Mike's Notes: The Hourglass

Posted by Mike Henriques


Last games, last projects, last rehearsals, and last snow…. the year winds down. Watching the ski area to see when the last snow will fade from the middle trail is like watching the final pinches of sand running through an hourglass. Cupped by a dip in the middle trail this white patch has been diminishing slowly in May, and Tuesday it finally disappeared. One last time I visited winter, touching its cold while across the valley the flanks of Ragged flashed summer green. The season turns over, the overlap of beginnings and endings similar to a school transitioning from one year to the next.

Proctor Academy New England Boarding School Experiential Education

In the theater – really all one has to do is amble across the stage – the magnitude of the spring musical production (read a review of the show here) is startling. The last days of rehearsals have been finished, the last production of a Proctor career for some of our seniors runs it course on Friday and Saturday nights. (Do come if you can!) These undertakings, so monumental and requiring so much of the actors – and the adults – are also so transitory in nature. More sand running through the hourglass. But what better fitting end for a year than a production and process that reminds us that there is always the next endeavor? The hourglass is always, eventually, tipped over.

Proctor Academy New England Boarding School Experiential Education

Scroll through Senior Project blogs to read about woodshop time, landscape painting, coaching middle school basketball, or volunteering at CASA, to see our seniors launching into communities outside of Proctor, revealing self-directed learning and a commitment to communities and the world beyond Proctor. Intrinsic drive flickers. During Tuesday’s Innovation Night, presentations on solar hot water heating systems for dorms, rocket designs from physics class, the pitch for clean wind power on the top of the ski area, or systems designed to produce methane gas from waste – these moments reveal students ready to step into the next act. May is not about the shift from school to summer. At Proctor, it’s more about the shift into life.

Proctor Academy New England Boarding School Experiential Education

The final pitch will be thrown, the final faceoff taken, the last serve rocketed across the net. Softball, tennis, lacrosse, and baseball – these teams have celebrated notable accomplishments this season, but there have been moments of agonizing defeat. Both girls’ softball and boys’ lacrosse saw wins snatched away in the final moments of contests Wednesday. These endings can feel so definitive, but the final is simply an opportunity to begin again, to rise up from the field and to ready for the next game. The cycle continues, the clock always resets.

Proctor Academy New England Boarding School Experiential Education

We’ll go to the musical this weekend, watch last games, see the final projects of the year emerge as the patch of our days for the 16-17 year grows ever smaller. Yes, there are moments of nostalgia, but it is more about the hourglass being flipped, more about the greening of the next season, more about possibilities than the past as the year winds down.

Proctor Academy Mike's Notes

Mike Henriques P'11, P'15

Proctor Academy Head of School 

Read more of Mike's blog posts here.


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