Back to School #2: A 6th Word

If you are a Hyde student, you may have heard me say, “If I could add a 6th word to the Hyde shield, I might choose Dependability.”

On face value, it’s a pretty simple word.  If you say you’re going to do something – e.g., a homework assignment – you do it.  If you say you’re not going to do something – e.g., violate school ethics – you stick to your word.

I remember the point at Hyde when student ethics (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual indiscretions, etc.) first began to take hold.  As the 1970-71 school year began, with the Hyde community still reeling from the infamous Student Bust – a 1970 phenomenon in Hyde lore when 100+ of 120 students were found to be guilty of violating one or more of the above ethics – a very promising squad of football players had assembled for pre-season.  (See photo above.)

During pre-season, our team captains called us together for a pep-talk.  (No coaches were present.)  One of them made a simple announcement that went something like this: “Guys, we’ve really got a chance to do something this year.  So, let’s give our best both on and off the field.  While you all know I’m no angel, if I’m unable to play in a game this season, it won’t be for reasons of disciplinary violations.  You have my word on that.”

That was the first time I recall a group of Hyde students getting together and committing to honoring the school’s ethics… whether the faculty was looking or not.  I don’t recall that the word “dependable” ever came up, but that’s what happened.  As a team, we decided to depend upon each other.

Not only did we indeed “do something” that season, bringing home Hyde’s first football championship, each one of us completed that season understanding something pretty basic about dependability: You get it by being dependable.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld