We are a relatively small school, 370 students and 90 teachers, where we call each other by our first name. We always say hi as we pass on walkways between classes. We think we know each other. But how often do we merely assign an identity to others based on a first impression of their outward projection of self? He’s a soccer player. She’s a hockey girl. Oh, he’s a drama guy. A gamer. A skier.
Thursday morning we began our long journey to the province of Andalucía in Southern Spain. A bus, metro, and train ride later we got to the city of Granada. We had just enough time to shower and change before being thrown into the Andalucían culture in one of the most traditional ways, a flamenco performance.
I am traveling this week, criss-crossing the country from Atlanta to San Francisco, which is where I am today near Union Square. I can’t help but wander over to the Apple Store at times, venturing in to ogle the newest products. How could I not? There, on the front of the store, a huge photograph advertises the AirPod noise cancelling headphones, the newest iteration of a wildly popular little knobby white knuckles people are popping in their ears all over the world to listen to music and podcasts and to talk on the phone. I had to try them out, and I have to admit to being impressed. But this got me thinking about whether education is simply a product that goes through iterative phases. It made me a little uneasy.
Today’s blog post from Ocean Classroom serves as an account of the first half of a nearly two week transit from Charleston, South Carolina to St. Croix. Proctor’s crew of 21 students has arrived in St. Croix and we will soon post the remainder of their Ship’s Logs and more photos/video, but for now, enjoy this window into life at sea.
Ten weeks ago, preseason athletes were arriving for Sports Camp. Temperatures flirted with 80 degrees and the hopes and dreams of a season lay in the hearts and minds of Proctor’s athletic teams. Over the past two and a half months, students and coaches have worked together to form powerful relationships, goals were set and pursued, individual skill improved, and the bonds of team forged.
Usually the assembly before Holderness Day serves as a pep rally. Loud cheering and chanting, building school spirit as we prepare to make the drive north and conquer our foes. But Friday’s assembly was not that. It was far more powerful, far better preparation for what Holderness Day is really about: being vulnerable, supporting each other regardless of outcome, and daring greatly.
“Voice can take a long time to come all the way out, brother.” Bobby said. “Be patient.” These words jumped off the page of Tommy Orange’s There There as John Around Him discussed the book with Proctor’s American Literature students. This notion of voice, of who has the courage (and privilege) to share their voice, and who will listen when they finally do, cuts through an American Literature curriculum to the core of how we empower students to live lives that matter.