A thin breeze flows in the window. Footsteps echo through Midlands hall. Soft drops of water leak from the taps splashing on the ground, contrasting to the harsh rain falling from the monsoon sky. It’s been eight months since school has shifted to distance learning. Eight months since dorms went from a place full of life to an empty building.
Ms. Priya Rollins, CFI coordinator and former Midlands supervisor, does not recall a single time when dorms were this quiet. “It feels haunted,” she said while reminiscing about “the warm smell of maggi” that overflowed in the air when students were in Midlands.
“The big change is to meet them only virtually. Usually, if I feel someone is unusual, I simply can visit her room and have a chat. Now I have tried to do my best to take care of them through regular zoom check-ins.” Mrs. Mijung Park, Midlands dorm Parent, said, expressing concern for her students.
Over the years dorm parents have grown to love the children they look after, essentially deeming them as their second children. They witness their growth, proudest moments, like scoring highest on a test for which they pulled an all nighter, or low moments, like losing swish-a-thon despite practicing for months.
Throughout this time of becoming so accustomed to always being around students, this sudden change has impacted their mental health for the worse. Their daily routine of waking up Upper Years students, room checks or check ins have been stripped away from them. Mrs. Prarthana Singh, Midlands dorm Parent, worriedly stated, “I just hope that things get better and kids get back soon. Dorm parent’s connection with students is stronger than any connection formed in a classroom. We are a part of their lives, and with students all gone, dorm parents feel like a part of us is missing.”
But because of the lack of students, many assume dorm parents now have no role to play. One may think “What can dorm parents do without students around?” However, there is much more to be done now with the shift to distance learning.
Packing students endless amounts of belongings, maintaining dorms, and renovating areas, Midlands dorm parents cannot recall a time they were busier. So, instead of disregarding their efforts, let’s appreciate the work done by the dorm parents in these challenging times.
And while we all may be feeling down about the emptiness of dorms, at least the Midlands ghost is loving this change.
Rewa Nyangmi is a staff reporter.
Edited by Archita Aggarwal.
Featured image by Archita Aggarwal.