Each trimester at boarding school brings with it transition; changes in the weather, new classes, sometimes a dorm swap. Life at Proctor involves more transition than most schools, however, as we welcome back thirty students from off-campus programs, and get used to life without thirty others who are embarking on a life-changing experience abroad during the winter months. These added transitions aren’t always easy, but having almost 20% of our student body transitioning between on campus and off each term breathes vitality into every corner of the community.
If you ask Proctor alumni to describe the most profound experience of their lives, they will most likely discuss a memory from one of Proctor’s five off-campus programs. Over the past five years, Proctor has expanded its off-campus experience to include two-week long summer service trips around the world. This summer Proctor will sponsor two Summer Service Trips: Guatemala and Rosebud, South Dakota. Learn more about these remarkable experiences below!
The notion of project based learning was the catalyst for Proctor’s revitalization in the early 1970's when newly appointed Head of School David Fowler, Assistant Head of School Chris Norris, and many others drove the school in a new and exciting direction. For the past forty years, Proctor has led the educational world in experimenting with student-centered, project-based learning, and has developed rich school culture that intuitively embraces the core principals of student-centered learning. We understand, however, that we must never become complacent with our teaching practices, and must continue to identify new and exciting ways to bring real world problem solving into the daily life of of our students. In order to do this, we must spend intentional time BEING students.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with our friends and families, we pause to express our gratitude for everyone in our Proctor Family! While the members of our immediate community on campus change every year, so much of what we aim to do at Proctor stays the same. Enjoy the video below as a reminder of who we were, who we are, and who we will always be!
San Juan, Puerto Rico… November 19th… The end of Ocean Classroom Voyage 2016… As these students leave Roseway and fly back to their families, there is a range of emotions. There is incredible happiness in reconnecting with their parents, siblings and friends. There is also an element of sadness in leaving the ship that has been their home for the past nine weeks. There is a feeling of accomplishment; an inner knowledge that each one of them has done something special.
When I first applied to Proctor en Segovia, I did not realize that Segovia was just one small part of a much greater experience. It was not until I actually arrived in Spain that I became aware of the journey I was about to embark on. I came to the realization that Proctor en Segovia is just the title of the program, and it acts as a large doorway.
Over the past few days, we've highlighted different members of the community who make a quiet, but powerful impact on our day to day lives at Proctor. Today we express our gratitude for the type of parents Proctor attracts: innovative, trusting, adventuresome, outside the box thinkers who wholeheartedly empower their child to suck the marrow out of the Proctor experience.
Sometimes trying to wrap it into an essay is too limiting. Sometimes it is helpful to sit down, list, and skip the culling into paragraphs. Yes, it’s messier, the untended list. It’s a bramble and kudzu filled garden, more difficult to navigate, but this week, following Scott’s blogs posts on thankfulness, I look to moments that have triggered my gratitude over the last seven days. I often worry that in our rush to the next, the whatever next, the beautiful rustle of these moments pass unnoticed. A mistake. We should let these good moments touch us. We should slow down, look around, and actually build our gratitude lists. It takes practice, sometimes work, but it yields moments that nourish hope and optimism, moments that ground the spirit. My list from the last seven days:
Every community is full of unsung heroes whose work is often outside of the spotlight, but nonetheless essential to the overall operations of a complex organization like Proctor. The efforts of Proctor’s Technology team, Housekeeping Department, and Maintenance Department have been the focus of the last three days in our Week of Thankfulness. Today our attention shifts to those individuals who serve in administrative support roles around campus.
If you drive by campus around 3:00 am, lights will be on throughout academic buildings. Most of us don’t drive by at 3:00 am, so we do not notice the work being done by our Housekeeping team each night/early morning in preparation for the day ahead. Today, we extend our gratitude to the dedicated group of women whose hard work for Proctor’s Housekeeping Department is so very much appreciated.
When Cope ‘17, Jay ‘17, Carl ‘17, and Cros ‘17 began singing “A Prayer for the Children” during Sunday afternoon’s vocal music ensemble recital, it felt as though someone pressed the pause button on life. Their impassioned voices carried the words off the page and into the hearts of the seventy-five parents and community members in attendance. “Can you feel the hearts of the children? / Aching for home, for something of their very own / Reaching hands, with nothing to hold on to, / But hope for a better day a better day.”
