Remote learning in hotel room adds to unique challenges faced by West senior

Caleb Sandoval, Staff Writer

The year 2020 has been nothing short of unprecedented. With most of Greeley West’s students on a hybrid schedule, having to switch over to a fully remote learning experience has been anything but easy. Trying to find a quiet environment to be in class with siblings at home, as well as having parents work from home is something a lot of our students and staff have had to get used to. However, for senior Chelsea Bercian, this is only half of the story.

Earlier this summer, there was an accident that would change her family’s lifestyle for months to come. It was a day like any other. Bercian’s parents were away at work, leaving her in charge of her sisters. She had decided to grill for lunch that day. “I turned on the grill and I checked on [the propane tank],” said Bercian.

A few minutes later, there was a sudden loud “pop.” She went to see what happened and saw her balcony engulfed in flames. Thankfully, she acted fast enough to get her sisters and dogs out of the house safely. “We all got out safely, but I still remember how I felt when it was happening . . . my heart stopped,” stated Bercian.

By the time the firefighters had arrived, 85% of the house was already gone. 

Since then, the Bercian family has been living in a hotel. This is where it gets interesting. The hotel room they’re staying in is a standard hotel room. “It’s one room and a restroom with two beds for all five of us,” explained Bercian.

Living in a hotel is hard enough but she has to learn online along with her other sisters in the same room. “School is hard to understand and even harder when my little sisters are talking in the background,” Bercian said. 

Without having a room to themselves it’s hard to focus in a confined space. Along with having the three of them in the hotel room, there are other guests in surrounding rooms as well.

With this challenge at hand, they had to make some compromises. Bercian’s youngest sister (8) does her school work on the nightstand, her other sister (11) has a little table her parents purchased, and Bercian does her work on a desk that came with the hotel room. Although they’ve made some hard sacrifices there’s hope for the Bercian family. “Hopefully we’ll know by the end of the month what the insurance will be able to do for us,” said Bercian.