Sawubona. The most common greeting in the Zulu tribe and throughout South Africa is translated, “I see you and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” What better greeting to share with each other as we return from a short, but much-needed Thanksgiving Break after an incredibly intense first trimester at Proctor.
If 2020 has taught us anything it is 1) to remain flexible and 2) the importance of relationships. Ocean Classroom 2020 instilled these two critical lessons in the twenty-one Proctor students who called the schooner Roseway home for the past ten weeks. Congratulations to the crew of Ocean Classroom on completing an unforgettable journey.
With the unknown if interscholastic athletic contests would take place this fall, we already accepted that this would be the most challenging and unique athletic season we have ever faced. What makes athletic programming so valuable is the outlet it provides students and a new environment to learn how to be on a team, lead, win and lose with grace, and exert the built-up physical energy from a full day of classes. It was never a question of if we would have athletics this fall. It was a question of how.
Never has the creation of art been more important in our students’ lives. When our students stepped into the studio, the wood shop, the forge, or on the stage, they shed the invisible weight of a global pandemic and simply immersed themselves in the healing process of creating art. Today, we share student work in a Virtual End of Term Art Show at the link below.
We enter exam week with our noses pressed to the ground, focused intently on helping guide our students through final assessments, studying, and, our favorite, dorm cleaning and packing. This head-down, tirelessly-support-our students mindset has dominated our lives since Registration Day on September 7. As we cautiously lift our heads and see glimpses of the end of the term, we need to acknowledge the good, good work that has been done by so many over the past ten weeks to allow us to remain in-person.
On the cusp of exam week, students will be looking back to reflect and collect the knowledge accrued over the term. There will be final projects, final fall performances, and final exams. The library will bustle. Review sessions will be packed. The stairs to Learning Skills will continually creak as students transit up and down. All of this is part of a normal term, part of an opportunity for students to put forth their best work, to celebrate excellence. These are the expected takeaways from a term. But what about the unexpected?
As the Proctor community nears the end of the final week of classes, it may seem that energy on campus is at its lowest as students and faculty focus on their academic work in preparations for exams. However, a tradition of rivalry, school spirit, and athletic competition, stretching back over forty years approaches rapidly, and with it one of the most anticipated days of the Fall Term: Holderness Day 2020!
Temperatures in the 70s, sunshine, and blue skies have been a gift to our students and faculty as we enter the home stretch of the Fall Term. We soak up every moment of these extra days of meals and classes outside and our final practices before Holderness Weekend knowing well this weather won't last. We encourage each other to live in the moment, to suck the marrow out of each day, not knowing what the next will bring in this COVID-19 laden world.
Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program has made its way to Cumberland Island, Georgia as they prepare for the long open sea voyage to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands in the coming week. Unsettled weather in the Atlantic has delayed Roseway’s departure for this 13 day open water voyage, but the students and program are committed to making this experience happen. Read more from the past week on Ocean Classroom in the student journal entries below and enjoy a few video clips from the past week.
Today we voted. We voted because we have been granted the right to do so under the representative democracy designed by America’s founding fathers nearly 250 years ago. Every four years, like clockwork, through times of war and economic hardship and domestic unrest, citizens gather in their communities to vote for President of the United States and other offices. As we step behind the red and white curtain in the gym at Andover Elementary Middle School to cast our vote, we are reminded that our voice is powerful and that our voice matters.
Not all schools could run a program like Ocean Classroom in the midst of a global pandemic, but when Ocean Classroom director Brooks Bicknell ‘77 proposed a plan to run the program this fall, members of the Proctor’s COVID-19 Task Force rallied to find a way to safely quarantine both students and crew prior to launching the nine week, term-long voyage. The schooner Roseway and its intrepid student crew are now seven weeks into their journey down the eastern seaboard, and having the most abnormally, normal Fall Term of anyone at Proctor. Read more from the past week’s Ship’s Log below!