The sun set over the west end of campus for the final time in 2017. As we reflect on 2017 and the frigid sub-zero temperatures that have held their grip on campus over the past week, we look forward to 2018 with hope for what is yet to come. Hope (for our students, for our community, for our environment, and for our world) is only as powerful as our actions, however. We must not only hope for change in 2018, but believe we each possess the ability to positively impact the world around us.
The past twelve months have reminded us, once again, of the power of a school community like Proctor. We have felt the purest of joy and deepest of sadness as we have, together, navigated the rollercoaster of life. As we prepare to usher in 2018 with open arms, we take a few minutes to look back at a few of the most powerful moments of 2017 via Instagram. Enjoy!
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom heads into a two week winter break after spending time in Baton Rouge, Lousiana and the enviornmental justice NGO L.E.A.N. Through oral history interview projects, students met and had conversations with residents of those communities most impacted by the enviornmental issues they are studying. Read on for Sam '18 and Augie's '19 reactions to the past week on Mountain 2018!
Students depart campus for Winter Break today, but things will be far from quiet for varsity hockey and basketball teams, as well as our snow sport athletes. Check out a complete schedule of holiday tournaments and winter break training and racing schedules for the Hornets below. If games are in your area, we hope to see you come out and support our athletes and coaches!
I wrote about the “small marvelous” last year at this time, wrote about the bell that sits in the bookcase in my office, the bell that was dug up on Proctor grounds by two self-proclaimed “dirt fisherman” Dave Elwell and Dana Newton, the bell that must have jostled off a harness a hundred years ago to sit quiet and silent in the dark for years before the metal detector pinged on it. But it rings again when I pick it off the shelf, the small metal clapper knocking against the nickel sidewalls to send out a warm, wholesome sound. A chuckling ringing, a smiling sound. I imagine it shaking out its winter melody, the sound of sure-footed joy, as a horse-drawn sleigh slips through snow-packed Andover streets. Not hard to conjure after this week’s snow.
A "Pain Point" is not just something you describe to your podiatrist when discussing a bunion or the knot in your neck after a long day in the office. Within business schools, sales and marketing organizations, and companies across the globe, this term has become de rigueur. A pain point is the challenge a potential customer faces that will impel him or her to buy your product or subscribe to your service. A successful organization needs to solve a "pain point" in order to vie for your business. Whether we like to think of our efforts in the Admissions Office in this way or not, identifying and solving for a family’s pain point is our responsibility every time a family walks onto campus.
Last December, we announced a new resource on Proctor's website called Buy Proctor where we highlight the work of our alumni in various industries. As we enter the busyness of the holiday season, we checked in with Kelcey Loomer '96 whose jewelry business, Seed and Sky, is featured on the Buy Proctor page. Kelcey's artistic journey eventually wound its way to a home studio in Asheville, NC where she and her husband, Alex, have dedicated their life to sharing the beauty of the natural world through art. Check out what Kelcey has to say about running her own business and her relationship with Proctor.
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program, an intrepid group of ten students and two faculty members, spent a week paddling the mighty Mississippi, fighting unseasonably cold temperatures and becoming closer as a group. With a week left until winter break, Sam '19 reflects on the past week together on the water in the text below. Be sure to also check out more photos on Flickr!
On Monday night of this week, I leaned against the door frame in the gym to watch the boys’ varsity basketball team run through shooting drills, conditioning drills, passing drills, defensive drills. I watched the coaches - Gregor and Scott - wave, whistle, and encourage. On Wednesday I sat at a lunch table while the girls’ varsity hockey coaches - Maggie and Doug - discussed the line strategy they would employ against Middlesex, which resulted in a thrilling win in the last seconds of the game. I chatted with Buz about his upcoming trip to Quebec with Nordic skiers and he talked about waxing (always waxing). In mid-afternoon, I watched Junior and Lindsay coach their team to victory against a strong KUA squad. At dinner I saw David Salathé with a radio still clipped in to bib ski pants in the Brown Dining Commons after spending the day with USSA/FIS skiers up at Bretton Woods.
As any athlete or coach will tell you, there is no force more powerful in sport than momentum. It is not explainable by physics (people have tried), but when the roar of the crowd grows, a palpable shift in confidence among players, coaches, and spectators takes place. A distinct feeling emerges when you know things are moving in the right direction, and no matter what shot you throw up, you know it is going in. You get chills as you watch it all unfold in front of you. The power of momentum.
Program directors for Mountain Classroom, European Art Classroom, Proctor en Segovia, Ocean Classroom, and Proctor in Costa Rica have talked about each of these remarkable study abroad programs in assembly over the past few weeks. We have all read the blog posts from each of these off-campus programs, and have seen the transformation in the students who return from studying off-campus. With Off-Campus Program applications for the 2018-2019 school year due one week from today, many of the conversations happening right now between advisors, parents, and advisees center around the excitement, and challenges, that accompany studying off-campus.
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program is off and running on their 46th straight year of the world's most powerful learning experience. The group of ten students and two faculty members will drive across the country in pursuit of adventure and getting to know as many different cultures as possible over the next three months. The bus pulled out of campus on Monday left and the group is now on a canoe trip up the Mississippi River for the rest of this week. Read on to hear Amanda's '19 reflections so far.
This is not about Black Friday deals or cyber Monday’s 60% off sales. This is not about the blow up Santas or finding the house with the most light-bedazzled, roof-prancing reindeer. It’s not about the 12 days or the advent calendar. This is about an ornament, a gold snowflake found in a fleece jacket, and the 2X tree it hung on. It’s about remembering the joy that seats itself in the heart, sometimes a far corner, and how small objects and strong memories can help guide us forward.