Community Voices: Alone in Community

“Alone in Community” is an essay written by Ben Weiss ’21 as part of his independent study, Seeking the Better Path for the Hotchkiss Community. An abstract of the essay is included below. Readers can also access the full essay by clicking on the link below.


Abstract of “Alone in Community”

“How are you alone?”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of community has been challenged. Schools push forward with online classes as they grapple with how “social distancing” will affect their collective identities.

Members of learning communities spend hours on computer screens at home, going to classes, doing homework, and trying to stay connected. People feel isolated from the world, placed upon a solitary rock in the center of an expansive ocean; the winds, the waves, their surroundings changing uncontrollably with every passing second. However, individuals are not alone; circumstances right now are shared by families, friends, and society. What happens when everyone grapples with the singular connection of solitude?

The following essay, as a part of an ongoing independent study course, explores the core effects that distance has on a learning community and what that means for the future of these communities. These effects are observed through The Hotchkiss School. This essay shows that due to COVID-19, learning communities will lose much of their connections between sub-communities. As the time we spend apart expands, people will grow to appreciate their schools much more, one day reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, returning to the place and living, more than ever, as one cohesive community.

Read the full essay by clicking here.