Destiny’s Corner

VVS Dorm Life

By Destiny Ulanoff

VVS Magazine

5-26-17

    Living in a dorm with other roommates may not be easy. Three different people coming from three different countries and three different cultures may of course have a completely different view on things, but isn’t that the good part?
VVS being an international boarding school gives students the ability to look past their own lifestyle and learn about others. When going from room to room in VVS, you can see each student’s style of living whether that involves putting a humidifier next to their bed or having the fan going on full blast. It teaches students to have the ability to adjust to their roommates way of living in a way that’s comfortable for everyone.
Living with other people in a dorm also gives you the chance to learn new things, maybe even a few words in your roommates native language. You can go from “hello” to “bonjour” in just a few days. There is also the chance that you won’t be the only one from your country so living with them might be better than you think and if you ever need help possibly understanding something in English, then you’ll always have someone there who can give you a hand.
It doesn’t take long to get used to living with other people. You’ll all wake up every morning and do your individual routines, going from doing the perfect braid to trying on 30 different outfits in 20 minutes. Sort of like how it works when you live with siblings back in your original home. You may have small arguments with them but things will quickly work out. Plus, once a student at VVS becomes a junior, they’ll have their own room so don’t worry, you’ll get a break and have two years of independence after spending two years sharing it with other people; at that time you’ll be able to have your choice of five humidifiers or 12 fans to make yourself comfortable.
This is an opportunity to gain responsibility and possibly really good friendships. It may be some people’s dream to live with their three best friends and always get to hangout with each other and if not, that’s fine too. If a student is more of an introvert compared to their roommates then chances are that their roommates will rarely ever be in the room, giving them some silence and time to themselves–although the option of going out for a walk on the multiple paths of the VVS campus still stands.
After living with roommates for a while, a system will eventually develop. Where each student will do what they need to at the same time as their roommate, no problem. They will work around each other and get things done just as well as they would back in their home country–maybe even better. Having a roommate can also be good support in case you’re going through a rough part of the school year where a ton of work is being dumped onto you. Students here at VVS are very open and welcoming so if someone ever needs help then their roommates will be there immediately to give them the support and motivation they need to keep on going.
The dorm life here at VVS is like living with your best friends as well as your parents. Even the faculty and teachers are all here to support one another since the only way to live with each other peacefully is to create peace between each other. It’s good for social and responsibility skills as well as a gateway to learn new information about your fellow suite-mates. For example, before I came to VVS my mom would always tell me to clean my room and now just the sight of a sock on the floor bothers me. I can personally say that I feel the happiest here than I did back at my home state all because of the love, support, and knowledge that I gained from living with the VVS community as a whole.

DSC_0174

The Sears white, vine covered arch: The girls dorm entrance to the multiple rooms of Sears North, Sears South, Dogpatch, and Motel.

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The beautiful sunny, outside patio and staircase to the Sears South girls dorm rooms.

 


 

The Relationship Between Faculty and Students

By Destiny Ulanoff

VVS Magazine

5-27-17

    Here at VVS mostly all of the students and faculty live on campus and have a unique bond.

    Unlike most student vs. teacher relationships, the teachers here at this boarding school aren’t viewed as just someone who runs the class and passes out tests, but rather a second parent while us students are away from home. Even the way we talk is informal and non-professional, like how we call each other by our first names, which works easier for the students so they don’t feel pressured or overpowered. This school is built around equality and respect so we believe that making the students feel belittled wouldn’t be a good way to run things since we all live with each other.
    There are many stories that students have about a time when a faculty member was there for them and gave support. “Last night I didn’t have any money to buy food at the store but nurse Jenni offered to give me the money as long as I pay her back and I don’t think many teachers would really jump in and help like that,” Brynn Kertell (sophomore). The people here at VVS don’t place barriers in between one another. Just like any other friend, they will step up to help when a student needs them. Brynn’s experience is one of the many reasons why our bond in the VVS community is important, because students can feel comfortable to ask for support from a faculty member whenever they need it.
    Of course there are times when things can be awkward between people who live here since the titles of “student” and “teacher” still stand. Because we are so close with each other, we’re able to look back on those events and have a good laugh. “In my freshman year, I had to go to the boys dorm to get my charger and I thought that one of the teachers houses was apart of the dorm, so without knocking I just opened up the door and saw a kitchen. I panicked and couldn’t decide whether I should run away or stay and apologize. I apologized to the teacher and now it’s a story we can laugh about,” Trang Phan (sophomore). Moments like these are what brings us closer together as a family and even in our original homes we have had those embarrassing days that we can look back on and find hilarious.  
     The relationship between everyone in the VVS community is unlike that of any other school. We share great memories and good times with each other, even while we are being handed those dreadful final exams. The students love the faculty here and the faculty will do their best to give us the best experiences, just like any other loving, caring parent would. We are thankful to have our best friends help teach us and watch us grow into the kind, peaceful adults that our fellow teachers developed into.

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