We departed for Barcelona on Saturday morning, unaware that the Catalan language of Catalonia would surround us. The train ride from Madrid to Barcelona went faster than I had anticipated, but that’s what happens when one’s eyes are constantly stimulated by the beautiful countryside that’s just a glance out the window. After peering out the window and mentally preparing for our Catalan adventure, we arrived at the train station in Barcelona. Luckily, the weather was amazing in Barcelona; it was sunny and warm, just what we needed for a quick 20 minute walk to our hotel.
I have this ability to fall asleep, to take a cat nap, and have had it since before I can remember. I could curl up in the space behind the passenger’s seat in a car (before seat belts), or tuck myself on the shelf behind the backseat and sleep for miles. I could sleep anywhere: boat, backseat, under the piano, and definitely on the sofa. Ordered to take an afternoon nap? No problem. But as I grew older, the habit slipped. Guilty about stealing a few minutes after lunch as an adult, I powered through and “coffeed up.” Why is that? Was napping a childish habit? Does the puritanical work ethos demand bulling ahead until the day is done? Is napping a sign of slothfulness, one of the seven deadly sins?
Spring Family Weekend is here! Regardless of what the weather decides to do, having the opportunity to connect with parents and share the great work our students are doing this spring always proves fruitful. Find links to all of the important information needed to make the most of the weekend ahead, and do not hesitate to reach out with questions!
I’m a planner; always have been, and despite the constant encouragement of colleagues to embrace spontaneity, probably always will be. I like to know ahead of time what is on the day’s agenda (and may or may not have a compulsion to lay my clothes out for the following day each night before falling asleep). It’s, as chemistry teacher Ian Hamlet says, “Just how my operating system works.” As such, Sunday evenings are spent looking at the week ahead and planning what Proctor narratives will emerge given scheduled events. Off-campus program blogs, Mike’s Notes, Team Spotlights, guest posts by faculty or staff all laid out in a nice orderly fashion so our team can see what gaps may exist as we try to help share the Proctor story with others.
Vaping. It’s in the news and it’s something we have been paying attention to at Proctor. Although the technology has been around for longer, the mass production and marketing of Juuls and other “smokeless” devices has started to significantly impact campuses over the last couple of years. It’s not a good development. We started noticing a higher presence of these devices last year, and then a further shift this year. Our experience mirrors what is being reported in the NYT article on April 2nd: ‘I Can’t Stop’: Schools Struggle With Vaping Explosion. It’s a bit like trying to contend with an invasive species in your garden. Weed it out, chop it back, and it just keeps popping up.
The temperamental weather of this past week has called into question our expectations for seasonal predictability, and with Mother Nature's authority in mind, the snow, sleet, and rain held off for a few hours to allow us to make the most of Proctor's annual observance of Earth Day. Each year, students and faculty allocate a full academic day to exploring diverse and creative ways to interact with and greater appreciate the natural world around us.
Proctor in Costa Rica offers sophomores an opportunity to study abroad at The Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Living with host families, continuing their regular sophomore courses, while immersing themselves in Costa Rica culture and Spanish language. Read a mid-term update from David '20, Tommy '20, Lila '20, and Emily '20 below!
With more than a half dozen alumni competing at the collegiate level, Proctor’s girls’ varsity lacrosse program has consistently produced athletes who understand the physical and mental components of the game. During a spring season that has seen more practice days with snow than sun, that mental fortitude has been incredibly important. Coming off three straight losses, the girls look to rebound today when they host Hebron Academy at 4:30 PM on Farrell Field.
A cold, snowy April has added additional challenges to Proctor’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team this spring as the group works to find its identity under first year head coach, Travis Glennon, assistant coach Hunter Churchill ‘01, and captains Sam Fulton ‘18 and Lance Crate ‘18. Graduating twelve seniors off last year’s roster, the team knew the transitions that lay ahead would bring with it equal parts opportunity and challenge.
Teaching can be a seriously humbling life. I can’t speak for other teachers as to why they started teaching but I assume inspiring students fits somewhere on the list for many of us. I’d love to think of myself leading the charge for my students as they learn about the world and find a path that inspires them. Many schools espouse the idea that we need to be learning for the world beyond the classroom; that part isn’t something that is unique to Proctor. The difference for us is that we have built a school that doesn’t only talk about it but makes it happen and has made it the norm for our students.
I was in Maine this week, in Freeport, for an appointment to see an old friend. We’d set up the meeting a couple of weeks ago. She was someone who I had worked with years ago, in the late 90s at LL Bean, and today is the Chief Human Resources Officer at the company. She is someone wise with a quick wit, ready to laugh or share a world of experience. I see her as a friend even though we hadn’t seen each other in over 15 years. No Facebook connections, no instagram feed.
As we prepare for another 60 families to arrive on campus tomorrow morning for our second Admissions Revisit Day, we can’t help but pause to consider: What attracts a family to a school like Proctor? We shared THIS POST earlier this winter as we looked at the different “pain points” we solve for families, but we also need to think on a grander scale in order to truly answer this question. Families are flocking to Proctor in record numbers because the intangibles of a Proctor education align with what our world needs most right now: good people.
Our first day in Segovia was tumultuous. We landed early on Tuesday morning in Madrid excited to see Ryan and Mikaela. As most of us did not sleep on the red eye from Boston Logan, it was slightly difficult to be as enthusiastic as they were. To increase our fatigue we were thrown straight into a barrage of Spanish from our host families. Communicating in a mix of English and broken Spanish we tried to convey that we desperately needed a siesta (nap). After this, most of us only woke up for dinner and slept through the night to the following morning. Better rested, but still somewhat disoriented, we all converged at the aqueduct for our first full day in Segovia. Looking up at the ancient Roman water slide the group became excited for our time abroad.
For Bob Beattie ‘51, a post-graduate year at Proctor Academy in 1950-1951 was just what he needed to propel him into his collegiate years at Middlebury College and a career coaching and promoting the sport of alpine skiing. Beattie passed away at the age of 85 on April 1, 2018. Today, we recognize his unparalleled impact on the sport of alpine skiing and his connection as an alum of Proctor Academy.
The Admissions process at boarding schools has shifted considerably over the past decade with technological advancements and the advent of a common application. Students are applying to more schools, their resumes more full than ever, as they weigh options and try to find the school that will prepare them best for college and life beyond. For schools vying for the most talented, diverse, interesting group of students for the 2018-2019 school year, Revisit Days are critical to helping provide families a transparent window into who we are as a community.