HORNET’S NEST Proctor Academy | February 25, 2019| Vol. 4 | Issue 6
All Gender Dorms Coming to Proctor?
Will Eco Dorm Be Gender Neutral Someday?
By Kara Baird An all gender dorm could be coming to Proctor in the next couple of years to solve the situation of housing for non-binary students. Without the Eco Program, Proctor no longer has a coed/all gender space. What would it take to bring this kind of dorm back to Proctor? Seth Currier, a teacher who leads Alliance Club with Jill Jones Grotnes at Proctor stated, “When you come to this school as a cis male or female (a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex), you don’t get put into a dorm of the opposite sex because you have the right to be in the dorm of the gender you identify with. Why isn’t that right offered to people who don’t identity as those two genders?” Why does Proctor need an all gender dorm? Kyle Tremblay, Residential Life Coordinator, explained, “Up until this year we did have somewhat of a coed dorm in Eco and from what I understand a lot of students landed there who needed that undefined gender space.” Gender neutral dorms could allow students a space where they are comfortable if they don’t identify with their assigned gender dorm. Gender neutral, all gender, and coed are all titles that could define this space. Non-binary is a term that describes the concept of someone who is not exclusively male or female. Cisgender is the term that describes individuals that align with the gender they were given at birth. An all gender dorm would not be just for people who are transgender or identify as non-binary, they can also serve cisgender students who would like to live with other genders. Proctor has the reputation as a highly inclusive community com-
pared to other schools but, are we behind in not having a gender neutral dorm? Phillips Exeter Academy has introduced all gender dorms on their campus and they have become quite popular. In terms of the Lakes Region Schools, Holderness and St. Paul’s have brought this idea to their board as Kyle Tremblay, Jill Jones Grotnes, and Seth Currier learned at a conference for gender neutral living situations. Kyle explained, “I’d like to think that one of the reasons it hasn’t happened here yet is because we have such an inclusive community in general that make students feel welcome in all dorms. We have diverse dorm parents and a more liberal feeling to our dorms compared to some schools.” Proctor is a community that allows anyone, faculty or students, to identify as what they want. But, do we need a space in our community that highlights these views?
“I think there’s always going to be controversy when people don’t understand,” stated Jill Jones Grotnes who leads Proctor’s Alliance Club. Alliance Club is a group at Proctor for allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Kyle noted, “I think there’s always work to do but I also think that we are a community that is willing to have these conversations.” What is the next step in this process? Kyle Tremblay, Seth Currier, and Jill Jones Grotnes want to know who is interested in ex-
ploring issues aroung gender so they can start planning for a proposal to the board. Proctor is a community that is constantly growing towards a more accepting school. Seth shared a favorite quote, “If you truly believe in freedom you would allow others the freedom you allow yourself.”
Mountain Classroom Delivers By Ryan Methven
Mountain Classroom can deliver a powerful group experience and so much more. One of the life lessons Mountain provides is leadership. In a group of ten, everyone is able to build up their leadership skills while facing a variety of challenges. While reminiscing about exploring leadership on Mountain with one of my group members. Frances Whyte, she mentioned, “I learned to cater my leadership style to many different people because it is important that the way that you lead works for every person in the group or things won’t happen as efficiently.” While on Mountain, I also learned to adjust my leadership so it could work for the group. For example, I learned to be more gentle with my leadership. I learned this when we were hiking up a runoff of the Grand Canyon, and I realized that I was pushing the group too hard, and I needed to ease up. On this program, there are ten rotating positions assigned to the group most days, and each person is responsible for a particular job. The main position is the LOD or the leader of the day.
Mountain alum Sam Wyckoff ‘19 remarked, “The best thing about LOD is that you get to make important decisions that impact the whole group. This has helped me become more positively impactful to others with my life decisions.” Having experience being in the position
of power gives the LOD the opportunity to understand the group dynamic, which allows the LOD to enhance communication and be more efficient with daily tasks. This role in the group helps you think of others before you think of yourself. Life lessons aren’t the only gifts that Mountain can deliver. It allows its students to explore parts of the US that very few get to see and even fewer get to appreciate up close. The program doesn’t simply entail driving in a bus to the top of a mountain to watch a sunrise. You have to put in the effort to experience something incredible such as hiking to your destination and walking on a 3-foot wide path while looking down a valley, all while carrying your backpack. All this work will earn you the privilege of camping beside a river of blue water flowing down a canyon with blazing rock walls. This program does create a lot of special experiences, but it wants you to give something back as well. It wants you to work and fight for that special moment, to have your body and mind sacrifice something, and in doing so the experience becomes more impactful and astonishing. Listing off some of our favorite memories, Frances and I both recalled the San Juan expedition. Frances shared that, “Paddling 100 miles in seven days down the San Juan River” was one of the most rigorous and wonderful weeks of her life. I concur. Slowly floating down the river and gradually sinking lower into the earth was spectacular. Time on this river is different, you get to see past, present, and future all
at once. Our group witnessed thousands of years of water erosion, camped meters away from where the ancient Anasazi lived, and enjoyed the adventure of a lifetime. On either side of our rafts, there were skyscraping walls of solid rock painted orange, making it seem like we were on another planet. In my opinion, there was not one moment that was better than the rest. Each day was filled with either the feeling of conquering a mountain or the feeling of peacefulness, all together it was unforgettable. I remember small tasks such as a group food buy or big moments like a wild horse charging our raft while paddling down the San Juan.
