In the evening of a Thursday, the group steps off the train to be blindsided by a wave of heat and humidity. We should have expected this as we knew we were going to the southern part of the peninsula and the historically rich city of Sevilla. But nothing could have prepared us for Sevilla, especially the sight of palm trees all over the place; this definitely put some puzzled looks on group members’ faces. Shortly after our arrival in Sevilla, we went for a stroll on the boardwalk that runs along the riverside. We quickly spotted the unmistakable and legendary Torre de oro or “Tower of gold.” The tower is not actually made of gold and there isn't any gold inside. However, when the sun rises or sets the tower gets its golden yellow shine.
Growing up I had never considered myself a runner. Sure, I ran all the time as I played sports as a kid, but never thought of running for the sake of running let alone competing. During my freshman and sophomore years at Proctor I was a member of the JV soccer team each fall, and managed for the varsity soccer team the next year. Running never crossed my mind. The idea of running cross country was first introduced to me after the Spring 2016 On Your Mark 5k race after I had a strong finish. Someone had asked me, “Why don’t you run cross country?”, Later that day I asked myself that same question, and became a runner.
My first reaction after reading a NY Times (Oct 10) editorial on climate regulation rollback was to think about Proctor’s land, the care we take in ensuring a productive woodlot that not only produces timber harvests and creates healthy species habitat, but is also managed for future generations. Then I thought - briefly - about ranting for the environment and against all of the regulatory rollbacks on clean air. I thought about the fires in California, the warming oceans that have created a record tying hurricane season, and all of the inconvenient truths we are now living. In the end, I settled for the swinging bridge.
The frequency of Ocean Classroom posts will vary throughout the term as port stops and access to wi-fi dictate much of our communication plan. With a few days in Norfolk, we decided it was best to double up on posts this week before Proctor's crew aboard Roseway continues their journey south to Charleston, South Carolina. Enjoy this portal into Ocean Classroom 2017!
Today’s Ninth Grade Hike to the Proctor Cabin is a moment early in the school year where we take ownership of our school culture and teach our students what is most important to us: trusting relationships, connection to the wilderness, exercise, community and the ability to talk candidly with those around you. This tradition of hiking to the Proctor Cabin as a class began in 2011, and has quickly grown into a fun, culture shaping opportunity for our youngest, most energetic, inquisitive students.
Coaching, teaching, advising, and working with adolescents energizes each of us. It's why we decided to work at Proctor and to choose education as a career path. But, as any educator will tell you, sometimes the rhythm of the school year becomes a bit too familiar and routine starts to squeeze out joy. Saturday’s Special Olympics Fun Day was just what we all needed on a foggy Saturday morning in early October.
Proctor's Ocean Classroom program continues its journey south along the eastern seaboard with stops in New Bedford to New London, and eventually to Norfolk, Virginia. The reality of life at sea - night watches, early mornings, cramped quarters, academic courses, and physically demanding chores - have settled in and our crew of 22 Proctor students is becoming a cohesive unit. Read reflections from the past week below.