Whether it’s hiking around the mall in Washington, DC or to the top of Mount Washington, walking the streets of downtown Boston or downtown Franklin, New Hampshire, the power of Project Period, Proctor’s four day, immersive small group program that kicks off the Spring Term each year, remains the same. While we pride ourselves on an educational model that features academic courses rooted in experiential learning, Project Period provides an opportunity for students and faculty to join together to explore their passions outside of the classroom.
The start of each academic term affords the opportunity for faculty to gather for designated in-service professional development. Past professional development days have welcomed guest speakers to campus, while other days rely on internal expertise to share innovative teaching practices and project based learning. Today, faculty gathered in academic departments to further refine our approach to fulfilling our mission as a school.
After reviewing Proctor’s largest pool of applicants we've ever seen (over 600 applications for roughly 100 spaces for the 2017-2018 school year), our Admissions Team delivered decisions to each applicant at 12:01 AM last night. For accepted students, the next month becomes a time of weighing options and finding the school that will best meet their needs and challenge them to grow into the young man or woman they desire to be.
Mountain Classroom spent its final week and a half in the Sespe Wilderness east of Ventura, California. The Thacher School graciously allowed us to use a property they own in the wilderness area called Patton’s Cabin for our finals. The cabin meant that everyone was able to stay dry in the midst of a historic deluge that turned the Sespe Creek into a muddy, rapid-filled river.
Mountain Classroom camped in Malibu with Mountain Classroom alumna Christine Walshe ‘97. Malibu put us within striking distance of Los Angeles for a couple day immersion in Japanese American history. We spent our first day taiko drumming at Asano Taiko U.S., and then the next day was devoted to exploring Little Tokyo where we visited the Japanese American National Museum and enjoyed bowls of ramen. Our curricula were grounded in excerpts from Snow Falling on Cedars in English and A Different Mirror on Japanese Internment Camps in social studies. From Malibu we drove north to Arroyo Hondo where we met Gabriel, who facilitated a workshop on how to kill and butcher a goat.
The warmth of the last couple of days, the cascade of snow melt off roofs, the pooling of puddles, the coils of mud from boots and tires speak to the change. Jackets are left behind; t-shirts are worn at the ski hill. It feels like a warm April stretch, not the third week in February. This weather change has resulted in the collection tank being muscled out of the barn and into the bed of the woods truck on Thursday. It has pushed Dave Pilla to start hooking up the collecting lines, hanging buckets, tapping trees. The sugar season is here.
Our final week in Arizona was spent in Tucson and then traveling to the border to hike and learn with Tohono O'odham tribal members. Classes focused on the history of immigration policy in the US, soil health in the desert, and the tribe's ongoing relationship with the political boundary between the US and Mexico. Enjoy this window into Mountain Classroom!
The Mountain Classroom group spent last week alone in the hills nearby Cascabel, AZ. It was a unique opportunity to be on solo for four nights on a beautiful stretch of desert preserved by the Cascabel Conservation Association. We prepared for our introspection by studying neurons and the quantifiable benefits of mindfulness, reading Herman Hesse's Siddhartha set 2500 years ago, and discussing traditional Lakota ceremonies as written about by Albert White Hat in Zuya.