For the past ten weeks, Proctor's athletes and coaches have invested blood, sweat, and tears into their respective sports and afternoon activities. As with every season, the Fall Term was filled with ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, but through every experience is an undercurrent of commitment and learning. On Thursday evening and in assembly on Friday, the community recognized those teams and athletes whose commitment, ability, and leadership were essential to a successful season. While we highlight individual award winners in this post, each member of each afternoon activity should be proud of his or her effort this fall. Congratulations to everyone!
This has been emotional. Tuesday night I was walking past Carriage House and saw the blue lights of television. In one common room a hockey game was being watched; in the other, the CNN election team was parsing results. I thought interest in the election might track that way – spotty and easily distracted and redirected by a good Bruins game. I was wrong.
U.S. families meet Segovia host families during Proctor en Segovia's "family weekend"!
I remember standing there and being shocked. I felt like it was almost a complete coincidence. Here I was in Segovia, Spain, and, all of a sudden, I realized that my two worlds had just clashed. I have become very used to my Spanish family, feel comfortable with them and feel that I am at home with them, and, of course, I feel comfortable with my own parents, who I have been with for all of my life. Now they have come together in a moment that I will never forget. I remember seeing the excited look on my host parents’ faces. After all this time where this boy has been living with them, it was not until now that they have discovered a huge part of my life.
On Tuesday evening, five classes joined together to host Proctor’s annual Fall Innovation Night in the Wise Center while a bitter national election took place outside the Proctor bubble. Students from Engineering, Environmental Biology, AP Environmental Studies, US History, and Social Entrepreneurship showcased their final projects to the whole community through an open house atmosphere followed by individual presentations for each group throughout Maxwell Savage Hall. Innovative learning and student-led projects have long been core to Proctor’s academic curriculum, and Innovation Night allows much of that work to be shared with the entire community.
As residents of a swing-state, we are keenly aware of how protracted this political cycle has been. For the past two years we have seen nothing but political ads on television, a consistent view of lawn signs populating in our peripheral vision as we drive to away games, and a far-too-present rhetoric on social media that ignores common manners and unjustly links the value of an individual to his or her political beliefs. While we are all anxious for the political noise to fade into the background, we are thankful for the learning opportunities the election season provides.
Proctor’s boys’ varsity soccer team is putting the finishing touches on one of its strongest seasons in recent history. With a record of 9-4-1 heading into its season finale with Tilton School on Wednesday, Head Coach Ian Hamlet’s squad has positioned itself well for a NEPSAC postseason berth for the first time in more than fifteen years. Hamlet and two-year captain Caleb Green ‘17 (Londonderry, NH) share reflections on the season in this week’s team spotlight.
After an historic stop in Havana, Proctor's Ocean Classroom program is on its way to St. Croix and the final leg of its nine week journey. With just two weeks remaining in the voyage, students now have full responsibility for day-to-day operations aboard the schooner Roseway. Enjoy student reflections in this week's blog!
Rain soaked the campus, and I cross the street in a mid-day downpour and noticed the Circle K wrapper. Soggy, dirt-speckled, floppy litter on the side of Route 11, so I reached to pick it up. What drives this impulse? What makes us care in this manner? To pick up after others, to tend to the place where we live? Over the course of this week I have been in several conversations about community and care, about how to nurture this impulse and how to better instill it. What can we do to better take care the Wise, Slocumb, the Brown Dining Commons, or the Adirondack shelter up at Mud Pond? Or that which is beyond Proctor? How do we awaken this instinct?
When Ilyena Kozain graduated from Proctor in 2010, returning to work in Proctor’s Admissions office and starting a crew program at her alma mater were as far from her imagination as possible. During a successful academic and athletic career at Union College Ilyena was a three-year captain of the Union Crew team and earned the distinction of taking part in the Minerva Fellows program before spending a year working at the Engeye Health Clinic in Uganda. Since her return to Proctor last fall, Ilyena has transferred the lessons she learned by trying a new sport in college to a group of Proctor students eager to not only learn about the sport of rowing, but to take on new challenges that require teamwork like any other sport.