Mountain is a perfect way to meet physical challenges as well as find opportunities for personal growth and leadership in an ideal environment.
Nelson’s Sweet Speed Dates By Anna Hollenbaugh
Anticipation and excitement leapt from the student body when they found out that Nelson was going to be Proctor’s very first Bachelor. After his profile came out
in an earlier issue of the Hornet’s Nest, it was time for the speed dates. We set up two secluded tables in the upstairs dining hall and awaited the participants to show.
First up was Hallee Courtamanche. She and Nelson had some history, they went to formal together freshman year. Could she reheat the flame that burned ever so bright three years ago? These two dove into the deep questions fast, Hallee asked, “What is your biggest fear?” Nelson quickly replied, “Not being enough, and not succeeding in life.” With a heart warming smile, Hallee told Nelson that he was always going to be enough. Friendly banter followed about whether birds, and other mythical creatures like bigfoot, were real or not. Time was up, was it enough to rekindle the relationship? Next up was Anna McCluskey. In the beginning, the two were unsure about where the conversation would go, but by the end of their time, they laughed and connected. Anna enjoys a good golf game and she loves to spend her free time with Hallee. Nelson opened up about his love of hair cutting and podcasts. Even though their interests are different, they both seemed open to learn more about each other. Through telling stories about crazy nights watching softball games at 12 o’clock, Nelson discovered that Anna has a ‘fun and spontaneous’ personality, one he appreciates. Julia Royal approached the table knowing Nelson well, they went to the same middle school. “Who are the superheroes in your life?” Julia asked. Nelson could not speak
more highly than he did about his grandfather. Julia appreciated how much of a family man Nelson is. Nelson had heard enough of him talking, “I want to know more about you Julia.” Julia really values her friends at Proctor. She made it clear to Nelson that she was done with fake people. She has seen enough seasons of the bachelor to know what she wants.
Connor Joslin approached the table… ice cream in hand. One of the first questions that he asked Teagan was, “Who was the coolest person that you have ever met?” Teagan flirtatiously responds with “You!” That definitely got his heart pumping, only to hear her finish the sentence, “Or Cole, or Cam, or Cassidy, maybe Cassidy.”
Finally up to bat for love was Hitch Graham. Hitch was taken aback when Nelson answered a question about what his biggest fear was. Hitch appreciated how “aggressively deep” the Bachelor could be. A common shared interest was Kyle Connolly. They both agreed that he is the coolest person they have ever met. Hitch was quite impressed by Nelson’s nacho making skills! By the end of Nelson’s step by step nacho recipe, Hitch exclaimed, “I’m down to make some nachos.” Nelson typically doesn’t put meat in it, but he would make a exception for Hitch. Could they find the right salsa?
Tahg Healy entered the competition for Teagan’s heart next, and oh did he impress! Tahg was on his best game, he was smooth and calm. When Teagan asked him how he was, he responded with the ever so sly, “Good because I’m looking at you.” Their conversation quickly progressed to the location where they wanted to honeymoon. They settled on Mykonos, Greece after a summer wedding.
As the day came to a close, Nelson had a big decision to make. Hallee, Anna, Julia or Hitch? All were sizzling options. Was everybody there for the right reasons? The final results will come out in assembly in the coming week.
Butterflies in The Stomach and Love in The Air By Ellie Richardson
At the beginning of the evening, the nervousness that the possible suitors felt was high, but by the end, Teagan had several different gentlemen to choose from. Although each suitor was extremely different, they each had one thing in common: they were after Teagan’s heart. Once the Bachelorette had settled in,
Undoubtedly one the wittier guys that spent his Thursday evening in pursuit of Teagan, Hitch Graham took his chance in finding true love. By starting the speed date energetically asking, “Biggest fear and like if it’s Cancer it’s ok”, Hitch was able to create a relaxed environment for Teagan to feel that she could be her complete and entire true self. The pair soon discovered that they have both watched almost every RomCom on Netflix. Teagan notes that she loves watching “The holiday ones when you know they’re coming straight from the Hallmark channel.” Perhaps Hitch and Teagan have found the right channel over their love for Rom-Coms? The final contestant of the evening was Renny MT, who made the Bachelorette combust in laughter right off the bat. The duo was giggly, flirtatious, and brutally honest at times… it’s like they had
spent all fall on Ocean together or something, cause the bond was evident in conversation. What counts as ‘foreign food’ and what doesn’t was up for debate, as Renny considers Taco Bell to be foreign but Teagan’s favorite food is crepes. Even if eternal love was not found, Teagan and all of her possible suitors had a great time, sharing laughs and smiles, and making new connections.
