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Post by Bess

Art has always been a good subject for me, and this year has been no exception. It's a tradition in 8th grade at CMS that we make masks of our faces. Last year's 8th grade made them, and the 8th grade before them did too. My sister, who was a 2016 graduate, made a mask during her 8th grade year. The mask is still in her room, looking over her as she does homework for high school.

The process for the mask-making is quite simple: protect the face, make a plaster mould of the face, and decorate it as one pleases. So, I walked into second period Tuesday, my art class, and the class got right to work. We cut plaster strips to cover my face and set up towels to cover the ground and eventually, me.

Traci pulled out petroleum jelly and hair bands for the subjects. I slathered the vaseline on the delicate parts of my face, like the corners of my nose, my eyelids, and my eyebrows.

Then the class began to cover my face in plaster. My mask design had both my eyes and my mouth covered, so I closed my eyes and shut my mouth for the 30 minutes it took to cover my face and let it dry.

I was surprised on how peaceful it was. The 80s music coming from the radio and the pleasant conversation coming from the people putting plaster on my face. My classmates who were in the sewing class next door came over and chatted with me, awaiting my voice, then realizing I cannot respond.

After around 30 minutes of complete silence from me, (very hard to find), my face began to get tight and uncomfortable. I scrunched my nose and opened my mouth repeatedly, to open my mask up to the world. After I removed the mask, it felt like I was a new person.

All in all, I would say that this experience changed me as a student at CMS. It made me realize that this school is much more pleasant than the past school I’ve been to. I would be terrified if I wasn’t able to see or talk for 30 minutes in an art class at my old school. I would chicken out and not do it. But the students here didn’t draw butts on my arms or spill water on my feet, they asked if I was ok, if I could breathe, or any requests I had (change the radio station).

This CMS tradition is a very important one to me, and I hope other students can continue to have this experience at CMS.

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