The Crusader Staff
During the shelter-in-place orders, everyone was ordered to stay home except for essential trips outside, but some people are unable to go home and be with family.
This is a situation the Archbishop Riordan boarding residents are faced with. After the superintendent ordered the school to close due to the coronavirus, state officials later determined that the schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year.
With the subsequent closure of international borders, thousands of students across the states and around the world are unable to return to their families and are forced to stay where they are, and where they feel safe: school. With about 40 boarding students living on campus, the majority were able to go home before that happened, and some had to find a host family, but a few stayed on campus.
David Lin ‘99, boarding director said, “The students have been making the best of the situation and have handled themselves well. They don’t have a lot of options so they’ve been patient and calm throughout the process.”
He added, “There are still five students currently on campus. We’ve been lucky that Epicurean was able to come on campus and provide food service. Trinity still comes and cleans the dorm area and we have RAs (Residential Assistants) who are on shift to help with anything the students need.”
Riiny Riiny Giir’20 an international student from South Sudan, said, “As a senior and being unable to finish my high school experience, especially as being the last all boys class, feels like we had all these dreams to accomplish but then just got cut like last basketball season when the prize was just on the tip of our fingers.”
He added, “I managed my school work through completing assignments online on time right when they are posted and the teachers are very willing to help 24/7, which makes it a lot easier for someone that was lagging behind their work. I feel the teachers are doing a very tremendous job and I can’t thank them enough considering the hard times that everyone is going through.”
In addition, Riiny said, “I’m looking forward to hopefully having a graduation on campus, then getting ready to go to college and continue pursuing my career in basketball and academically.”
Leo Liu’22, a student from China living in the dorms, said, “At the beginning, I was worried about not being able to go back home but then I realized the only thing I can do is stay inside and keep talking to my family. The first few weeks, it was difficult because the only other people we saw were the cleaning crew, working here to clean up the dorm.”
Liu, like others, did not take the shutdown seriously.
“To be honest, I was totally out of control the first time. I felt that it just turned into a vacation but then I realized I still need to work on my homework. I talk to my mom every day and she is concerned about my academics and my health. My family wants me to stay inside and keep healthy. I am worried about my body condition and academics the most. I had not been working out for almost two months and I couldn’t keep track of my homework either. So, I was always trying to catch up,” he added.
Lin said, “The students have been pretty responsible with staying on campus. There really isn’t anyone else around so to be isolated in the dorms is pretty safe concerning the virus. If someone were to get sick, we have rooms on the second floor for isolation.”
“My main concern for them is boredom,” Lin added. “I try my best to consistently check in and make sure everyone is doing ok. The biggest concern is with the students being lazy and just gaming all day.”
Chan Ngot ’20 from South Sudan said, “It’s just a little bit depressing because everybody from school has families waiting for them and then there are those of us not being able to go back home because of the airport shutdown. I’ve been staying here for the past years now without going back home so I’m a little bit used to it.”
He added, “It’s not really affecting me that much but just the whole vibe of kids not being around school anymore and then me just thinking of them being with their families while I can’t be with mine–that’s the only part that makes me feel depressed and sad.”
Chan manages to get through the day by creating and following a schedule.
“I have a daily routine or calendar that I follow that I specifically designed for my assignments and projects–when and how to do them–and this schedule allows me to finish everything on time and not affect my practice time. So, I try to balance both of them.”
He feels the same as other seniors, saying, “Honestly I’m just looking forward to graduating, being able to pick up my diploma as I’ve watched all the other past seniors do so.”
Chan further said, “As a senior I feel a little bit sad because of being cut short, but all the moments we have spent with my colleagues, my classmates, my teammates I’ve always cherished them and will never forget them.”
“It’s hard to keep them busy when we really can’t go anywhere. When facilities said it was clear to use the gym and workout facility, we opened that up,” said Lin, “ Otherwise, the students have played more music such as Jake and Zhe. We do rounds to remind students about work and meals. Not much else for us to do.”