Proctor’s Academic Hidden Gem: Comparative Religion By Jesse Aguilar
Students at Proctor will say their favorite part of the day is their study block. For me, Comparative Religion holds a close tie with free time as my favorite class. Why? The course is student driven. Our voices matter and shape the curriculum and learning. Students rave about the course. Some note that the level of transparency and comfort between teacher and student is phenomenal. Katie Sullivan says, “She [Mel] genuinely cares about us.” As for the mechanics of the class, Hank Miller says, “It’s very community-based. It’s a lot of discussions instead of projects. We mainly work in a group.” One student even quipped that “We get to color.” That’s always exciting. The coloring was done in class to make a comic strip of memories and experiences about growing up. This assignment followed our completion of a graphic novel about life in Jerusalem. Mel Maness currently teaches Comparative Religion. She says that the class is fueled and driven by student approval or disapproval of the proposed curriculum. Students share personal stories, current events, and their opinions on the topics we learn about. Mel shared, “I’ve been able to teach as long as I have because it’s not the same story every day. You guys [students] all have different takes on the material. I’ll come in one day and somebody will say something about the material that I never thought of or nobody else has ever come up with.” An example of one of the ideas that Mel has incorporated into the curriculum is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept. One choice was to watch movies in class and discuss with the group while relying on class participation for your main grade. The other option was to not have to attend class as often, but read for homework and write a reflection on the assigned texts. So the choice is between in-class participation grades or daily writing and reading assignments. Mel shared her openness to student feedback. She says that she learns from her student’s reactions and sees if certain ideas will work or not. Mel uses her travels and time spent immersing herself in other cultures to help shape discussions and the foundation of the class. Some of her experiences include living in Israel for a summer, working for the Peace Corps, working in AmeriCorps. She has seen much of Europe and Africa as well. Mel says, “That’s so relevant to what we teach when we talk about experiential education. If I had only ever lived in one place, I would only be able to talk about worldwide things from film or media.” Above all else, Mel says her biggest influence would be her wife Lindsay. Mel says that they learn many of their teaching skills from each other. Mel speaks about how Lindsey has teaching “systems” that Mel has adopted over the years that have been useful in class. I believe that there is no other class at Proctor like Comparative Religion. The classroom vibe is relaxed and fairly stress-free. There is a lot of respect in the teacher and student relationship. I really think every student should take this class at least once during their Proctor career. Course requests were submitted some time ago. Did you pick the right class?
Proctor Academy Ski Jumpers Continue to Soar By Samantha Parkman
Ski jumping is a unique and different kind of sport at Proctor. Chris Jones, the ski jumping coach, says, “For the most part, our program offers kids that have no experience the chance to try something totally new and different.” Peter Koumrian, a junior at Proctor on the ski jumping team, explains the basic concept of the competition. “Ski jumping competitions consist of a collection of schools and you are judged by the best of three jumps.” The ski jumping team has small but growing numbers and the group thrives and enjoys their competitions even with little recognition from the community. Peter added, “I wish that there was more interest in the program and that more people would come out to try ski jumping.” Peter elaborates on what he loves. “What I enjoy most about ski jumping is the adrenalin that pumps through your body as you begin to speed down the in-run. These competitions are different because before this I was only competing in team sports such as football and baseball. Competing for yourself is very different than competing as a group.” Grant Green, a junior added, “I really love how ski jumping is very technical. It gives me a hard challenge to overcome which makes me want to improve even more.”
Ski Jumping Coach Chris Jones
Ski jumping is coached by Chris Jones who is one of Proctor’s athletic trainers, an alumni who used to jump at Proctor, and he ski jumped in college. Chris is always excited to see the improvement of the team after every competition.
Ski jumping has been around for years at Proctor and Chris was able to get the program running again last year. Chris says, “This team is certainly larger than last years team. In the past we’ve had a few skiers that return from previous years, but this year we have three returners.” Many people are unsure and unaware about the hopeful improvements coming soon to the program. Chris explained, “As far as facilities go, I’m hoping to see some improvements to our current hills. Artificial tracks could do wonders to help improve our training situation. Artificial tracks make it easier for us to cope with constantly changing conditions.” There is reason for optimism. “Additionally, I’m looking into getting plastic for our landing hills. This would allow us to jump during the summer and fall too! I’ve also been in discussions about adding another bigger jump to our fleet of hills. That would allow us to not only bring our skiers to the next level, but would also attract current jumpers, who need a bigger hill to train on, to come to Proctor.” Chris and the team are very excited to finish out the season and enjoy the improvements to brighten the future of the program.
