Yesterday’s weather was just about perfect: sunshine, 70 degrees, no black flies. The only problem? We were in Phase 1 quarantine on campus due to a few diagnosed Covid-19 cases on campus. Remote classes continue today, Day Students remain home, and our Boarding Students are living and learning in dorm pods while we isolate and mitigate the spread of the virus. It has been a tough week in many ways, and yet at this point in the pandemic, we are refining our appreciation for stoic philosophy and becoming quite adept at identifying what lies in our control and what does not.
As the spring sunshine warms campus and students migrate out of their dorms onto the pathways and fields around campus during this post-Spring Break quarantine, we are filled with hope for the term ahead. At the same time, our community processes the loss of a long-time community member to cancer last week and walks alongside another as she battles late stage cancer. Both far too young, both remarkable humans who have made this school a better place and touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends over the past decades. We find ourselves, again, learning how to hold the contradictory emotions of joy and mourning with grace.
Amidst today’s chilly late-March rain showers and heavy clouds, we welcome students to campus for the Spring Term. A two-week Spring Break allowed us all to hit reset, to take a few deep breaths, and to reflect on all we have accomplished this year as a school community. During a year of “Can’ts” for so many institutions, we have been a school of “Cans”.
Sometimes it’s the little things like holding a door or saying thank you, and sometimes it's the moments that ask for much more sacrifice. Tuesday reminded me of this when I got the call early evening that one of the weekly saliva pool tests had pinged positive and 50 faculty and staff had to be antigen and PCR tested by our Health Center staff. We wanted to hustle the new round of tests off to the lab, so the call went out for folks to come back to campus. Immediately. The Health Center staff, some of them just having gotten home from their day shift, all showed up. The employees who needed to be tested left families and drove back to campus to stand outside the Health Center and wait their turn to be swabbed. They did so with humor, patience, and caring, and by 9:30 that night the task was complete.
Proctor’s athletic teams last took part in interscholastic competitions on November 14. For the past 82 days, our students and coaches have awaited this weekend’s first games and races of the winter athletic season. Check out a preview of this weekend’s games and races, as well as our first video team spotlight of the term!
No one likes it when it happens. You are trying to get from point “a” to point “b” when the roadways slow, traffic thickens, and momentum ceases. The flicker of tail lights ahead signals the change. The speedometer drops. Drivers start playing games with lanes, shifting from left to right trying to gain fantasy momentum and the driver’s equivalent of a first down. Someone thinks they own the breakdown lane. Waze is consulted, alternate routes are sought out, the music doesn’t quite elicit the same travel vibe. Stuckness descends.
When we walked our eldest child to kindergarten for the first time, we shared a short phrase before releasing his hand into the big, scary world of elementary school: “Be kind, be brave, and have fun.” Every day since, with each of our children, we utter these words before saying goodbye for the day. It is our mantra, words that center us before going about our day’s work.