 

“There is a certain eeriness about not being able to see people’s full face,” English I teacher Megan Achee said. “When my 5-year-old daughter must wear a mask on her face, I loathe it. It looks and feels wrong to me.”
Many students have grown used to wearing masks in class and in other public places. For some, it has been quite a long time since they’ve seen other students’ faces.
“I have gotten used to the masks,” senior Haley Gilcrease said. “So it’s very strange now when I see someone without it. I haven’t seen the bottom half of their face before.”
When students pull down their mask in class to drink from a water bottle, it can be surprising because students aren’t familiar with some of their classmates’ faces.
“It is really crazy when you imagine someone looks a certain way and then you finally see them, and they look nothing like you expected,” Gilcrease said. 

Despite mask mandates, junior Clayton Engdahl is unfazed by seeing people without masks because he has seen many people not wearing masks when required anyway.
“I see enough people who don’t wear their masks to be surprised,” Engdahl said. “I don’t like wearing a mask in public either.”

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