Two summers ago, my family had the opportunity to take advantage of Proctor’s Summer Enrichment Program (mini-sabbatical of sorts). We spent sixteen days driving over 5,000 miles around the American west in a campervan. I mapped the route meticulously months in advance.
Walking campus yesterday in the late afternoon, the emptiness was overwhelming. The parking lot by the gym - I have never seen this before - did not have a single car in it. Not one. Entering buildings I could hear the hiss of the HVAC systems, every building breathing and sighing with a different personality.
I woke early this morning in the midst of the most vivid dream. A mentor of mine went out of his way to help me, making extraordinary personal sacrifices to reunite me with my family. It was one of those dreams where you feel like you are having real conversations, can physically feel yourself walking, touching, navigating your surroundings. I have not dreamed much the last two weeks. My mind has been full, anxiety high, to-do list long. But last night’s dream provided a wave of calm in what otherwise has been a stormy few weeks. I started the day with new hope.
The last two weeks have served as an incredibly powerful reminder of who we are as a community, not only at Proctor, but within our local towns and immediate families. Our hearts go out to all who have lost something in their lives due to the coronavirus outbreak: loved ones, jobs, homes, interactions with friends, and, for our faculty and students, an opportunity for a typical Proctor spring.
The sap drips feverishly into buckets around campus thanks to an uncharacteristically warm 60 degree sun pounding down on campus, while global stock markets plummet and COVID-19 fears begin to have a real impact on each of our lives. The uncertainty in the air is palpable, and we thought it quite appropriate to share a little good news!