We enter a new year (and decade) with resolutions to be better. More exercise, less sugar. More time with family, less on technology. I have mixed feelings about the concept of New Year’s resolutions. While I appreciate the opportunity for reflection and the notion of self-improvement, I also recognize real self-improvement happens incrementally and is a far more complex process than a simple declaration as the calendar flips to a new year.
Traipse through the New England woods long enough and you will run across old stone walls bisecting a dense forest. Follow those walls and you will likely find an old cellar hole. Once a home, these remnants transport you to a different era when Proctor’s 2,500 acres were clear cut pasture sprinkled with farms of hardworking men, women, and children scraping a living off the rocky soil. An era when connection was found through human interaction, walking to your neighbor’s home to help bring in the hay, share a meal, repair a wagon. An era when it was acceptable to care deeply about those walking through life with you to show your emotional investment in their well-being.
As we launch into the year ahead, we will consistently look to our elected school leaders, Vienna Marcus '20 and Hitch Graham '20, for wisdom, guidance, and representation of the student body. The role of School Leader carries with it significant responsibility: attending all faculty meetings, running student government meetings with class representatives, meeting weekly with the Head of School and Assistant Head of School to discuss initiatives and student life goals, as well as serving on the Appeals Committee when a student appeals their dismissal from Proctor. Vienna and Hitch share their thoughts on the year ahead below.
Comprehending the complexity of the role the advisor plays within Proctor’s educational model can only be understood once a family has experienced the relationship first hand. We recognize this is the cliche` pitch of "You have to see it to believe it!" incoming families don’t want to hear, but we believe deeply the only way you will truly understand the role of the Proctor advisor in your life is to live it yourself. New students are able to login to their myProctor portal today to see who their advisors are for the upcoming year. Each advisor will soon be sharing a welcome letter with their advisees, but in the meantime, here is an open letter to incoming students from an advisor reflecting on his experiences with Proctor students in the past.
Society encourages us to live quickly. We consume media by scrolling, expect wifi everywhere we go, even order groceries online so they can be delivered to our cars in the name of efficiency. We operate under this misguided belief that faster is better, and yet feel an ache for connection that previous generations embraced in their slowness. As Generation Z comes to age in front of our eyes, we must think critically about young people’s ability to connect with each other and how Proctor can nurture in these adolescents a love for learning, for experiencing, for risking failure, for persevering, and for each other.
Sharing a room with a roommate can feel like one of the most stressful parts of starting at a new boarding school. Will they snore? Will they be messy? Will they like a different kind of music? What if they like to stay up too late? These fears are valid (your roommate will probably be different than you and that is ok!), but we want to reassure you the opportunity for personal growth and the formation of deep friendships makes having a roommate one of the most valuable experiences you will have at Proctor. Here are what a few of our boarding students had to say when we asked them their thoughts on living with a roommate.
Roughly 20% of Proctor's students live locally and make the commute to Proctor's campus each day. Day students take part in nearly every aspect of life at Proctor (except dorm life) as they can attend all meals, stay on campus through study hall and extra help sessions, participate in weekend activities, and have access to all Proctor has to offer. We recognize incoming day students often feel apprehension about how they will balance being a day student at a boarding school, so we asked some of our rising senior day students about their experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Their responses are below!
We have a choice as an independent school:
- Create a facade that we are a perfect school community in order to attract prospective families and hope they don’t see our flaws too soon. OR
- Present openly the challenges that accompany educating 370 adolescents in a boarding school setting within an incredibly competitive boarding school market.