Mike's Notes - September 5, 2014

Posted by Mike Henriques


It is not easy starting a new journey.

A blend of excitement and anxiety accompanies the new, but when families arrived on Tuesday for registration, when we gathered under the big tent to talk about wilderness orientation with the rain gently drumming down, you could sense the collective willingness to grow.

It requires stepping outside of comfort zones and leaving the familiar behind.

Mike Henriques Proctor Academy

The “white space,” at the edge of the map, the place where our known gives way to the unknown, where routine is replaced by discovery, that’s where the learning takes place. It’s not always where we find comfort. We are stretched, a little off balance, focused. For many spending five days in the woods, five days of forming new connections and sharing adventures, is well outside the known.

And yet, almost all of us come out of the woods saying, “Yes, I can.”

As we push ourselves, as we look to continue the life-long journey of learning, it is also important to recognize that we don’t succeed alone. We navigate the unknown best when we have others to help us, steady us, encourage us. Paul Tough, in his compelling book How Children Succeed, spends time exploring how relationships of caring and compassion help create essential foundations of support. It’s a fascinating read on how resiliency finds its way (or doesn’t) into individuals. We navigate “white space” with the help of others – family, friends, and educators.

Building and continuing these relationships matter at Proctor. We know that those pockets of the unknown are hard to step into, and we also know that it is essential that we all take that step – students and adults. We recommit to that journey and those relationships as a new school year commences.

It feels great to be back at it.



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