Mike's Notes: COVID-19 and Institutional Agility

Feb 28, 2020 11:27:23 AM

As an independent high school offering experiential learning both on and off campus, by necessity Proctor is unavoidably in the business of managing risk. Mostly we are comfortable with that. Knowing that students are going to be riding out gales in the Atlantic on Ocean Classroom, clattering through a slalom course at the Proctor Ski Area, navigating solos on Mountain Classroom, learning how to use plasma cutters in the metal shop is all in our comfort zone. It’s what we do in so many arenas at Proctor.  And our students find the landscape of challenge rich with life growth opportunities. We take managing this risk seriously. We recognize, however, that in the midst of these daily risks, there are moments when our risk profile amplifies. It is during these moments when we must remain agile, shift course if necessary, and remain vigilant to the external factors impacting our internal offerings.

Proctor Athletics: Winter 2020 Award Recipients

Feb 28, 2020 10:15:00 AM

Athletic seasons do not just happen. Athletes and coaches do not simply show up and perform on game days, but instead spend countless hours watching film, working on strength in the fitness center, and refining both tactical and technical skills during practice. Teams navigate adversity, injuries, and unexpected challenges. They fall short of goals one day and exceed them the next, and it is this built in uncertainty and the lessons therein that remind us the educational value of sport. This experience is only possible when we have coaches who understand there is so much more to sport than the scoreboard. 

The Alchemy of Community: One Plus One Equals Three

Feb 25, 2020 8:09:58 AM

The very best moments in our lives are rarely those we spend alone. They are those we share with others, often small groups of friends or teammates. Moments that defy logic and surpass expected reality. Moments seared in our memory as a perfect confluence of internal and external factors leading to a magical experience. We cannot predict when they will happen, nor can we describe why. We simply know when they do.

European Art Classroom: Craft and Art

Feb 24, 2020 8:15:00 AM

This is our last week at home before heading to Florence for the final trip. It’s a week of wrapping up personal works, finishing our term long book project, and enjoying the last cups of Chocolat Viennois from Le Festival, the café where we have Literature class.

Proctor en Segovia: A Day as a Madridista

Feb 23, 2020 8:54:28 PM

Our day officially started at 1:30 pm when we met up at the aqueduct to head out to Madrid. We filled the bus for the hour-long drive we had all come to know well. We arrived and ate our bocadillos in the gardens in front of the Palacio Real. We sat absorbing the sun and enjoying the good weather as we finished up our lunches.

Mike's Notes: Pace and Flow - Coaching the Game Within the Game

Feb 21, 2020 8:19:18 AM

Game days. Being able to move from gym to rink, shuttling from one venue to the next at the end of a half, between quarters, or simply to catch the last minutes of a game, reveals a lot about game flow. The pace is almost immediately discernible. 

Proctor Drama Presents: Noises Off

Feb 20, 2020 10:28:40 PM

Most afternoon activities at Proctor afford regular opportunities for public performances; athletic teams showcase their progress every Wednesday and Saturday. For Proctor’s drama department, the countless hours of memorizing lines, rehearsing, building and rebuilding an intricate set, the beautiful mess of group dynamics and stress of pre-show nerves culminate in two performances at the end of the Winter Term. 

Academic Lens: A Week in the Life of a Proctor Student

Feb 20, 2020 8:30:40 PM

Our Admissions Team often hears the question: What’s a typical day like for a Proctor student? Oh, where do we start. How do adequately explain no two days are the same. How do we succinctly articulate the breadth of experiences that could enter a “typical” day for our students? 

Mountain Classroom: Solos and Yosemite

Feb 19, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Proctor's Mountain Classroom program continued their rambling journey, venturing through Yosemite National Park, dealing with wind evacuations, sickness, and unexpected challenges as they prepared for solos in Joshua Tree National Park. Read more from the past week on Mountain Classroom below! 

European Art Classroom: Munich, no wait! Belgium Instead!

Feb 18, 2020 8:00:00 AM

To be blunt…This week was kinda crazy. There we were, at home in Aix, giggling over our German lessons and researching cool things to do during our free time in Munich with little success to find anything better than an apparently sub-par aquarium when right under our nose, Storm Ciara was raging her way across northern Europe.

Proctor en Segovia: Sevilla In Our Hearts

Feb 17, 2020 8:24:03 PM

Friday: After waking up from a nice 10 am sleep-in, I got up out of my bed and threw on the outfit I had planned the night before. With my full bag of clothes, and the yummy bocadillo (sandwich) that my mom made me, I headed for the bus station. The travel was long and included an hour bus ride to Madrid, a two-hour train ride to Seville, and lastly a thirty-minute walk to our hostel.

