It would be easy to write something sappy about how this week was our final week spent at our home in Aix and how sad it is that it is coming to an end. But it has been such an incredible week, filled with excitement and adventure, and we still have plenty of things to look forward to next week!
Mountain Classroom camped in Malibu with Mountain Classroom alumna Christine Walshe ‘97. Malibu put us within striking distance of Los Angeles for a couple day immersion in Japanese American history. We spent our first day taiko drumming at Asano Taiko U.S., and then the next day was devoted to exploring Little Tokyo where we visited the Japanese American National Museum and enjoyed bowls of ramen. Our curricula were grounded in excerpts from Snow Falling on Cedars in English and A Different Mirror on Japanese Internment Camps in social studies. From Malibu we drove north to Arroyo Hondo where we met Gabriel, who facilitated a workshop on how to kill and butcher a goat.
Proctor Academy's boys' hockey, girls' basketball, and boys' basketball teams have earned the opportunity to play in the NEPSAC Tournament for their respective classes this week. Each of the teams will play their NEPSAC Quarterfinal game at a neutral site on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM as they seek a run at a New England championship. Read on for details on each of the teams and their tournament chances and links to Livestream video of games!
With NEPSAC playoffs still on the horizon for a number of our varsity athletic teams, and ski races continuing well into March break, we have not yet quite arrived at the official end of the winter athletic season. Despite this staggered end to the season, Thursday evenings team gatherings and Friday morning's assembly recognized individual award winners from winter sport teams. Congratulations to all of this season's award winners, and many thanks to all of the coaches, athletic department staff, and Proctor Ski Area crew for making this winter season a success!
The warmth of the last couple of days, the cascade of snow melt off roofs, the pooling of puddles, the coils of mud from boots and tires speak to the change. Jackets are left behind; t-shirts are worn at the ski hill. It feels like a warm April stretch, not the third week in February. This weather change has resulted in the collection tank being muscled out of the barn and into the bed of the woods truck on Thursday. It has pushed Dave Pilla to start hooking up the collecting lines, hanging buckets, tapping trees. The sugar season is here.
Proctor's Arts Department presents The Foreigner written by American playwright, Larry Shue, and directed by Jen Summers as its winter production. The hilarious story lines follow equally powerful themes of racism, identity, and injustice as two British visitors spend time at a rural Georgia fishing lodge. Kudos to Proctor's cast and crew for putting on a tremendous show, and for fully embracing the depth of the content within the production. Enjoy this review of the play and be sure to reserve your tickets for this weekend's performances (see link at the bottom of this post)!
I was very excited for our excursion to Barcelona, which ended up being one of my favorites. At this point in the term, I feel adjusted to the Spanish schedule and culture, and find myself feeling more and more at home with each day that passes. While I do miss being able to understand everything being said around me, it’s becoming easier to have day-to-day interactions, whether it’s buying a coffee at a cafe or going up to a stranger to pet their dog, which happens a lot.
Mountain Classroom left Arizona bound for San Ysidro, CA, which is the busiest international border crossing in the world with more than 17 million vehicles and 50 million people crossing each year. Patty Pond, our Mountain Classroom Director, joined us for the weekend organized by Centro Romero’s Carlos Correa Bernierand Dan Romero. We spent our time learning about the nuances of life in the border region through the perspectives of a local police officer, border patrol agents, and individuals who immigrated to the US. At the end of Alfie's '18 blog below you will read about Santiago from Venezuela who just started a "FundMe" campaign to which we hope you will consider supporting. In addition, throughout the term we have been challenging ourselves physically with our daily morning exercise. This weekend our training culminated with all of us running a 10K in San Diego.
The longest and often most challenging of our three trimesters is nearing its completion with just four class days remaining before final exams and the reward of a two week Spring Break. Not only does our latitude limit our daylight during the winter months, but a shift in academic schedule to accommodate the 50% of students participating in snow sports creates inconsistencies in the academic week that unintentionally silos our community when we need each other most.
Squeaking out of Boston Sunday night on a flight to Lisbon just before the biggest storm of the winter rolled across the Northeast, this was my week to visit Proctor's off-campus programs in Spain and France. I caught up with Dave and Jen and the European Art Classroom students in Madrid to wander Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, the Museo Sorolla, The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Museo del Prado to stand in front of works that ranged from Picasso's "Guernica" to Sollera's "The Horse Bath" to the black paintings of Goya.
Proctor en Segovia travels north from Segovia, passing through the medieval, reconquest-era town of Sepúlveda, visiting the majestic gothic cathedral of Burgos, and arriving in the wine region and culinary capital of La Rioja. Back in Segovia, students continue to explore the twists and turns of the old quarter and fill their afternoons with physical activity, art and volunteer work.
