If you have spent time on Proctor’s Admission site you have seen our tagline, Which Path Will You Choose. We take great pride in the breadth of programming offered given our relatively small size. With more than 135 academic courses, 30 art electives, 30 athletic and afternoon activities, Learning Skills, and five term-long off-campus programs, Proctor students have a plethora of opportunities to shape their unique Proctor experience!
Maybe it is the cold, the deficiency of sunlight, the number of athletic contests, the academic push that began in December, the college waiting game, or an amalgamation of it all, but the end of the Winter Term often coincides with exhaustion. So it’s with no small amount of joy that students cross the line from the winter term into spring break. There’s a collective sigh of relief.
The end of each term provides an opportunity to see the collective brilliance of Proctor's artists. The weekend of February 13 and 14, Proctor's theater department staged To Kill a Mockingbird and did an outstanding job! This past weekend the end of term Art Show preceded a monologue performance by Proctor's acting class and the Jazz/Rock Ensemble performance in the Wise Center.
After a long drive from the Tohono O’odahm Reservation in Arizona, Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom arrived on the planet known as Joshua Tree National Park. The yuccas here sprout from the ground like Truffula trees, and the plutons are forced up from subduction of continental plates. It’s a land known for its climbs and scrambles, and we were led through its bounties by our talented guide, Nate Pakula from Naturalists At Large.
At the beginning of this term we came into this thinking that it would be an amazing experience but we had no idea just how truly incredible it would end up being.
The autograph. I am not even sure that it happened, not even sure that I met the man, but he figured in my early life a long, long time ago when I was learning to play tennis. The book The Invisible Gorilla explains lapses like this, our misinformed memories. It’s unlikely that I ever got Arthur Ashe’s autograph, but for a long time I have believed that I did. And for a long time he has inspired me with his sportsmanship and grace.
February 9th marked the first day of our much anticipated solos. Our journey consisted of a four day and three night experience spent alone in a confined section of the Cascabel Hermitage in the San Pedro River watershed of Arizona. The Cascabel Conservation Association is the caretaker and protector of this land, preserving it to provide hermitage for a meditative retreat to the anyone who wants. These solos can last from two days up to 60 days. The land there is under significant threat from development and the reflections and testimonies of past Mountain Classroom students are important in justifying the conservation easements.
“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre.
Proctor's Technology Integration Specialist interviewed veteran science teacher Sue Houston as a case study in technology integration at Proctor. Adam shared his interview for his blog's podcast in this post. Listen to the full podcast HERE!
I am not a musician. I played the requisite songs on the recorder and fumbled through the finger moves at ten, took drum lessons at thirteen, and failed miserably at both. I don’t sing, not even marginally well, but have taken enough lessons to appreciate the gifts of those who do. I grew up listening to the piano, and even today my mother, with a little brush up, has nearly eighty classical pieces within grasp. When I was growing up she practiced with the discipline of a concert pianist, so notes were always adrift in the house. I can’t quite muster my way through “Chopsticks.” Never could.
Proctor's theater department has worked hard all term to prepare the winter play, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. With a cast of seventeen students and an additional eleven students working on costumes, props, set building and lighting, director Jen Summers has worked wonders staging a magnificent, and truly powerful show.
While the origins of St. Valentine’s Day date back to the 5th century, the celebration in our society today focuses on our connection to others. As carnations and candy-grams are sold by student leadership and the dance team during lunches this week, we are reminded of the excitement, and intense vulnerability, felt as Valentine's Day approaches on Saturday. I promise this blog will get back to our educational mission at Proctor quickly, so bear with me.
Saturday evening, Proctor celebrated one of its most unique facilities: The Proctor Ski Area. For decades, Proctor's love of skiing has fueled the development of one of the finest privately-owned and operated ski areas by an independent school in the nation. As hundreds of local community members drove down Blackwater Lane Saturday afternoon, we were reminded just how special this place is!
As our time continues here in Aix-en-Provence, we all begin to feel less like tourists and more like locals. When we first arrived to Aix some 5 weeks ago, the city felt quite large and confusing. Jen and Dave reassured us that after a few weeks we would have the city memorized, and it would start to feel smaller and smaller.
Friendships. They blossom in these years, emerge at different rates, and play different roles in our lives. I am not talking about the Facebook friends, the six or seven hundred “friends” that somehow have been collected, stored, and are managed through a digital platform. I am talking about something more rare. More precious. The kinds of friendships that I see find footing at Proctor.
More than 70% of all Proctor students spend at least one term studying abroad in one of Proctor's five off-campus programs. For students who attend Proctor for at least three years, that percentage jumps to nearly 85%. We offer off-campus programs because we know they broaden our students' horizons. They change lives by allowing students to see how life works in other cultures. They create learning opportunities simply irreplicable on our campus in Andover, New Hampshire.