Shortly after the first nationwide Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970, Proctor launched its own Earth Day tradition of dedicating one academic class day each spring to reaffirming our deep commitment to environmental stewardship through hands-on workshops. Today, more than fifty small, faculty sponsored workshops allowed the entire community to pause from the breakneck pace of the Spring Term in order to reconnect with the natural world that surrounds us.
Each academic year only 16 students are selected to be a part of European Art Classroom. To say that it is a privilege to be in Aix and travel around Europe is an understatement. Proctor has challenged and stretched me as a student and as an individual. Being here as a student in Europe is no different. We might not have the same rigid 8:00 am to 5:30 pm schedule, but we are challenged in other ways. We are given more freedom to explore and when I say explore, I do not mean just the sites.
This was our first time traveling and leaving our little Aix bubble and the daily routine we follow each day. We were taking a break from “hanging around” and going on a “Grand Tour” of France’s capital, Paris. It seems that in Paris, everything happens due to it’s artists and historically showing it all off at the great Expos of the past.
The best ones are those that you move in and out of seamlessly, that offer delight, bring laughter, and deepen an understanding of the world. They are the friendships forged over years, spanning decades. Sometimes, in rare instances, a friendship will touch a community, its impact ringing out the way a bell rings out, looping its peels in ever widening circles. That’s the kind of friendship Proctor has with John Around Him, who has been on campus this week. He has brought the experience of his travels in the world and the wisdom of the Lakota people to Proctor’s campus, and we have delighted in his return as one delights in a visit of the closest of friends.
As we walk through our daily life, a silent voice speaks over our shoulder with every decision we make, “Don’t mess up. People are watching. Don’t mess up.” In a world where our work, and consequently our learning, takes place in more of a public forum than ever before, we wrestle with the dichotomy of perfection and learning, a fear of failure and need for experimentation. How do we fight back against this fear of failure? At Proctor, we believe it’s a fight worth fighting.
On Friday, we will welcome 67 prospective families to campus for the second of our two Admissions Revisit Days. Last week, we asked our prospective families to ‘get real’ (read more in THIS BLOG) as they toured schools one last time before making their final decision. Today, we ask our visiting families to consider the role of an independent school in their child’s development.
Mountain Classroom is spending our spring studying food. We started the term by getting our hands dirty on the Midland School’s farm in Los Olivos, CA. Ranch Manager, Nick Tranmer, was our gracious host, as we camped out in a beautiful field nearby campus, before heading into the San Rafael Wilderness for a first aid themed backpacking trip. After backpacking we returned our thoughts to food systems by visiting Duncan Family Farms, a large-scale organic farm growing salad greens in New Cuyama. Now we are en route to the Colorado River for a canoeing trip in the Black Canyon below the Hoover Dam.