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.
Over the past three months we have done our best to share an open window into life on Proctor’s campus during COVID-19, and we could not have shared the stories we have without the help of our Journalism class. As we head into the final week of the 2019-2020 school year, Journalism students share a final edition of The Hornet’s Nest featuring a fitting send-off to our seniors and a few of our departing faculty and staff. Read an excerpt from “From Freshman to Senior: Lessons Learned” below and check out the entire edition online.
I woke early this morning in the midst of the most vivid dream. A mentor of mine went out of his way to help me, making extraordinary personal sacrifices to reunite me with my family. It was one of those dreams where you feel like you are having real conversations, can physically feel yourself walking, touching, navigating your surroundings. I have not dreamed much the last two weeks. My mind has been full, anxiety high, to-do list long. But last night’s dream provided a wave of calm in what otherwise has been a stormy few weeks. I started the day with new hope.
As young parents raising small children, my wife, Lindsey, and I were frequently reminded by our colleagues and friends with older children, “The days may be long, but the years are short. Don’t blink.” In the midst of endless diaper changes, waking up five times a night to night-parent, dealing with toddler tantrums, and then showing up at work as if we were well rested and ready to think creatively, we found ourselves blindly trusting our friends and repeating their advice as a means of maintaining sanity.