The tumble of the year has been reduced to days. Not too long ago backpacks were lined up in the cage and the first nervous moments of the year played out on Wilderness Orientation. In September we checked weather reports to see if we would be sleeping in the rain, and now we check to see if graduation will be on a clear day. How did it happen so quickly? Are we done so soon? The questions begin to swirl for all of us.
Have we done enough individually? Stood on the top of the Ski Hill? The Bulkhead? Been to Polar Swim? Studied enough Pre-Cal or American Literature? Been to breakfast for an Edna waffle? Been kind enough? Accessible enough? Helped out at dish duty? Honored the game we played? The teammates we played with? Made an assembly announcement? Picked up a birthday cake from JoAnn? Put down technology enough? Talked with Lida and Alex in the bookstore? Gotten life advice from Ed at the Wise? Life advice from our parents? Did we dance enough? Laugh enough? Sing enough? Paint enough? Recycle enough?
Have we done enough to raise the consciousness of the community so that individually we better care for each other and as a whole are healthier? Have we become more nimble at creating the supportive learning environment? Have we balanced accountability with forgiveness? Have we stayed humble and focused against this fractured and raucous national political backdrop of debate turned to debasement? Have we helped set the better example?
The work of a learning community (and all communities should be learning communities) is the work of asking and answering questions individually and collectively. It is the accrual of knowledge within (hopefully) an ever-broadening framework of wisdom. It is the living and learning that never ceases, never ends. But there should be pause in that landscape, moments of celebration within the alternating learning rhythms. We stand on the calendar cusp of change, of graduation, of summer, and it is OK to set the questions aside. It is OK to feel the marvel and wonder of the whole spinning interconnectedness of the learning community. It is time (it’s actually never not the time) to turn to the others and offer appreciation for all that has been done to make us, make Proctor, whole.
A clutch of days, a handful of questions, and heartfelt thanks.
Mike Henriques P'11, P'15
Proctor Academy Head of School