Boarding students returned to campus Monday afternoon to PCR tests and an arrival bubble in dorms until the results of those tests come back. It feels a bit like a flashback to winter and spring 2021 when we were an unvaccinated community with the unknowns of COVID-19 swirling around us. Even though we all wanted to avoid a return to bubbled life, it is a necessary step as we keep our ultimate goal in sight: the complete Proctor experience this winter.
Each week Lindsey Allenby captures smiles around campus between classes, heading into or coming out of assembly, and on the way to lunch that we then post on Flickr and our social media channels. When students see the camera, there is this gravitational pull toward their friends and in an instant smiles emerge. While we know parents love seeing photos of their children smiling, there are far deeper benefits to the simple act of smiling.
The Proctor community (all faculty, staff, students, and parents) embraces the shared responsibility necessary to keep our school and local community healthy. Proctor’s goal for the 2021-2022 school year is to create the healthiest school possible by doing our best to create an environment that allows our students and employees (and their families) to thrive.
Early this week, returning and new families will receive an email from Assistant Head of School Karin Clough outlining a series of permission forms and start of year information. Included in this communication will be the 2021-2022 edition of the Student Handbook, a document that has long served as the guide to how our Proctor community functions.
It’s been just over two weeks since we celebrated the Class of 2021. We each have taken a deep breath, spent plenty of time at Elbow Pond floating under the watchful eye of Ragged Mountain alongside friends and reflecting on the school year. We’ve written much about Covid-19 and the impact on Proctor, the resiliency and grit and perseverance that were required of students and adults alike, but maybe our success was more about human connection and collaboration than we thought.
In September we published THIS blog post discussing the term acedia and its ancient roots that aptly describe the situation in which we have found ourselves in over the past thirteen months: listlessness, undirected anxiety, and inability to concentrate. At the end of the Fall Term, we shared thoughts on emotional agility and the need to come to terms with the complexity of that which we were experiencing. Over the weekend, The New York Times published an article titled, Feeling: It’s Called Languishing in which the author, Adam Grant, describes the joyless and aimless state that has besieged so many of us over the past year. We are inundated with messages seeking to help us make sense of this chapter of our lives.
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.