Friday night’s tech free camping excursion to Elbow Pond, organized by Assistant School Leader Sarah Ferdinand ‘18, foreshadowed a massive power outage throughout the morning on Monday. A powerful Nor’Easter hit New England overnight Sunday into Monday, knocking out power to more than half the state of New Hampshire.
Here’s the thing: at some point we all need to tie into something that is a little bigger than we are, a little scary, something evolutionary in nature with a significant time commitment. There are lessons to be learned in these long haul endeavors, lessons that have transferable properties that show up in other areas of life: friendships, marriages, communities, faith, and athletics. The long haul teaches resiliency in a time when so many are conditioned to expect ease of operation, instantaneous answers to online queries, overnight shipping from Amazon, and flawless lives lived seamlessly on social media. One of the constant adolescent illusions we battle today is that something can come from nothing, or in alchemistic fashion lead will turn to gold with the right, easy incantation. And that’s why we need these projects.
Proctor Academy's Ocean Classroom program left the calm waters of Savannah Harbor to head north to Charleston, South Carolina for a few days of learning and sail training before preparing for the long passage to the blue waters of the Caribbean. Enjoy the brief window into daily life aboard Roseway from the perspective of the student crew.
The nearly 72 hours of relative quiet that the past long-weekend provides is cherished by both students and adults in the Proctor community. The brief respite following Fall Family Weekend in the midst of an otherwise chaotic fall affords an opportunity to catch up on sleep, laundry, or that long-overdue run in the lingering foliage of late October. Each October, we hunger for this intentional time for reflection prior to the final stretch of the Fall Term.
Proctor Academy's Ocean Classroom program has arrived in Savannah, Georgia after a long passage from an extended stop in Norfolk, Virginia due to inclement weather off the coast. The crew continues to live, learn, and work aboard the 135 foot schooner as they travel south. Ocean Classroom director, Dave Pilla, will be joining the crew for the next several days in Savannah. Below find student and crew reflections from the past week aboard the World Ocean School's Roseway!
In the evening of a Thursday, the group steps off the train to be blindsided by a wave of heat and humidity. We should have expected this as we knew we were going to the southern part of the peninsula and the historically rich city of Sevilla. But nothing could have prepared us for Sevilla, especially the sight of palm trees all over the place; this definitely put some puzzled looks on group members’ faces. Shortly after our arrival in Sevilla, we went for a stroll on the boardwalk that runs along the riverside. We quickly spotted the unmistakable and legendary Torre de oro or “Tower of gold.” The tower is not actually made of gold and there isn't any gold inside. However, when the sun rises or sets the tower gets its golden yellow shine.
Growing up I had never considered myself a runner. Sure, I ran all the time as I played sports as a kid, but never thought of running for the sake of running let alone competing. During my freshman and sophomore years at Proctor I was a member of the JV soccer team each fall, and managed for the varsity soccer team the next year. Running never crossed my mind. The idea of running cross country was first introduced to me after the Spring 2016 On Your Mark 5k race after I had a strong finish. Someone had asked me, “Why don’t you run cross country?”, Later that day I asked myself that same question, and became a runner.
My first reaction after reading a NY Times (Oct 10) editorial on climate regulation rollback was to think about Proctor’s land, the care we take in ensuring a productive woodlot that not only produces timber harvests and creates healthy species habitat, but is also managed for future generations. Then I thought - briefly - about ranting for the environment and against all of the regulatory rollbacks on clean air. I thought about the fires in California, the warming oceans that have created a record tying hurricane season, and all of the inconvenient truths we are now living. In the end, I settled for the swinging bridge.
The frequency of Ocean Classroom posts will vary throughout the term as port stops and access to wi-fi dictate much of our communication plan. With a few days in Norfolk, we decided it was best to double up on posts this week before Proctor's crew aboard Roseway continues their journey south to Charleston, South Carolina. Enjoy this portal into Ocean Classroom 2017!
Today’s Ninth Grade Hike to the Proctor Cabin is a moment early in the school year where we take ownership of our school culture and teach our students what is most important to us: trusting relationships, connection to the wilderness, exercise, community and the ability to talk candidly with those around you. This tradition of hiking to the Proctor Cabin as a class began in 2011, and has quickly grown into a fun, culture shaping opportunity for our youngest, most energetic, inquisitive students.
Coaching, teaching, advising, and working with adolescents energizes each of us. It's why we decided to work at Proctor and to choose education as a career path. But, as any educator will tell you, sometimes the rhythm of the school year becomes a bit too familiar and routine starts to squeeze out joy. Saturday’s Special Olympics Fun Day was just what we all needed on a foggy Saturday morning in early October.
Proctor's Ocean Classroom program continues its journey south along the eastern seaboard with stops in New Bedford to New London, and eventually to Norfolk, Virginia. The reality of life at sea - night watches, early mornings, cramped quarters, academic courses, and physically demanding chores - have settled in and our crew of 22 Proctor students is becoming a cohesive unit. Read reflections from the past week below.
We expect students to understand the difference between their work and someone else’s. We expect them to cite sources, avoid plagiarism, keep their eyes on their test, and use technology responsibly. We expect students to know - or at least develop the ability - to discern the difference between fact and opinion.This is the fundamental framework that holds academic institutions together, and should intellectual integrity start to dissipate, should these basic tenets not be part of the whole structure, it's as though laws of gravity have been somehow disbanded. We float in the wilderness of relativism.
With over thirty afternoon activities and athletic teams available to Proctor students, it is hard to provide equal coverage to every team on campus. For a group of soccer diehards (some completely new to the sport) whose daily home on Emmons Field naturally keeps them out of the spotlight, we thought it was time to give Proctor’s JV2 Soccer team the attention it deserves.
As students settle into a rhythm within their academic classes, our hope is they become increasingly willing to take risks, to speak out, pursue a line of thinking, and embrace failure as a step in the right direction. This desired academic vulnerability take times to emerge as its foundation rests in a mutual trust among students and teacher, but as we approach the mid-point in the Fall Term, we look to the collaborative work being done within our English and Social Science departments as an example of what risk taking should look like in the classroom.
This term our group walked the Camino de Santiago, or at least part of it. The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage that runs across the northern part of Spain and a small part of the French Pyrenees. For some people it is a religious pilgrimage, but it is completed by many different people for many different reasons.