The Winter Term often finds us diving deeply into our own worlds. Perhaps it is our instinctive nature as the days get short and the weather colder, to pull into ourselves. We put our nose down, and, too often, our blinders up so that we can concentrate on that which lies before us: our classes, our teams, our dorms, our advisories. We can easily overlook the complexity of all that is happening on this campus until weekends like this one put the fullness of who we are on display.
Each day, we see faces of our colleagues and students walk by on the paths. We interact in classes, advisory, at meals, and in the dorms, and know each individual as the outward facing persona they project. And then we see them on the stage at last weekend’s musical or this weekend’s Jazz/Rock Ensemble performance, or on the court, the ice, or ski hill and witness another dimension of their being.
Friday evening, the arts were on display at the Winter Term Art Show and Jazz/Rock Ensemble performance. Unlike most athletic endeavors, where individual and collective growth are measured every Wednesday and Saturday during games or races, the arts culminate in singular end of term performance. This disruption to the usual flow of weekly activities provides a powerful window into the creative talents of our student body.
We love to see every Proctor student engaged in the arts, but this weekend brought to light more than just the educational value of the performing and visual arts. It allowed us to see how the arts provide our students a calm in the midst of their far too often stormy worlds. Public performances and displays of work are not easy, but they are liberating to the soul both for those on stage and for those lucky enough to bear witness.
This process of risking failure, finding a passion, collaborating with peers, learning to appreciate delayed gratification, and sharing the learning that has taken place serves as the foundation for every program at Proctor, not just the arts.
We are reminded by our students' bravery to be willing to uncover, refine, and share our talents with those around us. Thank you to each of the students and faculty who have helped facilitate this sharing this winter.