After incredible time spent in Moab, Utah, our group charged southbound for our home base of Escalante, Utah where we reunited with the dusty, expansive, and sleepy Escalante Heritage Center Campground. Our return allowed me to reminisce on just how far our tight little group of nine students has come in a holistic sense; We went from dragging our heels on three mile hikes of flat terrain to tackling twelve miles of consistent elevation on the Boulder Mail Trail. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a unique and special experience.
Led by the six members of the Class of 2021, this year's Varsity Softball team found success on the diamond and laid the foundation for the program's future. The coaching staff worked hard daily to teach fundamental skills, hard work, and what it takes to be a great teammate. Head Coach Erica Wheeler '00 shared her insights on the season below.
The final days of the Spring Term consistently showcase the best of Proctor in action: creativity, art, music, pursuit of individual passions, and an appreciation for the work of others. Wednesday afternoon brought the entire community together one last time for Proctor’s Art Department Express Fest, Senior Project presentations, and AP Language Moth talks. It was a jam-packed day reminding us of just how fun it is to see our students’ learning in action.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” A refrain we hear over and over again in the business world, and one that always resonates with us at Proctor. Independent schools can develop strategic plans, hire consultants to help formulate branding strategies, and spend countless hours whiteboarding the future direction of the organization, but when a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship lives deep within the school, effective strategy will evolve organically and continue to drive the school forward.
"Dwight", the van, whipping through the grand fields of New Mexico. I’m currently losing the “guess who’s song is playing” game run by Leo my beloved, our leader this week. Lars and I are amped up on Dunk's coffee which is pretty exciting considering we have seen nothing but Starbucks for two months (every New Englander's nightmare).
Athletic seasons do not just happen, especially during Covid-19. 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, quarantines, 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.
A “normal” spring would have Proctor's baseball team traveling to the Dominican Republic for spring training and community service. A trip that has been a part of the program for the past five years, and one everyone looks forward to, this season, again, began without that foundational experience for players and coaches. Fortunately, a warm spring had Carr Field and Proctor’s pristine baseball diamond playable for the Hornets for their spring season starting in early April.
This spring has brought one obstacle after another in the path of the Girls' Varsity Lacrosse team. With a few key players quarantining for over 30 days, just being able to get on the field the past couple of weeks has been a reward in itself. Led by head coach Jill Jones Grotnes and assistants Kate Austin ‘01 and Karl Methven, the team looks forward to finishing the season strong after a convincing 15-5 win over Brewster Academy last weekend.
Thirty days. After bouncing in and out of quarantine and waiting for a full cast and crew to finally be available, Proctor’s Drama Department had less than thirty days to rehearse for this spring’s production of Mamma Mia!. But if you have the opportunity to watch the production live during the next four nights, odds are you would never know how compressed a rehearsal schedule this group navigated. The show is energetic, spunky, loud, funny, and clever, and as is always the case with Proctor’s theater productions, a reminder of how talented our students and faculty are.
Now that I have been on Mountain Classroom for several weeks, I have picked up on a few tips and now know how navigate the obstacles the program throws at you. Mountain Classroom is about a mindset, and the way we go into trying all new things like climbing, hiking, academics, and living together. All these things can be stressful, however, being open to trying all these new things is what Mountain is all about.
Taking an early evening tour around campus Thursday in the spectacular light of a mid-May evening, I happened to pass the woodshop where Greg Allen holds “extra help” sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. The pool of light spilling out, the sound of the bandsaw and table saw, the hum of the vacuum system for dust mitigation, exerts a kind of gravitational pull.
It was March of 2020 when news of a global pandemic began to impact every corner of the United States, Head Coach Ray Summers and the 2020 team were preparing for the upcoming season in Phoenix, Arizona. In the blink of an eye, the excitement surrounding the forthcoming season quickly vanished as the focus shifted to making sure the team returned home safely to quarantine. Over 400 days later, the Proctor Boys’ Lacrosse team retook the field for the first time together. It has been a long-awaited season, but thankfully, the Hornets have been able to compete and reclaim their spring season.
The air is stale and the heat is unbearable. We drive through the main street of Sedona passing by an array of outdoor shops that all seem to sell the same five goods including palm readings, psychics, and crystals. Interspersed is a series of restaurants and cafes with prices that make airports seem cheap.
During Monday's assembly we recognized underclass award recipients. While every student deserves considerable recognition for making it through a Covid-19 year, the students recognized today demonstrated consistent excellence in their respective disciplines. Congratulations to the award recipients below.
Starting with Wilderness Orientation, Proctor students are immersed in a hands-on, experiential learning adventure that includes on-campus courses, off-campus programs, Project Period, and a myriad of skills courses. Students come to understand the value of stepping outside their comfort zones in the pursuit of learning. Senior Project provides a culminating two and a half week immersive learning opportunity for seniors to design their own learning experience centered around their passions or areas of interest.
It wouldn’t be altogether spring if there weren’t at least one small tribute to the sport of baseball, that maddeningly slow game that I find altogether addictive and centering. Everyone has their sport weaknesses. Mine just happens to be baseball in the spring, and late yesterday afternoon when I passed Mark Tremblay’s squad running through situational drills I could feel the draw. I just wanted to linger and watch as he slapped balls to the infield and outfield and ran the team through its paces before their games this weekend. Man on first, ball hit to left: where’s the play?
We spend an inordinate amount of our mental and emotional bandwidth working to align ourselves with our stated identities. Society repeatedly asks us to make declarative “I am” statements on surveys, medical intake forms, or social media profiles. In doing so, we risk becoming an identity that is as much shaped by others as ourselves. “I am white.” “I am married.” “I am employed at Proctor.”
Buckle up, its a long one… (Not bad, just long)
A collection of memories and stories, laughter and light. Pages full of where you sat and who you met. And yes, the drawings are made up of scribbles and wonky lines. And yes, the colors blend in an unfavorable manner and the pencil smudges in lines across the page. To the eye of a stranger they are idle sketches, quite possibly a collection of nothingness. A graphite mountain stretches a small amount of the papers space, labeled “Mountains at Sunset” and a little frog who looks, mushy?? What could they mean to anyone? Each infantile sketch ignites a memory that would otherwise fade.