Although generally pleased with the condition of our dorm rooms, one aspect greatly disappointed all of us... the mattresses. They have the general level of comfort you would expect of a cement floor with a sheet on top. Due to our spoiled upbringing, we all set about to find ways that we could remedy this problem.

Many of us chose to use the comforters and fold them in varying configurations to get the optimal surface area to depth ratio that we could.

One of us thought in advance and brought along an inflatable pool float to stick under a sheet.

One of us used the bumper pad of the crib.

Some gave in and hunted down a mattress topper in the amazing department store.

But one of us hunted down a total of ten pillows and carefully arranged them to cover the surface area of the cement block. This was all fine and good until the cleaning staff came to clean.

I happened to be in the hall way with my charge when they first opened the door on this room and there was considerable talking amongst themselves, and then I was motioned over and into the room. They pointed at the bed, and said many excited things that I couldn't understand, and then very cautiously, one began to lift the covers off of the bed. The sheet. Then one comforter, then another. And another and then... Pillows! With evident relief and laughter they dropped everything back in place and waved me off.

Sometimes when I can't sleep at night I like to think about what they imagined under those comforters.