Thursday, February 25, 2021

What I Like Least about the Pandemic

 Here's what I like least about the pandemic so far: teaching a classroom filled with students who are wearing masks.

I am partially face-blind as it is (I remember my mother saying, when I was maybe five, "How can you not recognize him? He's your brother!") so even without masks I often have trouble identifying which student* goes with which name and what work. When everyone is wearing a mask, it's nearly impossible. (How face blind are you?)

Also, I can't tell who is talking. Their voice are muffled, first, so I don't know where the sound is coming from; and I can't see mouths moving, so there's no visual cue.

All of this just to say, I'll be glad when this plague is over. 

*I mainly tell people apart based on their voice, their hair-styles/color**, their body shapes, and the way they move. When any of that changes -- like, when their voices are muffled by masks -- I'm totally lost.

** This is a problem at movies. If every actor has dark hair, for instance, I don't have a hope of telling characters apart, unless one of them has a British accent and the other doesn't. Or if one is tall and skinny and the other short with a beard.


nicoleandmaggie said...

Apparently I am only 67%! Though in those first couple parts I was totally doing things based on faint mustache shadows and the direction people were looking, which stay the same in those photographs but not in reality. (In the third part I was just guessing completely blindly.) I'm surprised it is so high (average is 80%) because I mainly determine who people are by how they walk and where they sit and hair color (but most of my students have the same hair color so that isn't helpful there). I have always recognized my sister though...

Bev said...

Yes to all of this. I have come to rely heavily on a seating chart, and I end up memorizing names based on where they are sitting. But if I see the same students out of place or elsewhere on campus, I have no idea who they are. It's just another level of complexity in an already impossible situation.

delagar said...

"...if I see the same students out of place or elsewhere on campus..."


Or (for instance) my dentist, who came up to me to chat at a grocery once. I had NO IDEA who she was, even though we've been seeing her regularly for 15 years. Dr. Skull had to tell me later that she was Dr. (X).

Dana said...

I agree with all of this! I was 69% but was completely guessing on the third part. I really appreciate how multicultural my school is because I there is so much more variation in features, hair styles, and skin color. I am absolutely terrible at telling white girls with straight long hair apart. I am also terrible at watching movies because I can't tell the characters apart.