August is knocking on the door. Tomorrow we will have to answer. And we all know that when August arrives, our focus shifts to the start of the school year: advisor letters, roommate assignments for new students, start of year faculty meetings, Wilderness Orientation prep, firming up syllabi. We cling to the hot, humid days of July, anticipating the busyness and energy that accompanies each new school year.
I boarded the Roseway on Thursday morning at 6:30 am with trepidation. I had signed up for the day sail from Portsmouth to Boston on a glorious hot, still, calm July day in Andover. But this morning was fogged in, rain and thundershowers were predicted and big swells were inevitable. We sign up for things, sometimes, with a romantic notion of what they will be—an AP class that will impress our parents and colleges, a summer service trip that will be fulfilling and profound, an off-campus program that will challenge and inspire. And then when we get to the class, or the airport, or the dock, our feelings sink—why did we ever think this was a good idea?
The last ten days feels like a blur. A week ago I wrote a blog titled Ship, Shipmate, Self as we worked to process loss in our community, and while my intention is not to run an entire blog series on grief, it is important to continue the dialogue that too often gets swept under the rug following a tragedy like this.
For each of Proctor's three Summer Service trips, student access to technology is intentionally limited. While we have not been able to share many photos or blog updates from our trip in China (students are starting Week 3 of 4 with host families!) or our trip to our friends on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota (happening right now), the real impact of these trips on Proctor students seeps into their lives over time. This spring, Sage Fletcher '18 reflected while on Mountain Classroom about her experience at Rosebud during last summer's Rosebud trip. Dive into Sage's heart and mind through her words below.
“Grief is the price we pay for love, and when you feel the weight of the grief we are all feeling right now, you recognize just how much love lived in the one you are grieving.” These words were shared by Proctor’s counselor, Kara Kidder, during an informal gathering for faculty and staff Tuesday morning in the wake of longtime forestry faculty member Dave Pilla’s sudden passing. Just as Proctor’s Maintenance Department approaches the tireless clean up of downed trees from Tuesday night’s microburst that ripped through campus, the path to healing for our community will take time.
It is with the greatest sadness that we share news with the Proctor community that longtime faculty member Dave Pilla passed away Sunday afternoon. His sudden passing leaves our community with an immeasurable void, and only the smallest solace can be found in knowing that the lives he touched and the passions he kindled move outward in the world.
No one is having a busier summer than Jim Cox, our Director of Technology and Information Services. With the installation of a new phone system and regular technology maintenance issues, the past month has been non-stop work for Jim and his tech team. A member of the Proctor community since 1990 when he first served as a Mountain Classroom instructor, Jim has played a vital role in the evolution of our technology integration and use on campus over the past 30 years. Each week throughout the school year, we feature a faculty/staff profile in our weekly Parent Page and will start sharing some of those profiles to a larger audience this summer. Read about Jim's Proctor experience and the technological changes that have occurred during his time at Proctor in the interview below!
For the past 76 years, Andover has served as a gathering place for residents from the surrounding region as the town green in front of the Stone Chapel, Fowler House, and Gannett House are flooded with flea-market booths, games, and food vendors before the action halts for a community parade down North Street and Main Street. Roughly 10,000 visitors line the streets as we celebrate America’s independence and remind ourselves of the freedoms promised to all citizens in the U.S. Constitution.