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.
Sharing a room with a roommate can feel like one of the most stressful parts of starting at a new boarding school. Will they snore? Will they be messy? Will they like a different kind of music? What if they like to stay up too late? These fears are valid (your roommate will probably be different than you and that is ok!), but we want to reassure you the opportunity for personal growth and the formation of deep friendships makes having a roommate one of the most valuable experiences you will have at Proctor. Here are what a few of our boarding students had to say when we asked them their thoughts on living with a roommate.
We hear often the value of being a generalist, of embracing different pursuits and being well-rounded individuals. Yet, time and again, specialists are rewarded for being the best at what they do. Professionally, we rarely see someone promoted for simply being above average at many things. College coaches claim they want multi-sport athletes, but more often than not reward specialized athletes with scholarships. The mixed messages our children receive as they discover who they are and what passions live within them are not only unhealthy, but have created an unsustainable environment for our schools.
Roughly 20% of Proctor's students live locally and make the commute to Proctor's campus each day. Day students take part in nearly every aspect of life at Proctor (except dorm life) as they can attend all meals, stay on campus through study hall and extra help sessions, participate in weekend activities, and have access to all Proctor has to offer. We recognize incoming day students often feel apprehension about how they will balance being a day student at a boarding school, so we asked some of our rising senior day students about their experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Their responses are below!
We have officially surpassed the midpoint of summer. Sadly, just five weeks stand between us and the start of new faculty orientation, faculty meetings, and the slow build up to the start of the year. Between now and then, we will enjoy sunshine, warm temperatures, and regular swims in Elbow Pond. We will read, journal, and listen to all the podcasts we don’t have time for during the school year. We will take time to reflect on our work as educators and our role in influencing young people’s lives at Proctor.
Spend an hour during the summer months sitting in one of the hundred green Adirondack chairs sprinkled throughout Proctor’s campus and simply listen. Of course you’ll hear the sounds of birds singing their songs and frogs croaking their own tune from the pond. Listen a bit more closely and you’ll hear the steady sound of hard work: lawn mowing, weed wacking, building, constructing, fixing, and mending. While many of us enjoy a slower pace to summer, our Maintenance Team is operating at full throttle working on campus improvement projects that are unable to take place during the school year.
Spending the 4th of July in Andover, New Hampshire should be a prerequisite to understanding the value of small town living. Our little town of 2,000 people bursts at the seams as thousands of visitors flock to the village green in the heart of Proctor’s campus for a flea market and carnival-like atmosphere. At noon, local elementary students who had perfect attendance this year toll the bell in Maxwell Savage Hall to signal the start of the parade. Local fire companies, floats, and bands weave their way through campus along North Street before looping back down Main Street. The day ends as thousands more people gather on Carr Field to watch fireworks over the Proctor Ski Area.
A theme seems to be developing in our blog posts this summer. Two weeks ago we shared thoughts on the balance of disruption and vision at independent schools, and this post from last week discussed our personal investment in student growth. Regularly exploring the bigger, existential “why” of our educational model challenges us to recommit to what we believe and why we believe it.