Saturday was a special day on Proctor’s campus. We welcomed hundreds of volunteers, runners, riders and spectators as we hosted the Rail Trail Run and Ride fundraiser for the Special Olympics of New Hampshire. The entire student body and many faculty and staff participated; some helped set up the event, others raced in the 5k and 10k runs alongside Special Olympic athletes. Others cleaned up, organized child races around Carr Field, and cheered on runners and riders.
The schooner Roseway continues to head south, traveling through the Cape Cod Canal (image below thanks to Travis Warren '91, P'16 for sharing) and onward past Martha’s Vineyard and through the Block Island Sound where they stopped off at Fisher's Island. All reports from the boat are positive and we share a few student reflections below on their time so far.
On Monday I watched the schooner Roseway cast off in Gloucester to cheers, a cannon roaring, and parents snapping pictures. Another signature off-campus program launched, this one representing our 21st year of going to sea with Proctor students. It was a picture perfect afternoon – weather, wind, and spirits – and the Roseway hoisted sails and slipped into golden harbor light.
Kate Austin '01 shared the following images from her art class's exploration into art in the landscape late last week. Her photography is stunning, as is the experience she provides her students as they bring their art to life. Thank you to Kate for sharing her photography and for creating lasting learning opportunities for Proctor students.
At 3:45 Sunday morning a group of 40 students and faculty will leave Proctor’s Stone Table bound for a day of peaceful protest at The People’s Climate March in New York City. Driven by the efforts of Eco Dorm and Proctor Environmental Action, the group will join hundreds of schools, environmental and labor groups, scientists, and community organizations in what is being billed as the largest climate change demonstration in history.
In the second week of classes, I have been thinking about relationships as I watch the shifting social landscape of Proctor that teeters, dissolves, and rebuilds. Somewhere on campus, life-long friendships are just beginning, somewhere a social group evolves with new players coming in and old ones exiting. Most of the time this process is healthy, some of the time it is not. It’s a significant part of the adolescent landscape.
We have reached the midpoint of our second week of classes. Leaves are starting to turn, as has the weather. The twenty-two students and three instructors on Ocean Classroom were on campus briefly conducting research on port cities before departing for Hurricane Island for the remainder of the week.
As a school that pioneered a 1:1 laptop program in 2001 and initiated a 1:1 iPad program last year, technology is certainly not new to Proctor's classrooms, nor is it going to leave our classrooms anytime soon. Central to our technology integration strategy is utilizing technology as “A” problem solving tool, not “THE” problem solving tool.
As we finish the first week of classes, we pause to appreciate the transitions that have taken place over the past two weeks. New students arrived and immediately took off on a five day hiking trip in the White Mountains. They then returned to campus, were oriented to buildings, classrooms, dorm rooms and have very quickly immersed themselves in ‘student life at Proctor’.
Sunday was a busy day. Wilderness Orientation returned, Sports Camp ended and all students arrived back on campus! Dorms are meeting for the first time this evening to discuss expectations, community living, and to begin to build relationships that will last a lifetime. Tomorrow morning advisory groups will gather at 8:30 AM followed by our first all-school assembly of the 2014-2015 school year and abbreviated class periods. Here we go!
More than two-thirds of our population is in the midst of either Sports Camp or Wilderness Orientation. At the heart of each of these programs is the formation of relationships: relationships with faculty and fellow new students on Wilderness Orientation, relationships with teammates and coaches in pre-season sports camp, and a budding relationship with Proctor as a community.
It is not easy starting a new journey.
A blend of excitement and anxiety accompanies the new, but when families arrived on Tuesday for registration, when we gathered under the big tent to talk about wilderness orientation with the rain gently drumming down, you could sense the collective willingness to grow.
It requires stepping outside of comfort zones and leaving the familiar behind.
Early Orientation for preseason athletes and Transition Days for new international students at Proctor are nearing completion. As we prepare for the arrival of all new students and their families tomorrow, we revisit Friday’s welcome of new students for Early Orientation. The perfect mix of nervousness and excitement accompanying the start of the year was present, and we had an opportunity to explain why every new student starts his or her experience at Proctor hiking and camping for five days in the White Mountains learning the value of experiential learning.