And just like that it’s over. The planning, the preparations, the details, the mourning of what could have been had coronavirus not upended our lives, it is all behind us, and we shift our focus to reflecting on the raw emotions we felt today as we watched the Class of 2020 graduate from high school...virtually around the globe.
The end of each trimester at Proctor celebrates the collective work of students enrolled in art classes. Usually, we gather in the Wilkins Meeting House before the spring musical to peruse the art, gently run our hands over the sculptures, woodworking pieces, and marvel at the creativity of our students across disciplines. But like everything else this spring, our celebration of student artwork must take a slightly different form.
Over the past three months we have done our best to share an open window into life on Proctor’s campus during COVID-19, and we could not have shared the stories we have without the help of our Journalism class. As we head into the final week of the 2019-2020 school year, Journalism students share a final edition of The Hornet’s Nest featuring a fitting send-off to our seniors and a few of our departing faculty and staff. Read an excerpt from “From Freshman to Senior: Lessons Learned” below and check out the entire edition online.
Oh, the places we go, the geographies we ramble across, the memories we make. When we spend time in a particular setting and then leave, we carry with us the memories of people and adventures, but we also carry within us the geography of place, and that geography is a powerful force within us. Or as Wallace Stegner once noted in reflections about wilderness spaces these places can become “geographies of hope,” entering into the heart.
The role of School Leader at Proctor takes many forms: serving as the voice of the student body, sitting on discipline committees, acting as a voting member during faculty meetings, and so much more. Following campus-wide elections last week, we are thrilled to announce Proctor's 2020-2021 School Leaders Kingsley Palmer '21 and Nate Murawski '21! Read Kingsley's and Nate's thoughts about stepping into their new roles in the fall below.
When Proctor made the decision to spend the Spring Term learning remotely, the immediate question that arose focused on our academic schedule. Would we attempt to stay synchronous in our learning? Or would that simply be too complicated with students scattered around the globe with varying access to technology? Ultimately, we realized that at our core as a school is human connection, and when we are deprived of that connection, we struggle, and a fully synchronous schedule was born.
Each year approximately 20% of the Proctor Academy's graduating class goes on to compete in collegiate athletics. The Class of 2020 is no exception as 33 members of the class (of 103 students) are pursuing careers at the next level. Thank you to all members of the Class of 2020 for their contributions to Proctor's athletic programs over the past four years. Be sure to take note of the names below and follow their careers in college and beyond!
Like everything else this spring, Proctor's Senior Project program had to shift in response to coronavirus-induced remote learning. The two and a half-week immersion program serves as a capstone experience for the majority of seniors each spring, with activities ranging from internships in metropolitan areas to wood working projects to cross country adventures.
One of the few consistent pockets of human interaction on campus occurs at meal times as faculty and staff migrate to the west end of campus by foot or bike to gather to-go meals from our Dining Services team. Toddlers sprint by on their balance bikes, dogs strain against their leashes to say hello, and for a few minutes we are reminded just how energized we become by the mere presence of our colleagues.
Our natural world is awakening around us, albeit slowly. Over the weekend, temperatures crept into the 70s for the first time in nearly seven months. Blossoms in the apple orchard have begun to flower, the grass is greening, dandelions abound, and yes the black flies have emerged as spring flood waters slowly recede back into the banks of the Blackwater River. As we watch the seasons change, we are reminded organizations like Proctor are living organisms as well.
In a cacophonous world, in a time when it can feel like whoever is the most persistent, is the last one talking out the other voices to claim the narrative, the truth, the facts, the mute button has something to teach us. This Zoom, WebEx landscape may not be such a bad thing for us to experience these days if we can take this one little lesson, a lesson that is reminiscent of what my mother used to remind me whenever I used to blurt out some inanity without thinking, “Please…just please remember to engage your brain before you engage your tongue.”