Every community has a superpower. One of Proctor’s happens to be the act of showing up for each other with our whole selves. We tell our students (and our own children) ad nauseam that 90% of success in life is simply showing up, but in reality it is about more than simply showing up. It is showing up FOR others -- in the small moments, in the really hard moments, and in the moments of pure joy. When we show up for each other time after time, we build predictable trust that sits at the heart of an interwoven community.
During these final weeks of the term, we get to see our super power in all its glory. Starting with last weekend’s performance of “Lost Girl”, and then punctuated by Ocean Classroom’s Symposium Thursday evening, our final football game of the season on Friday evening, Board of Trustee Meetings, and a full slate of games and competitions on Proctor/Holderness Day on Saturday. On Monday evening, the Fall Term Art Show, Vocal, Instrumental, and Dance Ensembles will perform, and on Tuesday we will host Innovation Night showcasing culminating academic work from across a variety of classes.
During stretches like this, it feels nearly impossible to be at every event, but this is what vibrant communities do for each other. By providing seemingly endless opportunities to see our students in action, we reinforce the belief that it is through living that we do our best learning, and it is through showing up for each other that we learn the deep, intrinsic benefits of living in community with others.
As we donned our green and white on the sidelines of games and in the seats of the theater, we witnessed students stepping boldly into the proverbial arena that Teddy Roosevelt referenced in his speech delivered on April 23, 1910 in Paris: “It is not the critic who counts; not the [person] who points out how the strong [person] stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the [person] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends [themselves] in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if [they] fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that [their] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
It is not easy playing and performing in front of your peers, but it is in these moments, when sidelines are packed with friends, teachers, parents, families, and classmates that we see the web of support behind each of our students. JV Field Hockey (4-0 win) and Mountain Biking (a defeat on Holderness’ home trails) kicked off our day of competitions at Holderness on Saturday, followed soon after by Girls Varsity Soccer (0-1 loss), Boys JV2 Soccer (1-0 win), Boys JV1 Soccer (1-0 win), and Girls JV Soccer (0-0 tie). With victory within reach, Varsity Field Hockey battled to a 1-1 tie after a late Holderness goal, setting up the day’s finale (Boys Varsity Soccer) as a winner-takes-all event as our two schools were knotted up at 4.5 points a piece. After Holderness drew first blood, the boys rallied for the comeback win leading to the whole school charging the field to celebrate our third straight Proctor/Holderness Day win.
As students hoisted The Granite into the air, we, as adults, stood back watching the joy, pride, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment on their faces. It was hard not to smile at the way these kids, and this community, showed up for each other. This is what end of term art performances and Holderness Day are all about: boldly sharing our hearts and passions and souls with the world. In life, it is easy to avoid the arena, to stay on the sidelines, to avoid risking the emotional vulnerability that lives hand in hand with performing. But this is not where we live our best lives. We live our best lives when we step into the arena, onto the stage, in front of our peers. We experience living when we spend ourselves in a worthy cause and allow ourselves to feel all the emotions we are capable of feeling, alongside and supported by our friends. May we keep showing up for each other as we wind down the term.
- Community and Relationships