Andover Student Reflects on Mountain Classroom Experience

On site at Big Bend National Park

By Scott Allenby
Andover’s Ani McIntyre ’23 is one of four Andoverites studying on Proctor’s off-campus programs this winter. She is pictured here on Mountain Classroom at Big Bend National Park. Caption: Scott Allenby. Photo: Caroline Feeney

For the first time in its history, Proctor Academy is running all five of its term-long off-campus programs this winter. Four Andover students are studying on these programs this winter: Lily Menard ‘22 (Ocean Classroom), Sasha MacKenzie ‘22 (European Art Classroom), Wesley Koziol ‘22 (Mountain Classroom), and Ani McIntyre ‘23 (Mountain Classroom). In a recent blog post for Mountain Classroom, Ani shared the following reflections:

Ani McIntyre ‘23 – A Day With Deb is a Day Well Spent
Joy is not usually someone’s reaction when they find out they will be sitting in a car or even a bus for four to seven hours. Personally, when I learn I will be sitting in the car for a large amount of time I am faced with absolute misery. 

Not anymore. The announcement of a drive makes me and many others in our group tingle with excitement.

I saw houses that looked so tiny out in the distance. The tiny houses morphed into a vast landscape of nothingness. Or so it seemed. 

I began to study the land more closely. The desert is not just flatness, cacti, and dirt. There are also surprisingly big mountains. Naked mountains. Maybe not even mountains but huge rocks! Ginormous rocks even. 

Mesmerized, I watched these rocks grow, shrink, and collapse in the distance. I eventually get bored of the various forms of rocks and look at the billboards again. They are all quite unique; the people who make these need a raise. 

Each billboard tries to convince me I need a lawyer, my car fixed, to buy some sort of tree nut, indulge in some beef jerky, or even see this thing. Then I gazed further into the desert and mountains on the horizon returned and so did the music. Never a dull moment on ye old Deb.

Read more about the adventures taking place on Proctor’s off-campus programs at