Theatre? Who’s She? New Performers’ Outlooks on Drama at Proctor By Sam Wyckoff
For most, the theatre is the place for assembly, where plain lights shine on a dusty stage
three times a week. For others, it is where stories come to life. In classes and productions, students acquire skills that translate beyond the stage, and laugh through the process. Senior Anna Hollenbaugh has taken art classes at Proctor, but this winter is her first time learning about theatre. When asked why she took the class, Anna answered, “I wanted to try something I have never tried before. I’ve always heard about the class but never really considered myself to be an actor. I realized my time at Proctor was running out, so I should go out of my comfort zone.” Anna also rows, went on Mountain Classroom, and is the captain of girls varsity tennis. She says, “Theatre helped me improve my confidence out of the theatre. It has helped me be more vocal.
Last spring, junior Essence McClain performed in the production In the Heights. With no theatre experience, Essence played the major character Sonny and loved the program. She said, “It [In the Heights] is placed in New York, where I am from. I
grew up around Washington Heights which made me want to listen to the soundtrack, … I connected to the music, which made me really want to join.” This fall, the term directly after the production, Essence joined a theatre class. She has been taking them since, as well as taking on a lead role in the recent production of Sweat. In class, students explore any and all theatrical interests they may have, with a focus on improvisation. In my experiences on the Proctor stage, we have found or written scenes to perform, learned countless improv games and techniques, and built sets. For a long time, I thought I knew what I liked in the theatre -- being on stage. My time in class, however, has shed light on a new interest backstage. Since I began at Proctor, I’ve learned how to build, use different saws, work with different technologies, and manage lights - all in the theater. For those who have never stepped on a stage before, a world of possibilities awaits.
human behavior and activity, and also how to create scenes.” For anyone who shakes at the thought of an assembly announcement, a theatre class can help. For anyone who wants to be a storyteller, a theatre class can teach. For anyone who likes to laugh, a theatre class can provide. At Proctor, sports tend to take the main stage, while theatre is a sideshow, but whether someone is playing on a team, delivering a monologue, or simply speaking in a group, we are all performers. The skills learned in theatre classes and productions are valuable, and new students are always welcome.
Summer Reading Needs Your Help By Anders Klinkenberg
Librarian Heidi Thoma
Anna in Theatre Class
Essence continued, “I learned that theatre is a fun place where you could be anyone or anything you want to be. Theatre helped me with my confidence and speaking in front of an audience or friends.” Getting on stage is a great way to become more comfortable in front of others and work on public speaking. Neither Anna nor Essence plans to pursue a theatrical career, but the skills they learn will help them in college, job interviews, and presentations for the rest of their lives. For junior Tristan Auyang, his first theatre class this winter has helped him become a better creator. “As a writer,” he explains, “it has helped me understand more about human activity and behavior, and how to write human behavior more realistically.” He says in terms of theatrical skills, “I’ve learned how to perform in improv, mimic
Do you want to influence summer reading? The librarians are inviting students to help revamp the Summer Reading program.
Although new to the school, Heidi understands and listens to students. She is trying to take what worked well in the past and incorporate it into the future. She explained, “We changed the name to ‘Summer Literacy’ and combined aspects of different models used in the past.” Literacy refers to the act of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, so one can only hope that we will not only read, but have the opportunity to discuss the books in small groups. She hopes having more choice and the opportunity to work with different faculty members will increase the participation of students and faculty alike. I am happy to hear her focus on choice and freedom in what students are able to read. As a student, you can (and should) give Heidi title requests that you would like to see offered for this summer’s literacy program. In addition to being able to suggest book tiles, Heidi and Kristen Nesbitt want feedback. They really want to make your time in the hammock this summer more fun. What is your favorite book? Let them know.
Netflix and Video Games What’s Hot & Why? By Neal Shivakumar
This summer, students will be allowed to choose books sponsored by certain faculty members. Interested in fantasy? Read a book offered by Spencer. Interested in historical fiction? Maybe Kyle Connelly will offer a book for you. In past years, summer reading has felt like a chore for many of Proctor’s students, so our new librarian Heidi Thoma is working to revive the summer reading model. Summer reading is crucial because according to a study from 1988, “... time spent actually reading is the best predictor of reading achievement – the more students read, the better readers they become. The research indicates also that students, on average, spend pitifully little time reading outside of school – about 10 minutes [per day]” (Mraz and Rasinski). While maybe not popular with students, Proctor is committed to improving the participation in a summer reading program.
