In a small community like ours, we assume we know each other. We mistakenly tie an individual's identity to that which we see on a daily basis: their personality in the dorm, in the classroom, their smile as they walk to lunch or assembly, their athletic talents, their style based on how they dress. We assume we understand and appreciate the entirety of each other's contribution to the Proctor community, and yet during this final week of each trimester, we are left with a powerful reminder of the depth of being that exists within each member of our Proctor family.
It is good to remember that the lightness of being is nearby, ready to balance out challenge. Sometimes you catch it in the glimmers of sun sheeting across a field and a mood shifts. Or a day. Of course you have to be open to the possibility, and sometimes you have to actively look for the lightness of being. Sometimes the moment simply seems to fall in your lap. Fortunately, at Proctor, there seems to be a high density probability of encountering one of these uplifting interludes.
Corby Leith '92 and I were talking Thursday morning in Slocumb, reviewing some of the charcoal work of this fall’s art students, some of the framed work in racks that had been in a summer show, and then he checked his schedule and realized he was supposed to be in the forge teaching. We scooted out through the ceramics studio and headed around to the backside of the Shepard Boat House to the shuttered door of the forge. I thought I would tag along to see how the class unfolded.
A San Francisco native, Roth Martin ‘91 first found himself on the east coast as a seventh grader at the Fessenden School (classmates there with fellow San Franciscan and Proctor alum Matt Nathanson '91, actually) before matriculating to Proctor for his sophomore year. From his first interview with Chuck Will in the Admissions Office until the moment he was greeted by Head of School David Fowler on graduation day, Roth describes his Proctor experience as remarkable. “My teachers, coaches, dorm parents, friends, everything at Proctor was so positive for me. I fell in love with ceramics and design aesthetics thanks to Patrice Martin, skied competitively, gained remarkable independence living 3,000 miles from my family, all while subconsciously absorbing Proctor’s ethos of environmental sustainability that would guide me throughout my life.”
Proctor’s annual Senior Project Exhibition and Express Fest marks the end of our seniors’ high school academic responsibilities, while providing a perfect experiential bookend to the journey that began on Wilderness Orientation four years ago. This final afternoon of exhibits also provides a powerful window for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders into what might be possible during their own senior projects in the future.
Seeing as this is, unfortunately, the last blog post of the term, everyone is going to be contributing a paragraph about our experience on the whole. And seeing as it was finals week last week, I need to cover two weeks in a short space of time. As a result, I am going to focus on my highlights, instead of a meticulous chronological run through.
This weekend, the 26 cast members and 15 crew of the Proctor theater department will take the stage to perform In the Heights. With music and lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the author and composer of famed Hamilton, the mix of hip-hop, salsa, and classic musical numbers make this show a good one “even if you’re not into musical theater” says lead Sam Wyckoff ‘19, “because it is so special - the message, the music, the dance - all of it”.
Monday's assembly marked the beginning of the end of the 2017-2018 school year as academic departments presented underclass awards. As Head of School Mike Henriques mentioned in his opening comments of the assembly, our students have invested incredible effort and energy into their academic pursuits at Proctor this year. While we wish we could publicly acknowledge each of our student's individual growth, today's awards assembly recognized a handful of students whose performance and effort stands out as truly excellent. Congratulations to each of this year's underclass award winners listed below!