School and Masking: One Student’s Take

Ryan Lipsett, Contributing Writer

Masking in school is a lot different than any other school experience such as traditional schooling or the remote and hybrid models. I was in 8th grade last year during remote learning, and it was difficult to understand subjects because you didn’t have face-to-face contact, and if you struggled, then you couldn’t talk to the teacher alone. In some ways, it was a much lazier type of school. I stayed in bed with my camera off all day, and that’s how I did my work. I felt that I lost all of my in-school skills and workmanship.

Being in school with masks is not as difficult as the online format but still different from “normal” school. Last year, in junior high, we sat in the same classroom all day and waited for the teacher to come to us. Wearing the mask makes your face super hot, and it’s hard to breath when you’re not able to move around in them. It was hard to keep focused during class because it’s uncomfortable sitting in the same chair all day.

Right now, in high school, it’s closer to “normal” school, but still, wearing a mask makes it harder to keep focused, as was the case in middle school. Over the last year of wearing the mask in school, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable wearing it, but it will never feel normal to me. I think that I’ll always feel that there is a blockage between me, my peers, and our teachers. Overall, wearing the mask this year has been a little difficult, but I hope that in the future I’ll feel (more) comfortable wearing the mask. Better yet, maybe there will be a scenario where we don’t have to wear it at all. Let’s hope so.