Landmark of Desolation
by Bill Drake
As I make my way from my place here on campus to the dining hall, there’s the sense of there being just a few of us left. I expect to see tumbleweeds, or to hear the hiss and rattle of a diamond-backed pit viper off in yonder scrub-brush. It takes a moment to realize that this is Landmark College and not a poetic shot of Monument Valley from a John Ford masterpiece. With this realization settles knowledge, like a weighty, impenetrable mountain fog, of just how lonesome things no longer in use can be.
This quarantine is not a lockdown, nor is it causing a Mad Max-style wasteland of gloom and despair to spring up in the middle of lower campus. Landmark College’s administration is doing everything in their power to ensure our mental soundness, emotional wellbeing, and our general morale.
During the second week of spring break, we were given a temporary pass to Netflix and a bag of popcorn. That same week, we were given a coffee mug and cocoa, which I used in my coffee next morning. Small acts of kindness like these eases some of the stress of the unknown. It helps to give those of us on campus a sense of being at home and being a part of a community.
The bookstore is now doing deliveries to residence halls. The employees look forward to it! With the new social distancing guidelines, the bookstore’s traffic has dried up to a trickle, and making deliveries gets them out from behind the desk. We as students get our meals from the bookstore and/or the dining hall, which is open with limited hours for grab and go eating.
We check in with an advisor daily to make sure we’re staying on top of coursework and not getting stir crazy, as well.
To sum it up, we are being taken care of, and the college is trying to mitigate the isolation felt by us here left on campus. We are not under lockdown. We can still go into Putney and Brattleboro. Although walking out to campus is eerie and not seeing people where it is usually so busy, Landmark still is a home away from home. There will always be a warm spot in my heart for LC.
Originally published in Spring 2020, Volume 1, Issue 3