Of Eagles & Turkeys
Get into any discussion of tried-and-true Hyde lessons and it won’t be long before Gary Kent’s name comes up. (The picture above shows Peter Gregory ’89 — today a teacher/coach at Hyde-Woodstock — presenting Gary with a team gift at a sports banquet many moons ago.) Although he passed away in 2002, his teaching (and that includes coaching!) lives on. Among (many) other things, I can still picture him pulling a kid aside and saying, “Son, You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging out with the turkeys.”
It sounds simple, but when you’re negotiating the halls of a typical high school, it can be hard to distinguish between the turkeys and the eagles. The “birds” all look the same. Pay attention and after a while you’ll notice that some fly and some don’t. Keep your eyes on the flyers. Those are the eagles. Go with them.
Here’s an experiment for you to try. Take a moment and imagine what you would look like and what you’d be doing if you were humming on all cylinders. What would your study habits be? How would your extra-curricular time be spent? Once you get that image planted firmly in your head, then identify the 3-4 other kids in your school who most closely resemble that same profile. Without even considering whether you like these kids or not, make the conscious effort to hang out with them for a couple of months. Then take note of your performance in and out of class.
What’s that? These are the same kids you’re already hanging with? Well, when you get to college, consider applying for a merit scholarship to study ornithology.
Questions & Issues to Consider:
1. What would your life be like if you were indeed humming on all cylinders?
2. Identify 3-4 kids in school who most closely resemble that behavior.
3. How much time do you spend with them? Commit to spend more time with them.
4. Assess your progress after a month or so.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld