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.”
In September we published THIS blog post discussing the term acedia and its ancient roots that aptly describe the situation in which we have found ourselves in over the past thirteen months: listlessness, undirected anxiety, and inability to concentrate. At the end of the Fall Term, we shared thoughts on emotional agility and the need to come to terms with the complexity of that which we were experiencing. Over the weekend, The New York Times published an article titled, Feeling: It’s Called Languishing in which the author, Adam Grant, describes the joyless and aimless state that has besieged so many of us over the past year. We are inundated with messages seeking to help us make sense of this chapter of our lives.
Over the next week we will honor the Proctor Woodlands through a series of activities, videos, hikes, live classes, and messages from members of the Proctor community. Kicking off with today’s global celebration of Earth Day and culminating on Proctor’s celebration of Earth Day on April 29, this weeklong Woodlands Challenge will celebrate our connection to land, while generating support for a new educational center that will serve as a gateway to Proctor’s 2,500 acres of land.
Yesterday’s weather was just about perfect: sunshine, 70 degrees, no black flies. The only problem? We were in Phase 1 quarantine on campus due to a few diagnosed Covid-19 cases on campus. Remote classes continue today, Day Students remain home, and our Boarding Students are living and learning in dorm pods while we isolate and mitigate the spread of the virus. It has been a tough week in many ways, and yet at this point in the pandemic, we are refining our appreciation for stoic philosophy and becoming quite adept at identifying what lies in our control and what does not.
After three decades of successful fall semester at sea programs, Proctor Academy has expanded its Ocean Classroom programs with a new eight week winter program at sea voyaging aboard the iconic Maine Schooner Harvey Gamage. Proctor’s fall semester program has run for the past 27 years in a row, most recently aboard Roseway, and has set an educational standard that has increased student demand beyond the capacity of one sailing ship. Now, Proctor will be working with two ships, Roseway and Gamage, thus enabling additional students to access the thrill and adventure of going to sea.