Today’s blue skies, warm sunshine, and clear pathways will soon give way to more than an inch of rain and unseasonably warm temperatures tomorrow and Friday. The weather patterns this winter have been changing at the same breakneck speed with which we navigate the Winter Term at Proctor. Sunrises, classes, assembly, afternoon programs, races, games, rehearsals, extra help sessions, study hall, college counseling meetings, sunsets blur into a life that is equal parts invigorating and exhausting. In order to set our eyes on the invigorating, and not solely on the exhausting, we must intentionally carve out time to press pause and connect with each other.
Friday night’s tech free camping excursion to Elbow Pond, organized by Assistant School Leader Sarah Ferdinand ‘18, foreshadowed a massive power outage throughout the morning on Monday. A powerful Nor’Easter hit New England overnight Sunday into Monday, knocking out power to more than half the state of New Hampshire.
Most of us go to the technology help desk because we dropped a phone, cracked a screen, forgot a password, or need help with an update. We need something. We go to the tech office humble and looking for help, and when we get to the first floor of the Fowler Learning Center, Anna, Jim, Spencer, Susan, or Seth wait with their store of infinite patient, deep knowledge, and good cheer. Those five manage and work with constant change, continual upgrades, and the persistent (and silly) “user error;” they live professional development. At Proctor, the repair space of grounded work stations, microscopes, and tiny tools is noteworthy and impressive, but the people are awe-inspiring: Anna, I am convinced, can field strip an iPhone (any model) and reassemble it in under ten minutes.
Ali Berman ‘07 arrived on Proctor’s campus as an eleventh grader and quickly discovered her love of writing. She never imagined her avocation (writing) would ever evolve into her vocation, especially because learning did not come easily to her early in her academic journey. “When I came to Proctor, learning was hard for me, but through my time in Learning Skills, I was encouraged to explore how I learned, and through that process I become empowered as a learner.” Over the course of her two years at Proctor, lessons in self-advocacy and self-awareness she had begun to explore prior to Proctor solidified themselves as a central part of her identity. Last week, Ali returned to campus to share a message with students on how to lead a purpose-driven life and lessons from her journey since graduating in 2007. She also discussed taking the TEDx stage this summer and her current job as a full-time writer for Singularity University.
A reluctant blogger….
I come from a family of English teachers and fell in love with reading and writing long before the Internet. I read voraciously throughout my childhood devouring all the Little House on the Prairie books, and I wanted to be Nancy Drew. In high school I read all of Jane Austen’s novels during a winter break, and I still re-read them every year or two—just for pleasure.