Proctor is far from a traditional boarding school. Sure, we have traditions (Holderness Weekend, Polar Swim, the Hays Speaking Contest, and Winter Carnival), but we are not driven by them; they are simply nice features layered on top of the core of who we are as a community. We thrive on evolutions and shifts and changes, recognizing that when we become stagnant as a community, we stop growing as individuals.
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.
Over the last decade, Proctor Academy's European Art Classroom program has provided hundreds of students the opportunity to immerse themselves in an art colony in the south of France. With COVID-19 shutting down international travel, program directors Dave and Jen Fleming reinvented the art immersion program stateside. Retaining the essence of the European Art Classroom experience (shared meals, plein air painting, art history and culture classes, art journals, sketchbooks, and living in community), the Southwest Art Classroom experience is underway in Arizona. Enjoy this brief update from Pheobe '21!
Temperatures will plummet overnight as we bid farewell to a mild first half of December and anxiously await what Winter Storm Gail will bring Wednesday evening into Thursday. As the winter winds shift, we each have a choice to make: retreat indoors and curse the cold, snowy winter ahead or embrace the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities available to us in rural New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. At Proctor, we choose the latter.
Each year on Indigenous Peoples Day we pause to recognize the Abenaki people who lived on this beautiful land before European settlers colonized it. We look out from Balanced Rock toward Mount Kearsarge (g’wizawajo in Western Abenaki meaning Rough Mountain) and honor those who first called this valley home.
As we ready ourselves to begin a school year like no other, Proctor’s counselors wanted to reflect on the emotional well being of our immediate and extended Proctor Community. On Monday, employees were given our COVID tests. The experience was striking in many ways. It is fair to say that none of us could have imagined that this scene would unfold on our campus to begin a school year. As we stood in the socially distanced line, we all processed in our own way, this completely new scene. Leaving the testing site, I felt relieved, impressed (by the organization and efficiency of the effort), and most importantly energized. Our Proctor community is showing up; showing up eager to engage, eager to problem solve, eager to do something slightly uncomfortable, for the sake of reconvening as a community, physically together.
The blur of a COVID-19 induced summer quarantine is upon us during these seemingly endless days of summer. We each have settled into our own summer routine: exercise, work, reading, house projects, family time, swimming, sleep, repeat. And while we can hardly complain about the luxury of living in lake-laden rural New Hampshire during one of the hottest and sunniest July’s on record, our annual anticipation of returning to a school-year routine is starting to creep into our existence.
And just like that it’s over. The planning, the preparations, the details, the mourning of what could have been had coronavirus not upended our lives, it is all behind us, and we shift our focus to reflecting on the raw emotions we felt today as we watched the Class of 2020 graduate from high school...virtually around the globe.