It’s a cold winter night on campus and you’re four hours into a Netflix binge. There’s no need to worry. According to a Netflix report, the average user spends about one hour a day watching and this number is heightened during a polar vortex like the winter we’re in. But what are the most popular games and shows on campus
and what does it say about us? According to Thrillist, an online media website, the top teen shows on Netflix right now are The 100, 13 Reasons Why, and American Vandal. What these shows have in common is that they are stereotypically ‘teeny.’ They each star an attractive cast of young adults and portray a teenage experience. The assumption is that teenagers enjoy shows about teenage experiences. I polled Proctor students and asked, “What TV series and video games are most popular?” 66% of the responses said the most popular and relevant show was either Grey’s Anatomy or The Office, with Grey’s Anatomy being the most popular show at Proctor. Some other popular shows include You, a story of bookstore owner who tries to win the heart of a successful writer, and Big Mouth, an adult cartoon about the embarrassing moments of adolescence. Big Mouth is the only show popular among Proctor students that the Thrillist considers one of the most popular teen shows. Senior Ryan Holler observed, “Teenage shows appeal more to younger people. Once you’re a teenager, you’re actually less interested in that stuff.” This assessment seems accurate. After all, most of the shows that we grew up watching, like Drake & Josh, are about high school students. But what makes shows like The Office and Grey’s Anatomy so popular among Proctor students? The actor Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Schrute on The Office, has some insights. Speaking in an interview with Big Think, a multimedia web portal, on why The Office is popular among the youth, he explained: “….It seems that Ricky Gervais was able to capitalize almost on a generational shift… There are very few ‘jokes’ on our show. It really is behavior….You know Dwight will do something stupid, but the laugh is on Pam watching it or Jim seeing it and then turning to the camera. I think that is how young people feel today. They’re seeing all this absurdity and it’s like if they could they would just look at the camera.” There is definitely a lot of truth in Rainn Wilson’s response. We have grown up in a time where we’ve witnessed a lot of absurdity in adults’ behavior, and there is no end in sight. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and
The Office feature ridiculous adults which is something that we’ve been laughing at our whole life. Best Buy released a list titled “Video Games for Teens.” The top three games on the list were Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops IV, and Destiny 2. The student poll results showed an overwhelming win for Fortnite as the most popular game in the school. Fortnite was followed by Super Smash Bros., Ultimate, and NHL 19. Clearly there is a disconnect between the perception of what’s relevant to Gen Z and the Proctor reality. The reality is that video games are just something to do with our friends in our down time. When asked about the popularity of Smash Bros on campus, Tommy Carey a senior who plays a fair bit of video games noted, “I have to say it’s probably the casual nature of it, the way that people can just hop in a game without having to follow a story or a plot. Along with that, it’s easy to pick up and put down. A lot of it is just button clicking and laughing with friends. It’s a pretty social game. You went from sitting alone to playing with at least four other people.” What’s interesting about this is that the games on Best Buy’s list all feature intricate storylines and beautiful graphics. What the media misses about video games is the social aspect. In the Proctor TV poll, many people responded with “watching Fortnite” as the most popular show among our generation. This speaks to just how popular Fortnite has become not just as a game, but as a competitive among friends. Avid Fortnite player Ryan Holler explains, “Being able to play with your friends” is what makes the game so popular. “The competitive nature of the game and the shared joy that comes out of winning is more satisfying than some game with a plot or storyline.” Don’t worry about our social lives, Proctor students use video games as a hobby to connect with friends.
Giving Voice to Belief By Eric Nemirovsky
The New England Patriots faced-off against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia this winter. Preceding the kickoff, as is always the case, the National Anthem was
sung, and it was delivered by Atlanta native, Gladys Knight. As a soul singer, songwriter, and multi Grammy Award winner, best known for fronting the group called Gladys Knight and the Pips, few can argue that she was not qualified to sing our nation’s song. Yet, many are protesting Knight’s eagerness to take the microphone before the big game. They claim that back in 2016 when former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee to protest police brutality and racial injustice, he started a conversation that Knight is choosing to ignore. Why, these critics wonder, could a woman of color choose to participate in this nationally televised event when numerous artists, both black and white, have already rejected offers to perform at half-time. One twitter user @EvansMatriarch said, “This hurts my soul. Jesus you lived through King, Malcolm, the Panthers! The Freedom Riders! There’s a reason why young artists turned the NFL down! No longer a fan. I stand with KAEPERNICK. #TakeAKnee #KneelAgainstPoliceBrutality.” In response to the controversy swirling around her, Knight stated in an interview with Variety, “I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice. It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
As a 74 years old black woman living in the South, Knight points out that she has been at the forefront of the civil rights battle longer than most of her critics have been alive. “We were determined more than we were angry so we marched. We came together as a people. We held up our heads. Not only were we fighting for justice, we were fighting for respect. You can’t demand respect if you’re not respectable.” Knight had said, in response to questions, that she is proud to sing the National Anthem on Sunday and hopes it will, “bring people together” and “give the Anthem back its voice.” Rather than kneel with Kaepernick, I choose to stand proudly with Knight. Of course I’m opposed to police brutality and racial injustice, but Gladys Knight’s singing of the anthem isn’t opposing Kaepernick’s movement, she is attacking the issue from a different angle. She sings our nation’s anthem to unite Americans and promote an environment of safety and equality. I guess the Patriots took that to heart when players both white and black defeated the rams to secure a sixth ring.
