Front and center in our conversations with prospective students is our belief in expanding our students’ identities during their Proctor journey. We encourage each prospective student to ask themselves “Who could you become?” They arrive with one perception of self and quickly realize their self-imposed, artificial confines of identity need not apply here. Institutionally, we are facing our own “Who could we become?” moment. What can we learn from this COVID-19 induced remote experience this spring? How can online or a hybrid learning model work at Proctor? What do we miss most about our community being together and how do we ensure that sustains in the future?
In this time of unbelievable uncertainty, the decisions, the big decisions can be hard to make. Do you make the move or not make the move? Education for a child is one of those big ones, particularly if you are considering investing in a new community. The tuition and room and board fees? Those are big numbers. How do you know if the school is going to be right, if it’s all going to click? If the faculty are going to understand your child, if the peer group is going to be right, if the whole thing is going to take? For those of us who may be a little ahead of you on the journey, perhaps there is some wisdom to share.
The sap drips feverishly into buckets around campus thanks to an uncharacteristically warm 60 degree sun pounding down on campus, while global stock markets plummet and COVID-19 fears begin to have a real impact on each of our lives. The uncertainty in the air is palpable, and we thought it quite appropriate to share a little good news!
From the earliest moments of welcoming our first child into the world, my wife and I realized parenthood would be filled with contradictions. We desperately needed sleep, but craved those moments of solitude when our son would finally stop crying. Eleven years later, we know he and his siblings need independence, but feel hardwired to protect them from the unknown. This dichotomy of parenthood we experience daily pales in comparison to the emotions our incoming families experience on Registration Day. Even when you know Proctor is the right school for your child, saying goodbye is far from easy.
We live in fast-forward, running from one activity to the next, checking email and notifications on our phone constantly. Immersed in ourselves, our own needs, we often slip into the unfortunate pattern of comparing our own life to those around us, asking “what if” questions rather than embracing “what is”. Revisit Days help us lift out of this self-absorbed pattern as we reflect on who we are within the the context of our lives at Proctor and the imperfection that surrounds us. We become ultra-focused on the moment, a beautiful gift of self-reflection and authenticity we are rarely granted in this fast paced, image conscious world society has created.
Tomorrow, 62 accepted students and their parents will attend the first of our two Admissions Revisit Days. It will be an incredibly busy day as families attend assembly, visitors shadow classes, parents attend breakout workshops, and our current students share about their Proctor experience through panel discussions. Our unabashed goal is to present the best of Proctor, and at the same time we have the deepest desire for each visiting family to experience the authentic Proctor. This blog is for those visiting parents. It is a message as their family makes the very, very difficult decision about where they want to spend their high school years.