Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I won't lie - when I first got here, the face masks that people wear kind of freaked me out. On the right person, they look a tad Hannibal Lecter. I also thought folk wore them to prevent inhaling germs and pollution and the like - try not to be overwhelmed by my scientific lingo and knowhow - but it turns out that they wear them when they're sick to prevent others. This may not be news to you but anyway..

However, it doesn't make much sense since they just whip them on and off whenever they feel like it. Bus drivers wear them, which figures I guess, as they don't want to pick anything up from the wonderful array of select characters who use public transport. Most entertaining though, is the fact that the reason why lots of the girls at my university sport them is because they're not wearing their make-up that day, or because they have a spot. Again, it baffles me how much effort these girls put into their appearance for going to an all-women's university every day but I won't start banging on about that again.

What's kind of sad is that lots of shy girls wear them literally just to hide behind. The amount of strangely, painfully shy and withdrawn girls who walk around with their head constantly bowed never ceases to amaze me. And then they wear these masks almost every day as a way to withdraw even more, you feel sorry for them.

Though it is kind of frustrating as a teacher when you want them to speak and they sound like they're talking through a duvet. As if they sometimes weren't hard enough to understand with the L/R confusion, vowels thrown in at the end of words ("and-o","but-o") and general low level of English, you get to try and decipher it like they're talking to you from inside a womb, and you're not even able to lip-read. The fun never ends.

One thing I'll say for the masks is, come Halloween, all you need is some markers and you're sorted - check out my students below (personal favourite is second from left). Every cloud..

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