End Your Proctor Career With a Concentrated Bang By Rob Gillis
Aj Fox’18, Sage Fletcher’18, and Sam Royal’18 alongside their mentors for their concentrations
Interconnecting all aspects of Proctor’s curriculum, Proctor’s Concentration Studies Program allows passionate students to customize their learning experience and explore a topic of their choice. Stemming from a spontaneous idea from Tom Morgan, Director of the Concentration program, the program gives motivated students the opportunity to link Proctor’s variety of courses into a capstone project while pursuing a study on a topic of their choice during their junior and senior year. It took a few years for the program to catch
on, and in 2015, the first concentration study was completed by a Proctor student. Since 2015, Tom has graduated Concentration Coordinator Tom Morgan nine students with completed concentrations and has expanded the program by adding a global citizen concentration option allowing students to further explore topics such as social and economic inequality, terrorism, human rights, globalization, and other international concerns requiring interdisciplinary and culturally aware approaches. Tom noted, “My favorite part about running this program is watching kids take initiative and express passion in what they’re studying. They immerse in the program not because they’re required to, but because they want to.” This year, Tom has seven students enrolled in the program covering topics from U.S immigration policies to Lobster populations in Long Island Sound. Proctor’s Academic Dean, Derek Nussbaum Wagler, was thrilled to learn about the program when he joined the Proctor community. “I see the programs as the essence of what we try to accomplish. Being able to customize your learning experience and pull together all of your high school experiences is an opportunity very few high school students have”. Students currently in the process of completing their concentration are thoroughly enjoying the process. Ellie Richardson is completing a global citizen concentration on Native American curriculum in middle school. “I decided to pursue a concentration study because I felt as though the structure of the concentration program would provide me with the support I need to write a research paper about a topic that intrigues me. I see it a great preparation for the many research papers I will write in college.” Ellie adds, “Without this program, I would have never been able to explore this topic. I really enjoy the self-paced and independent aspect of the program. It has allowed me to tie together everything I have learned at Proctor”
Take advantage of what Proctor has to offer and try your hand at a concentration. Follow your passions because like the current concentration work, they could take you to the US-Mexico border, Long Island Sound, or just down the road to the Andover Middle School.
Summer Service in South Dakota By: Henry Bechok
Summer ‘18 South Dakota Group
Everyone at the ceremony gathered together in a large circle in the middle of the wide open prairie. The voices of JR, Carl, and many of the Lakota elders floated through the warm morning air. They sang songs together and connected with each other through their prayers. This was their way of communicating out to the herd of buffalo. When one buffalo separated itself from the rest of the herd, it gave me an explanation of what sacrifice means in the Lakota culture. Then came the gunshot, it was loud and instant, however, the sound was soft and delicate. New faces shuffled through the small food pantry every 10 minutes. The Tree of Life, located in the center of Mission, is a small non-profit organization that provides food and basic resources to some on the Rosebud Reservation. It serves as a soup kitchen, food pantry, thrift store, and also serves as a source of basic needs for anyone in need. We painted walls in the soup kitchen, sorted and folded clothes to put into the thrift store, and helped organize medicine for the pharmacy. One of the many unique opportunities Proctor has to offer is a summer service trip to South Dakota for ten days. I was fortunate enough to make the trek out west with
eleven other members of the community last summer. This was one of the most eye opening experiences that I have ever been a part of. The ten day trip was a fascinating snapshot into the Lakota culture. Imagine living in a small, isolated community where one food option is the local food pantry, where the paint on the walls is peeling. Imagine living in a place where the unemployment rate is close to 80% and out of the 20% of people that are employed, roughly 76% live below the poverty line. Imagine living in a community where almost 30% of the people are homeless and almost 60% live in substandard housing. Now, imagine living in a place where many of the people have genuine love and care for each other, and everyone connects with each other through their unique culture. According to nativepartnership.org, this is life for some of the Native American people who live on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Some of the most important things that make the Lakota culture so different is that Lakota people believe everything is connected in some way. A great big pine tree is a relative to the buffalo, the buffalo are also relatives with the large grass prairie, and the large grass prairie is a relative to the Lakota tribe. The Lakota believe in offering a sacrifice when asking for help. I was able to experience this first hand at a very special ceremony, called a buffalo hunt. The buffalo hunt is a spiritual ceremony that takes place a few times a year. This is when families and friends travel out to take a buffalo from the herd for food or ceremonies. These large animals are extremely sacred in the Lakota culture and have a very important significance. This trip has changed my perspective on what it means to be privileged and the experience is something that Proctor students should consider. I never would have thought that a single watermelon from the food pantry would make someone’s day. Going to an affluent school like Proctor, it is easy to get caught up in wealth and take life’s necessities for granted. The Lakota culture is full of numerous traditions which guide the small amount of people who still practice the culture. It seems as if this culture is being neglected due to the extreme amounts of poverty right here in America. More students should make the trip out West to open their eyes and learn about the fascinating culture.