Mike's Notes: Ah...Hubris

Feb 14, 2020 8:59:07 AM

Proctor is not one of those schools that can afford to swagger. We don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars in an endowment; we have about twenty-nine. We don’t have fifty applicants for every opening in admissions; we have about six. We have had to hustle as a school for a long time, and we will have to hustle for years to come. I hope we never lose the hustle. Even if the endowment does become as large as some of our peer schools and we have as many applicants as some of our southern neighbors, we can’t lose it. Hustling keeps you humble, It keeps you competitive. It keeps you evolving. It keeps you from slipping into hubris. 

Mountain Classroom: Questions for the Stars, Catalina, and Cooking

Feb 13, 2020 2:16:59 PM

Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program enters its final month on the road as it meanders through California. Read more from their adventures on Catalina Island and in the Sonoran Desert, as well as learn all about the do's and don'ts of cooking on Mountain Classroom in this week's blog! 

Team Spotlight: Varsity Alpine Skiing

Feb 13, 2020 11:02:52 AM

Each year, the Varsity Alpine team's primary goals are to improve each individual's racing ability and to gain a deeper appreciation for the sport of skiing. Throughout the winter the team has taken this mentality to daily training and in competitions. Led by coaches Chris Farrell, Josh Norris '92, and Gabrielle Stone, the developmental approach to skiing has paid off with top-three finishes for both boys and girls in four of five races this season. 

European Art Classroom: Painting & Picnics

Feb 11, 2020 1:29:01 PM

From Nikki you have heard of the Tête, which towers above our home here in Vauvenargues. From Tori you have heard of our custom napkins and pre-dinner traditions. But...do you ever wonder what happens when we venture outside of Vauvenarges? 

Stewarding Proctor in Our Own Ways

Feb 9, 2020 9:34:31 PM

For the past three years, Proctor's winter Board of Trustee meetings has coincided with the ribbon cutting of a major facility upgrade (2018 - Farrell Field House Phases 1-2, 2019 - Farrell Field House Phase 3, 2020 - Proctor Outdoor Center) and the Proctor Ski Area Celebration. On these weekends, the theme of stewardship resonates throughout each conversation, each event, each celebration of who Proctor is and who it could become. 

Proctor en Monteverde: Rain Forest Adventures

Feb 8, 2020 8:49:52 AM

The five sophomores studying on Proctor en Monteverde this winter share an update as they surpass the midpoint of their term abroad. After a three day, two night trip into the Children's Eternal Rainforest guided by renowned wildlife biologist Mark Wainwright, the Bella '22, Katherine '22, Patrick '22, River '22, and Cassidy '22 shared insights into their time in Costa Rica thus far. 

Mike's Notes: The Process

Feb 7, 2020 7:22:09 AM

This week I’ve been thinking about classrooms, both intentional and unintentional, and about how the process plays out. Yes the Congressional impeachment process, but more about how it contrasts to the way we come to consensus and decisions at Proctor, the way we wrestle with changes and our differences.  And I have to admit, I like the local model where we work with smaller groups, work towards consensus even when the work is messy, sometimes heated, and sometimes divisive. We disagree with each other, sometimes fiercely, but we try to do so with respect. We collaborate. We remind ourselves that we are colleagues, partners in this school endeavor, knowing that sometimes our differences create the friction necessary for the community to evolve into a better school. 

European Art Classroom: Parents Welcome

Feb 5, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Birds are chirping, music is playing, and it is currently 64 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze coming from 200 degrees south of Vauvengares. The bright, fluid aquamarine colored pool appears so inviting… until you jump in, which our entire group did on Monday after our somewhat sweat breaking body pump with Dave. Did we regret it? No. Would we do it again? Potentially.

Mountain Classroom: The Harsh Beauty of the West

Feb 4, 2020 8:01:50 AM

Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program arrived in southern California after a trip to Joshua Tree National Forest. Read all about the crew's guest visitors (Patty Pond and Lynne Bartlett), visit to heaven's gate, and simple pleasures found in San Diego in this week's blog post.

Bonus Weekend: The Power of Slow

Feb 3, 2020 3:35:05 PM

Bonus Weekend falls in the middle of a Winter Term that operates at breakneck speed; every moment filled with some sort activity - an extra help, a practice, an open studio, a dorm meeting, a research paper. This four day respite affords us a chance to breathe, to slow down and recenter ourselves before we enter the final stretch of winter that is equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. 

Proctor en Segovia: Barcelona and Catalonia Winter 2020

Feb 1, 2020 2:31:47 PM

Traveling to Barcelona has always been a dream of mine, so I was incredibly excited on the days leading up to our excursion. The travel day was very long and tiring. We were on a bus heading to Madrid by 10:30am, dashing on the metro to the “Renfe,” or Spanish train service, station as soon as we arrived. The train flew through the Spanish countryside and about three hours later we were in Barcelona. After another sweltering hot, sauna-like metro ride, we were within walking distance to our hotel. Exhausted, we took the 45 minutes of free time to do absolutely nothing — and I was totally happy that.

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