Ten weeks ago, preseason athletes were arriving for Sports Camp. Temperatures flirted with 80 degrees and the hopes and dreams of a season lay in the hearts and minds of Proctor’s athletic teams. Over the past two and a half months, students and coaches have worked together to form powerful relationships, goals were set and pursued, individual skill improved, and the bonds of team forged.
Usually the assembly before Holderness Day serves as a pep rally. Loud cheering and chanting, building school spirit as we prepare to make the drive north and conquer our foes. But Friday’s assembly was not that. It was far more powerful, far better preparation for what Holderness Day is really about: being vulnerable, supporting each other regardless of outcome, and daring greatly.
“Voice can take a long time to come all the way out, brother.” Bobby said. “Be patient.” These words jumped off the page of Tommy Orange’s There There as John Around Him discussed the book with Proctor’s American Literature students. This notion of voice, of who has the courage (and privilege) to share their voice, and who will listen when they finally do, cuts through an American Literature curriculum to the core of how we empower students to live lives that matter.
Each season we split into our teams and afternoon activities. We work hard to cultivate a culture within that group. We often sit with our teams in the dining hall for meals, share laughs through our group chats, and spend more hours with this group of individuals than any other. For the past eleven weeks, we have operated in our own sphere, cognizant of that which orbits around us, but largely focused on our team.
Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program has departed Charleston, South Carolina and is currently in transit to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The nearly two-week voyage across the open sea is by far the longest of the term, and while the ship is in daily contact with the school via satellite phone, we will not be receiving Ship’s Logs updates until their arrival in St. Croix. To view their progress across the Atlantic, click HERE. In the meantime, check out a few additional entries from Savannah and Charleston below!
Sharing a meal with people you care about is an event as ancient as you can get. Breaking bread together is a symbol of forgiveness, togetherness, and a shared understanding of our humanity. It is a signal of coming together, sharing resources, and forging friendships. It is especially important in our fast paced world, where a sit down dinner can be elusive at a school like Proctor where we are all going in a hundred different directions, all good directions, but different. This past weekend we carved out time for Advisory dinners. Some had to play field hockey at New Hampton, or soccer against Bridgton, but we did our best to share a meal together, and it was a powerful experience.
I am not a social media user, but I like to stay somewhat connected to that nether world, and this week I have become more aware of a phenomena that I had only been vaguely aware of: the cancel culture. A couple of articles in the New York Times sharpened awareness of a trend that plays out from middle school to college and beyond, the act of severing ties to an individual as a result of what are perceived to be irreconcilable differences or offenses. In an age of hypersensitivity, the cancel culture has taken off. In an age of fractured communities, I find it worrisome.