Student Of Color Dance
was postponed until February 9th but was previously announced much earlier, and that is when the complications began about whether or not the dance was appropriate. When the Proctor student body heard that there was going to be a dance selectively for ‘students of color’ the conversations erupted. Some students felt like they were being left out, and other students felt that they were being treated unfairly and discriminated against due to their race. I frequently heard students around campus make comments like, “Does that mean we get to have an allwhite dance?” It seems as though the point of the dance was being brushed over, and the wrong issues were highlighted. Rio Hashimoto ‘20 gave me his calm and collected view on the situation. “I understand that it is completely fair to give a minority of people an affinity space, but that is not the point that I have been trying to make. What I have been saying is not to bash on the idea of making that space available, but rather to bring up the question of whether or not it is fair to leave out any given group of students in an activity.” Additionally, I spoke with Mihaela Davies ‘19, who talked about how the student body reacted in a harmful way towards the dance, and how that itself plays a role in furthering the segregation that is present around our school. “After hearing the reactions of other students who are not international or students of color, it really showed me the reality of our situation in this generation. So many of us would like to believe that racism is over and that prejudice does not exist, but that is far from the truth. There were many hurtful comments made about all white dances being made in protest of the students of color dance and that honestly did not shock me. We have a long way to go if we want to teach equality for all.” There is undoubtedly a point to be made about the fact that a group of people is being left out when an activity like this is going on, but it is much deeper than that. If being a minority ar Proctor was non-problematic, there would be no need for an event such as this one.There are groups of people on campus that in a lot of different ways feel left out each and every day, this dance is just a night where those people will be able to feel comfortable for once.
Producing Sweat - What was the Backlash? By Logan Dunne
Zina and Maddie in Sweat
Proctor Academy recently hosted a dance with a general invitation to students of color, mixed-race students, and transracially adopted students. The dance will also include students fitting the same guidelines from a variety of nearbyprep schools. The dance
Proctor Academy has put on many different plays in the past, none of which have been as controversial as the production of Sweat. The play was performed for the entire community on Martin Lu-
ther King Day. During the play, a character named Jason is a white supremacist who’s agenda since getting out of prison is to hate on anyone that doesn’t look like him. Jason was played by Maddison “Maddie” Burneson. This character was menacing with an iron cross tattoo on his face. With Maddie playing such a controversial role in front of the whole school, there had to be some type of controversy either leading up to it or after the play itself. Zina Asante, a student playing Jason’s parole officer, had intense dialogue that probed Jason’s issues and anger. Zina also is a member of Proctor’s Diversity committee and serves as School Leader. I was eager to hear their thoughts on the play. “As a person of color and a member of this cast, did you feel uncomfortable with the decision of what play was going to be produced?” Zina answered with, “No,...I really enjoyed the play itself with all the characters good and bad, it made it real. I also loved the number of black people and people of color the play required, the change was nice and very welcomed.” Zina’s second question was, “During rehearsal whenever Maddy’s character used some vulgar language or said some racist comments, did any of these moments strike you as something that Maddy said rather than her character? Zina retorted with, “Absolutely not... Being close to her off stage also let me know how uncomfortable she was saying those comments towards me, or saying them, period. She intentionally held off saying the actual N-word to me until the day of our first live performance.” “There’s so much blood behind it” she says, and out of fear that I would hate her forever. Only one of which was true. I was uncomfortable with it in the beginning” “I initially agreed with Maddy in the unnecessariness of the word but also understood Jen [Director Jen Summers] for wanting to put it in. I was above feeling inferior because a word, but it was also Maddy. I loved Maddy. And I knew Maddy, who she was. She wasn’t the person calling me names, and I never saw her as that. In all honesty, after her vehement protests and many apologies, I found myself feeling proud the first time she said it. Proud that she was a
strong enough actor to conquer her fears on stage, proud that I couldn’t have given any less of a sh*t when she screamed it in my face. Proud that she trusted me, just as much I did her. And we are still friends till this day, of course.” Zina was passionate in responding to this question. With this question I saw a sense of relief of just allowing the community to understand the truth behind what was happening. My third question was “How did you feel about the use of strong and provocative language being used in such a public way?” “I understand that this is a school environment and we have to keep things ‘clean,’ but we are all teenagers, more than half of us listen to music or watch movies that have vulgarities every minute and a half. I didn’t see it as a problem. I understand the importance of professionalism, however it should not be to the point where we tiptoe around everything that is ‘inappropriate.’” “This is a school. Somewhere a lot of people are paying a lot of money for teachers to ‘ready’ us for the world to come. We are growing children, some of us very close to adulthood. If we can’t handle a few swears in the time frame of two hours, then we really won’t be ready for the world to come.” Maddie also answered my questions. “Was there at any point any type of fear that the community could have some backlash against you in thinking that what you were acting was how you felt?” She answered, “Parts of being that character sure, I got kinda nervous, Jason’s not a likable character in any sense of the word, but in the end Proctor’s Proctor, people weren’t gonna freak a lot if at all.” With this response, Maddie seemed to relax. Proctor Academy putting on this show was beneficial for the community. Having our primarily white community challenged with such a controversial display was necessary and I’m reminded of the quote, “The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more will become comfortable.”
