May (2014)
What We Meant
April (2014)
Earth In Mind
February (2014)
Looking Ahead
January (2014)
November (2013)
October (2013)
September (2013)
May (2013)
April (2013)
March (2013)
February (2013)
Striking a Match
This page features images from the weekend and Monday.

The rest of the world can observe Earth Day in April; Proctor dedicates a whole day to environmental awareness in the first week of May.

Let's back up to Saturday night, though. I wrote in this week's Parent Page that Saturday's activities included a Medieval Joust outside the Wise Center. The Middle Ages had nothing to do with it. It was one of those inflatables:


There's been some buzz recently among those I follow on Twitter regarding rankings of schools and colleges in various magazines and newspapers. In an industry that is super-sensitive to elitism, independent school ranking is ludicrous. Hundreds of colleges have virtually sold their souls--and missions--for a position in U.S. News's annual assessment. 

This is Sunday afternoon, where some cricket enthusiasts are gracing Farrell Field (or is it Farrell Pitch?).


o manipulate their rankings for U.S. News, some colleges stoop to direct mailing invitations to apply, thereby increasing the number they eventually decline. That practice is counter to ethical admission practice. Beginning in the 1980s, when Proctor became a hot school for educational consultants (who love a school that can define itself,) we work to hurt as few potential applicants as possible by discouraging inappropriate applications as early as possible.

Sunday afternoon: Elliot denies Myles a score in Ultimate Frisbee.

 Ultimate Action-1

he frenzy over collegiate rankings serves to frustrate differentiation between schools, yet differentiation is the salvation of independent schools. To prosper and flourish, be truly unique. That uniqueness would likely be curricular, but Proctor--beyond its prototypic curriculum--is also distinguished by the ethos thing, something I called The Free Prize in my previous post. It is our difference from other schools that will ensure our success.

We were extremely fortunate to have internationally acclaimed author, naturalist and activist Carl Safina as a guest on campus for Monday's Earth Day observances. Carl spoke passionately at an all-school assembly Sunday evening, narrating a PowerPoint show entitled "Caught In the Same Net: Oceans and Us" on the environmental challenges faced by oceans via pollution and overfishing. He gained credibility by sharing his own passion for fishing (specific species!) and concluded with a message of hope.

Carl Sefina-1

He participated in workshops Monday morning, sharing rare insights on global ecology. It's rare for a school to attract such a noted expert and presenter and we are grateful to trustee Judy Bergsma for facilitating Carl Safina's participation in Earth Day 2010!

More: The school is broken into small groups for highly focused activities and pursuits. Bruno and Ian are identifying invertebrates from pond muck.


ne of the activities was kickball, which proved to be hilarious. Mikaela and Kelly's umpiring was crucial to the success of the activity.


Jackson, Annie Mackenzie and Courtney spent the morning prepping soil in Proctor's prodigious organic garden while feeding black flies. Spinach and lettuces--already flourishing--will be served at Senior Dinner on May 28.


ut here's the bottom line when it comes to school ranking: How about the student? Do they care--at all--about the applicant's individuality? No. Those who pursue ranking are focused on faculty members' advanced degrees, size of endowment, percentage of applicants denied admission, etc. It is a patently unethical business, because it grants no consideration of the boy or girl who may attend. What about the match between individual student and individual school?

If I were ranking schools, I'd place some value in this:




ait.... Is that Alex "Chill" Hill '08 on the right?



allace is threatening to swallow this bug. I don't know how that's going to play with Boston Magazine.....

Mike Henriques and Alan McIntyre huddle with internationally acclaimed author/activist Carl Safina before Monday's Earth Day workshops.
Caleb's ready for co-ed jousting.
Mirwan has to be our standout cricketeer.
Keith holds a prize salamander; Nick spoons pondwater into a holding teaspoon full at a time.
Zack demonstrates proper form pitching kickball.
Jessy prepares a floating piece of artwork inspired by Andy Goldsworthy.
Same project, but Lauren's artwork is not meant to float.
Ryan wants us to appreciate his set-up stance on the volleyball beach.
Keith schools Tyler.