By Bradford Grossman '17
Putting behind us the stigma that we are always late to class, STA dormers enjoy a closely-knit experience. However, this living arrangement appears relatively inscrutable to the majority of STA and NCS students. The dorm is home to many different students -- some international, some from different parts of the United States, and some from right here in the DMV.
Every dormer brings a unique perspective and personality to our already diverse student body. Whether it’s Sam running around in only his compression shorts, Khaled cramming for a pre-calc test at 2 am (not anymore cause #Magw17ch baby!!), or Collin and Henry battling it out on the Xbox, the dorm is a place where something is always going on. When people find out that I’m a dormer, I am always asked the same question: “What the dorm is like, and, uh, where is it?” This assumes, of course, that they knew in advance that St. Albans actually has a dorm. Well, this fugitive residence lies on the 2nd and third floors of the Lane Johnston building, where one can climb up the stairs next to the Admissions office to find the home of 30 “students,” 5 dorm masters, 4 spouses, 1 writer-in-residence, and even a toddler (who is adorable).
The other big question we get is, “What is your curfew?” or “Do you have lights out?” On weekdays, the curfew, for the most part, is 11 PM, which means that we have to be in our rooms by that time. On weekends, that curfew is extended until midnight. In terms of lights out, however, there is more flexibility. The dorm masters understand that despite the fact that we are given enough time for homework, we never really start until it’s much too late (the average dormer probably starts an assigned essay at midnight the night before it’s due). One of the great things about the dorm is that you can always find someone awake as late as 2 or 3 AM (and during History paper season, that gets extended to 4 or 5 AM). There are very few exceptions to this rule,and f you look hard enough, you will probably find somebody awake in the dorm. Trust me when I say this: it’s a reassuring feeling to know that when procrastination finds you lollygagging at 3:37 am, and you’re still aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, you’re probably still not the only one awake.
This high population of night-owls generates many fun, late-night discussions. Whether their content involves Charles’ infinite offers or just conversations about school, dormers can always burn off the stress or get support from your brothers. Knowing that people always have your back is a special thing that only the dormitory setting can provide. Despite the relentless parade of chicken dishes (always with rice), the support we receive from our friends and faculty mentors make it worthwhile. The dorm is a brotherhood within a brotherhood.