First Week Of School: What It’s Looking Like

‘Iolani is back on campus with a new style. The story of the return is everyone wearing face masks and shields. Students came into the week excited to wake up two to three hours earlier than distance learning, give up their healthy quarantine diets, and see their friends. The classrooms no longer consist of students without anything on their faces, sitting close together, or the ability to drink water whenever you feel.

Face shields are giving some students headaches during class. In my experience, the shield feels like a headache when it’s tight against my head; As soon as I take it off, I feel nothing but the ridges it leaves on my forehead. My suggestion to others: loosen it, wear a headband under it, put as much hair as you can on your forehead as a cushion; I’ve tried it. It works if you have enough hair.

When it comes to wearing a mask, here’s a suggestion: speak louder! In class, the volume of speakers is the only thing much different from a regular classroom. Teachers have had to ask numerous students to speak up. If speaking loud hurts your voice, use the passing periods as a time to rest and drink a lot of water. Passing periods have been increased to eight minutes to get to your next class and teachers are normally letting classes out early to stagger when students are in the halls. All in all, it’s really a provisional ten minute passing period. Use this time to go outside where you can pull down your mask, breathe in some fresh air, and drink a lot of water.

Another major change in daily life is the routes that we must take to get from class to class. The mostly one-way routes, indicated by arrows, and signs stagger where students are walking to ensure no area is packed with students. These routes do not seem to be much of an inconvenience, especially with the longer passing periods. Personally, I feel like I am not walking more than I would have in a normal year.

Everything else on campus has felt normal, even the decided paths that we have to take to each class. The grade level tents have worked very well, even if it is quite loud and active. Overall, ‘Iolani did a wonderful job of taking the correct procedures to ensure the safety of everyone. Good news: Campus operations are back and you can now see your friends. Bad news: Say hello to those 5:30 a.m. alarms.