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Letter From The Editor

Yuki Ito – July 17, 2022



Like any form of radical literature, the theme for The Mask came as a reaction. Whether it’s the feeling of being cheated by universities charging full tuition for online classes or the sudden emptiness left by the global lockdown, we felt that students needed a place to express their emotions and connect with others without the oversight of the university. This was especially necessary now, two years after the height of the pandemic, with COVID-related aspects of life completely fusing with the norm (masks, vaccines, testing/screening, etc.). In addition, the emergence of new, extremely transmissible strains such as BA.5 have brought COVID back into the public consciousness.


The process of making our publication began in late June 2022, for our Sixth College CAT 124 class. At the time, we were all strangers only connected by the college we were randomly put in by UCSD. Our experiences varied; some of us had published many works before while others, like me, had never done anything of the sort.


Truthfully speaking as an environmental chemistry major, I did not think I would contribute anything of value to the publication because it had no meaning to me. It would not get me any closer to designing lab experiments at real private companies. This view changed when Professor Becca Rae Rose suggested a revolutionary idea in class: that ALL humans, regardless of specialization/major, need a creative outlet to cope with and express their emotions in reaction to life’s turbulence. I came to realize that I could use my creativity and experiences to support my ultimate goal of teaching more people about the complex man-made Armageddon known as climate change.


This leads to my next statement, that our publication contains works from both art students, who are often forced to take a back seat or not even considered in UCSD’s agenda, and STEM students, who had to endure the transition into quarantine while taking the same highly competitive classes. On top of this, we have included several pieces from non-UCSD college students to further build community for college students as a whole during the pandemic. In reading this, we hope you can reflect on your own experiences as a student during the pandemic.


I want to thank the editorial, design, and outreach teams, as well as everyone who answered our calls for submissions. Additionally, I would like to thank Professor Becca Rae Rose for coordinating everything and making this possible.

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