The second crowd of newly-admitted students and their families waded into the community Friday. Some had already made up their minds and will certainly be here next year. Some are still trying to understand this highly complex school.
I bumped into one family repeatedly during the course of their visit. They're weighing four options for next year, but it's almost like two options, because the other three have lots of similarity (according to the mom,) while Proctor is distinctly different. They want to know why we would be so different. The difference they cite is not so much academic, and Proctor's experiential programs are not terribly significant to their decision.
It is their perception that Proctor defines itself and its mission differently from other schools. The degree of student leadership and involvement in our morning assembly impressed mom. "It wasn't the quality of the flashmob," she observed, "but the fact that your kids felt comfortable laying it all out like that. The entire culture is supportive."
By the time the student panel has answered a couple of dozen questions, visitors have a handle on how the curriculum accommodates trimesters spent off campus, how day students integrate like boarders, how dorms are blended by grades, how much homework students tackle nightly, how to get extra help, etc.
"What school was it that had the fancy gym?" mom asks son over lunch. "It felt as if you couldn't have fun and be working there. Proctor kids are working and having fun."
It's also true that they are "bombing" my photos.
The school has purchased and positioned dozens of heavy-duty adirondack chairs constructed of dense poly-board of 100% recycled materials.
As my new friends head off to the activities fair, Proctor students head back to classes. And photo bombing.