For students with learning style differences, transitioning from Proctor to college requires a thorough understanding of the three R’s: Rights, Responsibility, and Reasonable Accommodations. Up until this juncture in a student's education, Learning Skills and/or parents have been the core support system. Here is some advice for our students who thrive on support systems on how to navigate the transition to college.
The past 72 hours have been among the busiest of the year! Proctor's Board of Trustees gathered on campus for their February Board Meeting, we welcomed alumni back for our annual Alumni Hockey Game, hosted a record-setting American Cancer Society Fundraiser in the Teddy Maloney '88 Hockey Rink, celebrated skiing at Proctor with the 10th Annual Proctor Ski Area Event, hosted back to back ski races, and hunkered down as Winter Storm Orson hammered campus all day Sunday. Today, we (thankfully) are able to downshift and enjoy Head's Day! Check out a recap of the weekend in images below!
Our final week in Arizona was spent in Tucson and then traveling to the border to hike and learn with Tohono O'odham tribal members. Classes focused on the history of immigration policy in the US, soil health in the desert, and the tribe's ongoing relationship with the political boundary between the US and Mexico. Enjoy this window into Mountain Classroom!
We arrived in Málaga after taking the two-and-a-half-hour high speed train from Madrid. We walked twenty or so minutes from the train station to our apartment in the heart of the old city. The group split up for dinner after exploring part of the city and orienting ourselves within it. People went in search of Sushi, Mexican, Spanish tapas and Italian, all with great success.
Over the last week we have been relatively busy processing discipline infractions: a dismissal, an appeal of another dismissal, and other blips on the discipline front that kept Drew Donaldson busy. I addressed the school in last Friday’s assembly prior to the weekend and spoke to the needs of the community, the need to collectively step up. Ours is not simply a community of rules, overly prescriptive, and we know relationships create the fabric of community and give it texture. So what does this last week say about Proctor in February?
Ten Proctor students will have their artwork on display at the AVA Gallery’s 9th Annual Best of the Upper Valley High School Exhibition from February 17 - March 10. For the third consecutive year, Proctor's art students submitted a wide array of pieces, from all visual and industrial arts disciplines, to the exhibit. An opening reception and awards ceremony will be held on Friday, February 17 for all exhibiting artists from the 18 high schools represented. We encourage anyone in the area to attend this opening reception as well. To learn more about the exhibit, visit the AVA Gallery site.
When asked to write a piece on how Proctor prepared me for college, I couldn’t help but chuckle because I couldn’t think of just one way Proctor helped me. I look back at my three years at Proctor and realize that everything I experienced made me grow into a person who would be successful at a university. It might sound corny, but being a day student actually prepared me to live far away from home in college. I was able to see my boarding student friends live alone, some of them for the first time. Because I watched them grow as people through dorm life, I wanted to engage myself in residence life in college. I saw Proctor dorm parents building a community within the dorms and creating a family where people felt safe to speak their minds. Seeing that made me realize that I wanted something similar out of my college experience. Of course, there are no dorm parents in college, but being an RA is pretty close!
The athletic schedule for Proctor Academy during the winter gets very hectic with all the winter sports happening. One place that gets especially busy is the Proctor Ski Area. With ski practices and races happening several times a week, the Ski Patrol team carries a large amount of responsibility to care for the ski hill and teams. As Proctor’s USSA/FIS, Nordic, alpine, and freeride teamsrace, compete, and practice, often capturing most of the athletics headlines during the winter months, a dedicated group of ski patrollers are quietly supporting Proctor’s 200 on-snow athletes and their endeavors at the Proctor Ski Area.
It’s good to have a thought for the day, something to turn and twist like a Rubik’s cube to unlock some life pattern. Ian Hamlet gave us one in Thursday’s assembly and I’ve been turning it over ever since. Thursday’s was a reflection about identity: How do we come to the labels that we affix to ourselves? How many are put there by others? How many do we put on ourselves? And are they healthy?
Four Proctor Academy sophomores are enjoying a term abroad at the Cloud Forest School in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. Last weekend, program director Brooks Bicknell traveled to meet up with students and hear about their adventure off-campus thus far. Check out a video update from the Cloud Forest School, student writing, and images below!
The Mountain Classroom group spent last week alone in the hills nearby Cascabel, AZ. It was a unique opportunity to be on solo for four nights on a beautiful stretch of desert preserved by the Cascabel Conservation Association. We prepared for our introspection by studying neurons and the quantifiable benefits of mindfulness, reading Herman Hesse's Siddhartha set 2500 years ago, and discussing traditional Lakota ceremonies as written about by Albert White Hat in Zuya.