The ramp up to student arrival can feel prolonged, but when we finally have our entire community together for that first assembly of the school year, it is electric.
The past ten days have included Registration Days, Wilderness Orientation, Sports Camp, on-campus orientation with advisory groups, and the first two days of class. Honestly, it has been madness - equal parts energizing and exhausting. Classrooms are alive, a steady stream of artists flowing into and out of Slocumb Hall, the Farrell Field House buzzing with activity throughout the academic day and then seamlessly into athletics and afternoon program. Dorms are becoming little hamlets of intentional community as roommates learn about each other and dorm parents establish culture within each of our 20 dormitories.
The variety of activities happening on campus at any given moment is staggering and simply overwhelming for the casual observer (or photographer or videographer trying to capture it all for our virtual audiences!). But that is not what our students and faculty experience as we settle into the rhythm of the year. They are in the moment, connecting, immersing, learning alongside each other.
It is through this complex web of relationships that each individual is connected to others, and intentional community is formed. It requires all of us - students, teaching faculty, advisors, dorm parents, coaches, support staff - to continuously form new relationships while strengthening existing ones. With each class, practice, dorm meeting, advisory, or meal, this web strengthens, surrounding each student with multiple intersections of support.
At last year’s graduation, Salutatorian Cha Krupta ‘21 shared the following wisdom, “The Proctor community is a community in which students and faculty alike will at 10:30 on an unassuming Monday ridicule themselves in assembly at some random game. It is a community that is much like a spider’s carefully crafted web. Many separate strands, be it people or ideas, extend out in several different directions. Some quite close, some directly opposed. Yet a common thread travels across these separate strands, spiraling outward, reaching even the furthest ends connecting us all. We are all woven together in a beautiful tapestry of cultures and ideas, holding strong through even the toughest winds or heaviest of downpours. As such, none of us will ever truly leave Proctor. Traditions may come and go...but our ideas, our greatest and happiest moments will forever permeate the web, intrinsically woven into it, holding the many strands together as we travel off and away...Thank you, Proctor, for weaving me into your web.”
Cha's words feel especially poignant today as we watch new webs of support, connection, and identity, form around this 2021-2022 version of Proctor Academy. As this happens, each of us - not just our students - begin to think more broadly about who we could become. Not who we are, or who we were, but who we could be. We all have an idealized version of self toward which we strive. And while we are imperfect beings who will ever be in pursuit of that idealized self, we are empowered to write the next chapter of our story without inhibition. This is the feeling that permeates campus right now, and is the feeling that will hopefully remain alive in us throughout the year ahead.