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.
Last week’s Holderness Weekend had all of us reflecting on the trimester that has now come to a close. Last week, not only did our students compete at the highest levels on and off the field of play, but they were nice people who had fun being with each other. In fact, I don’t ever remember working at a school in my long history of being in schools and visiting other schools where the students cared so deeply about supporting each other and honoring the games and activities in which they participated.
What happens along a student's journey when they are discovering different aspects of their personality? This is one of the questions that surfaces in Proctor’s newest production of “Almost, Maine” directed by Charley Stern ‘08. In fact, Charley’s return to Proctor is also a journey of self-discovery that closely mirrors that of many of the characters in the play he directs. I would also surmise that our current students are inspired by the life lessons of their director as they zero in on creating characters in “Almost, Maine,” a play that depicts a place that is not quite a real place but an “almost” place in Maine.
The east end of the Proctor campus has been a-buzz with activity since the start of the school year. Cruising into Slocumb Hall, as many folks around campus often will on any given day, you see the usual order and light. The first thing you notice is how peaceful and still the room feels, even as students file into the space.
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.
From faculty and staff (and their children) playing key roles in the show to our Head of School Brian Thomas making a cameo as Shrek's father in the opening scene to a talented cast of students from all corners of campus, Proctor Drama's production of Shrek! The Musical is truly a community-wide show. After two months of rehearsals, the cast and crew take the stage for opening night on Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 PM in the Wilkins Meeting House.
After nearly two decades of working in education, you might think the cycle of a school year would feel redundant: the same calendar, same events, same games, same final exam schedule. Like a farmer who will always be challenged by unpredictable weather, the challenge of our craft lies in the ever-changing nature of the uncontrollables -- the personalities, talents, and inherent energy of the students and adults in our community who make the February 2022 version of ourselves wholly unique.