“I wish I could be a student here.” In my first few months working at Proctor, it’s hard to count how many times I’ve heard my fellow faculty say these words. I hear it in the dining hall, I hear it when faculty speak with visiting families, I occasionally hear it when teachers are (gently) reminding their students how many wonderful opportunities they have at their disposal.
New students arrived on September 6 for Wilderness Orientation, their faces filled with uncertainty. How would they fit in socially? Academically? Athletically? Artistically? How would they find their friend group, who would sit with them at meals? Today, during a packed Brown Dining Commons lunch, we look around and see connected faces, smiles, seemingly endless Spirit Week energy. We see young people who are finding their way through their high school experience, with the support of an amazing, tireless group of adults who keep this community running.
During Monday’s assembly, five new members of the Class of 2023 were inducted into the Allan S. Bursaw Chapter of the National Honor Society. Recognized for their scholarship, character, service, and citizenship, these twelve students (Grace, Kally, Emma, Eliza, Ella, Grace, Sophie, Samantha, Ingrid, Phoenix, Henry, and Jonathan) include some of the highest academic achievers in the senior class, but perhaps more importantly represent the variety of experiences that makeup the Proctor journey.
Any given day at Proctor is filled with a thousand interactions: teachers, friends, dorm parents, roommates, parents, coaches, teammates, advisors, dining staff, housekeepers in dorms. It is these varied conversations, and the energy they generate, that make up the many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is our life at Proctor.
At the beginning of last spring, I had the opportunity to observe Tom Morgan’s Creative Nonfiction class in action as students worked in small groups to create podcasts. Their assignment was to document the collective Proctor response to the first weeks of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Tom invited me to his class to discuss the basics of digital storytelling and audio sequencing, including how to select, trim and arrange different audio elements into a cohesive story.
If you were to create a musical score for the school year, you would feel the cyclical crescendos building toward the end of each trimester. Over the past week, the beat quickened and volume intensified in the background music of our lives at Proctor as we celebrated student work and began preparations for commencement on Saturday.