Generation Z - That’s Us, the Future By TJ Beaver
Reading this as a Proctor student, you were
born between the years 1995 and 2005. In the years to come, ours will be the largest and most influential generation in America.
Generation Z is on track to make up nearly one third of the US population by 2020. Making up nearly 26% of all Americans, we contribute 44 billion dollars to the American economy according to the Huffington Post. In the last ten or so years so much focus has been on millenials and their selfishness. Millenials are a rebellious generation that were known to be lazy which hurt the workforce. But Gen Z kids are different. We are more motivated, probably due to the fact that we have higher expectations for ourselves, and we really care about our individuality. Proctor students come here with all different motives and interests; we are a generation that sets higher expectations for ourselves. According to the Huffington Post, Generation Z is also a generation more likely to join the workforce at an earlier age. Members of our generation are inclined to become entrepreneurs after college. Kids in Gen Z are similar to millenials in that they are more independent and they like the idea of working for themselves. However, we are motivated to become entrepreneurs because we value a sense of individuality. Proctor caters to the population of stu-
dents who want to become entrepreneurs by offering classes such as social entrepreneurship and engineering that allow opportunities such as Innovation Night to showcase creativity, problem solving, and individuality. Over 92% of kids in Gen Z have some type of digital footprint. Here at Proctor, most every student is connected through snapchat, instagram, facebook, etc. Most teams have instagram accounts. At as-
sembly, students and faculty use technology for announcements and in the Wise every night we play the music of our generation. Proctor also has many programs and class options that fuel our generation. Proctor offers over ten different tech classes as well as Engineering and Statistics. By offering classes that cater to the needs of our future, Proctor prepares students better. Our off campus terms allow stu-
dents who value their individuality to get out into the world and find something they are passionate about. Maybe someone who enjoyed Mountain Classroom will grow up to start a business of taking people out into the natural world. Maybe a student who explored Spain will better understand how they want to spend their college years in Europe. At Proctor, we embrace experiential learning - and hopefully our Gen Z will return it in years to come.
Proctor’s Grade Inflation: Problem or Success? By Kara Baird
Do students at Proctor get better grades than their work is worth? Are H effort grades handed out like candy? The administration is beginning to wonder: is it too easy to get A’s at Proctor? Derek Nussbaum-Wagler, Academic Dean at Proctor, has recently compiled every End of Term Grade of all Proctor students from 2000 to 2018. According to the publication Inside Higher Ed, the average high school GPA in America increased to 3.38 (out of 4) in 2016. On the Proctor scale, that is an 89%. To compare, Derek’s research of Proctor found: • In 2001, the average EOT grade was an 84%. • Right now, our average EOT grade is an 88%. • 75% of students this fall term earned grades that put them on Honor Roll, which is an 85% grade point average or above. These statistics put Proctor right below the national averages in terms of grade inflation. As a teacher, Derek knows the struggles, “Proctor educators care so much about their students that it’s hard to put so much work into them and see them not do well. You get emotionally involved. It’s hard to fail a student so you offer test corrections or a rewrite on a paper.” He agrees that according to the numbers, there is grade inflation, but he says that teachers aren’t just handing out good grades but are supporting their students. Is this upward trend harmful grade inflation? The cause of this slow increase could mean that teachers are giving students better grades for whatever justification they have. Or, on the brighter side, it could mean that Proctor understands how students learn. “There are definitely students that are still failing. We are just more open to not giving up on the kids and helping them succeed,” Derek stated. This increase could be attributed to our teachers effectively accommodating students and helping us towards success. UnAcademic Dean Derek Nussbaum-Wagler
like other schools, Proctor has Learning Skills that helps students with academic work and Proctor’s higher grades could be attributed to the culture of this program. What do grades really reveal at Proctor and what are the larger issues around assessment? Derek expanded the context: “[There is a] philosophical conversation about what we each think grades should represent and how changes in our thinking about what grades are for may partially explain the upward trend that is being called ‘grade inflation.’ Do they [grades] measure achievement? Do they measure learning? Are they for sorting students? Are they for college?” Derek proposed that there may a point where we have a different type of grading as we may have outgrown our grade scale. There are larger, complicated issues surrounding grades. However, Proctor has always had Learning Skills and extra help sessions so why have the grades continued to climb? Shauna Turnbull, Chair of the English Department, explained, “As a teacher, I feel a lot of pressure with grading; from 1993 to now there has been a big uptick in parental involvement and expectations as well as better college aspirations.” Shauna highlighted the theory that our grades are changing because teachers are feeling the pressure from parents and students. In addition, Shauna added that there is also a heightened stress involved with getting into college. It is a possibility that the teachers at Proctor and in America are feeling stress from students and parents in a trickle down effect. Are students succeeding more or is our culture changing? The answer to that question will be debated at Proctor, but where will it end?
Summer Reading: Vote Now!