Students and teachers have mixed responses about the eclipse


Rebecca Crook

Students Scott Reif and Isabel Hebenstreit marvel at the eclipse as it passes through Colorado’s highest point of totality on Monday August 21.

Jakob Aggers and Rebecca Crook

On Monday, August 21, as we all know, a solar eclipse occurred in the U.S. This 2017 eclipse was significant because it stretched coast to coast- from Oregon all the way to South Carolina. The last time a solar eclipse ran from coast to coast was in 1918, almost 100 years until the next would occur.

Although Monument Colorado wasn’t in the full path of totality on Monday, the students and teachers of Lewis Palmer High School still went outside and got to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event.

“I was preparing for this last year, and I knew that August 21st was the solar eclipse, so I was really excited.” Tyana Douglas 9 said shortly after witnessing the eclipse at Lewis-Palmer.

To many, like Tyana, this was something that was extremely memorable. But to many others, it was described as anti-climactic.

According to Ms. Sparks, an English teacher at Lewis Palmer, “It was just another interesting phenomenon.” This seems to be the case with quite a few other students and teachers.

When asked what he expected to see, Samuel Munn (10) replied by saying “I thought it was going to get a lot darker but it was kinda cool to be able to see an eclipse. It wasn’t that great though.”

Munn also stated that he enjoyed going outside with his friends more than actually seeing the eclipse. In addition to this, a few of the teachers noticed that the some of the students seemed to get bored quickly.

“It was typical behavior for kids that have to stand around and wait. A lot of them got bored easily. But, in talking with them after, most kids were still very interested,” said Ms. Sparks.

Ms. Ellis, a Spanish teacher at Lewis Palmer, said: “I think a lot of kids really enjoyed it, but I think they also enjoyed the break to get to stretch their legs in the middle of the school day and say hi to friends.”

A few students and teachers had already come across a partial or total eclipse in the past before seeing the one on August 21.

Ms. Monfre was in the line of totality for the eclipse in 1979 and got to experience it. She mentioned that the 2017 eclipse wasn’t as dark as the other had been in the past and that it didn’t seem as big of a deal.

“I was painting graphics inside a house and I had to stop because it got dark,” said Ms. Monfre.

“There wasn’t the big hoopla like there was about this one, and I don’t remember it being all over the news.”

It was also noticeable that many of the students and even some teachers took their glasses off to get a better look at the eclipse.

When someone gets blinded because of not wearing eye protection during an eclipse, according to, “The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they’re overstimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don’t realize what they’re doing to their vision.”

Although many people had heard about these harmful effects of looking at the eclipse with the naked eye, the common knowledge and many warnings didn’t stop them from doing it.

“I think that the kids that took their glasses off shouldn’t have done that. It just looked like a bright sun, though. I took a peek at it too and I definitely got a headache,” said Ms. Ellis.

As we look back on the eclipse, many students and teachers have mixed opinions about this event. Although many people enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience, others thought of it as anticlimactic, boring, or a waste of time.