The Place Where You Live: Midland School - Midland School

The Place Where You Live

Zoe '23 reflects on her sense of place

Fall 2020

Based on The Place Where You Live Project by Orion Magazine. Written for World Literature, taught by John Isaacson ’94

As you drive towards the small rustic bridge, you can see the horses grazing to your right, to the left is a farm full of fresh fruits and vegetables. In the fall, students help to harvest the tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, and many more foods. It’s easy to think back to when you were there harvesting those vegetables with your friends almost a year ago. The fields are still full of plants, but there aren’t any students to harvest them. It’s left to the director of the farm and his assistant now to do all of the tasks that the students used to.

Walking through Middle Yard, where all the classrooms are located, the students bustled around, trying to make toast before their next class. Stillman, the dining hall, where staff and students alike ate dinner together. Laughter and either “Tongue Tied” or “Promiscuous” could be heard from dish house as the students did their part in taking care of the community. Now Middle Yard is empty. No students, maybe the occasional faculty member walking outside for a break from wearing a mask. Stillman is covered in dust and cobwebs, the tables pushed to the sides because they aren’t in use.

The school of making fires to have hot showers. The school where students do the work that maintenance staff would normally do. The school where you sleep in a cabin with your roommate. The school where you can bring your dog with you. The school filled with laughter from its amazing faculty and students. The school that now stands empty.

Student faces and personalities are replaced with squares on a screen. Faculty who live together can no longer meet as one but instead sometimes talk from a distance. They are replaced with endless dust and cobwebs that cover every classroom, cabin, and community space. When will they come back?

By Zoe ’23

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