I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. The plane skipped up, sideways, down and seemed to popcorn around in the air. I gripped my armrest on the 50 seater with people silently reciting small prayers in their heads. Or that is what I imagined since that was what I was doing. I slowly opened my eyes to see snow capped mountains. Big ones. Excitement replaced fear, my eyes glued to the window. The snowy mountain tops blended into striated red rock mesas as we landed in Grand Junction after a stop over in Denver.
Human connection requires two parties to willingly step into relationship with one another. Nature, however, is always waiting with open arms. As we consider how we might better walk alongside each other as humans, we must spend time in nature to refocus and reframe how we live. Today, as a community, we stepped into nature’s embrace by celebrating Earth Day 2022.
While Segovia is the home base for Proctor’s linguistic and cultural program in Spain, students travel on week-long excursions to at least two of Spain’s distinct regions. On the road, classroom learning about history, art history, and culture is made visible. Enjoy these student reflections their recent excursion to País Vasco (The Basque Country).
Last week, Proctor en Monteverde director Brooks Bicknell ‘77 visited the six sophomores currently studying abroad, meeting the group on the trail as they emerged from their three day stay at the San Gerardo Field Station deep within the Cloud Forest, guided by renowned naturalist and writer Mark Wainwright.
No two days are alike on Proctor's Mountain Classroom program. Whether it is climbing the tallest peaks, driving the windiest roads, or rafting down the San Juan River, the lessons learned on Mountain occur through the experiences themselves. Take a seat beside Ada '22 and Hays '22 as they raft the San Juan River alongside eight of their best friends and four river guides. The lessons of the river are powerful.
Bravery, like leadership, comes in many forms, with each individual finding their own way to demonstrate their courage when needed. For the seven finalists of the 23rd Annual Hays Speaking Contest, we saw that bravery on display Monday evening as they delivered their speeches in front of a packed Norris Family Theater.
Since the 1940s, Proctor students and faculty have spent time together managing Proctor's land. Originally set up as a "Campus Improvement Squad", Proctor's Woods Team has evolved over the years alongside the acreage (now 2,500) the school stewards. Each fall and spring, a hearty group of students join faculty in the maintenance of trails, splitting of fire wood, maple sugaring, and diving into any other task needed at the time.
Last Friday evening, we welcomed Phil Kaye of Project Voice to an all-school assembly where he shared his powerful spoken word poetry. Phil joined English classes on Saturday morning as well, empowering students to share their own voice through poetry. Phil’s visit to campus reminded us of the importance of hearing and seeking out varied voices within our community.
Bonjour! Nous sommes des étudiants et artistes américains, vivant à Vauvenargues, France. This is what we’ve learned this week in French class with Jen! This week was filled with baguettes, crepes, oil painting, exciting excursions, and many Johnnie quotes added to the ongoing list of “Johnnie quotes”.
A group of ten Proctor students live and learn in Segovia, Spain during all three academic terms. They learn the Spanish language and culture through immersion in life with a Segovian host family. Academic class curriculum takes full advantage of place-based, experiential learning, both in Segovia province (Castilla y León) and while traveling to at least two distinct regions per term. In this first post of the spring 2022 term, Proctor en Segovia students reflect on one of the quintessential elements of any culture, cuisine and culinary traditions. Read on for a mouth-watering account of what their Segovia host families have been preparing during their first week and a half studying abroad.
On my way to the library in the twilight hour earlier this week, I passed a group of students outside the back of Rulon-Miller Dorm in the dark sitting in Adirondack chairs just chilling and chatting. They were senior boys getting their wings, deciding what evening study hall will now look like for them as they transition to Senior Projects, last rites of the school year, and what post-graduation might hold as they begin to chart their own courses.
We feel more fragile than we did two years ago. We worry our children are more fragile, too; their childhood upended by a global pandemic, school interrupted, screens trying in vain to replace the human interaction that we know fuels their soul. And yet, as we step into the bright light of a post-pandemic world, squinting our eyes against the flood of “how it was before”, we must realize it is through challenge that our children are strengthened.
Proctor Academy's spring Mountain Classroom students are off and running (or hiking) on the adventure of their lifetime. For the next eight weeks this group of ten students and two instructors will criss cross the American west, winding their way back to New Hampshire through Colorado and the Great Plains before eventually pulling onto campus, parking in front of Maxwell Savage Hall to sprint the rotunda stairs and ring the bell. As Stewart '22 and Alana '23 share in their beautiful prose below, it is the journey itself where students grow, stretch, and evolve as young people. Enjoy this window into the Mountain Classroom experience.
Proctor en Monteverde affords a small group of sophomores the opportunity to study abroad in Monteverde, Costa Rica during the winter and spring trimesters. This spring, Boo ‘24, Will 24, Lisle ‘24, Kiefer ‘24, Riley 24, and Ben ‘24 continue with their regular sophomore classes while exploring all that the incredibly biodiverse Monteverde Region has to offer.