Entering the Proctor community this year, whether in person or remote, will be different from any other year in the history of the school. It is going to require more of you and more from us. Together we will do the work of community during a pandemic, and it will ask of you grace, circumspect, and resilience. The opportunities of Proctor haven’t changed, but the way we go about accessing them on a day to day basis has been significantly altered by the way we will need to adjust to maintain the health and well-being of everyone.
When I was younger I spent years climbing and there were some applicable takeaways. I climbed the local crags of New Hampshire, and I climbed and mountaineered in the bigger mountains of the west. The lessons from climbing and wilderness travel are the lessons of trust and partnership. When you are seven pitches up on the side of Pingora in Wyoming’s Cirque of the Towers, you want to know that your climbing partner knows how to belay. You have to trust your partner; your partner has to trust you. You each need to do your job meticulously and with great care for the other.
That’s how we are going to enter this year. We are all responsible not only for our well-being but the well-being of others. Our default in this landscape is going to be looking out for our partners, staying on task, and not letting our attention waver. It is going to tax us - you, me, our families. But when we pull this year off- and we will - it is going to feel like a great accomplishment. It will be a year of years, a climb of climbs.
Please take some time with the Student Handbook that you are now holding. Pay particular attention to the community agreement and to the rules. They are the foundation for the community that we can build this year. Know that you are not doing the work of this year alone, but that you will have partners with you throughout the climb: your advisor, your teachers, your dorm parents, your student leaders, your friends. We are going to build and sustain community this year, and it will be good.
We are thrilled to take the first steps when everyone gets back to campus in a few shorts weeks.
Mike Henriques P'11, P'15
Proctor Academy Head of School