Author Topic: Hyde  (Read 16709 times)

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Offline nimdA

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Hyde
« on: June 19, 2007, 02:01:16 AM »
Interview:

Focus on answering the questions.

I'll start with this:

When did you go to Hyde?

How long where you there?
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am the metal pig.

Offline Ursus

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Re: Hyde
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 11:54:43 AM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
When did you go to Hyde?

How long where you there?


Early/mid 70s.  I was there three years.
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Offline silentlysinging

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Re: Hyde
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 07:28:13 PM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""

When did you go to Hyde?

How long were you there?


Well, I did it; I made an account.  :) Moving right along...
I went to Hyde in the summer of 2002, and I stayed there as a freshman for nearly a year (until late-May 2003).
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Offline nimdA

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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 08:31:02 PM »
How were you transported to Hyde?

Where you informed of your departure to Hyde prior to leaving, or was it a bit of a surprise?

What was your first impression of Hyde upon arrival?
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Offline silentlysinging

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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2007, 12:25:13 AM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
How were you transported to Hyde?

Where you informed of your departure to Hyde prior to leaving, or was it a bit of a surprise?

What was your first impression of Hyde upon arrival?


I was transported to Hyde by plane/car. My dad told me he found this program that he wanted me to do for the summer. He took me up for an "interview" where these unfamiliar adults sat down with me and ranted about my issues, and how much they could help and the importance of character and such. They seemed alright. Then we came home, and it seemed he had made up his mind. Of course, I didn't want to go, but he assured me that it would only be for a few months...and I was having a lot of problems at the time, so I hesitantly consented, thinking maybe, just maybe it might actually be good for me... I actually wanted it to be good for me. But I was also pretty scared... Upon my immediate arrival at Summer Challenge, I thought everything looked strange, but not so bad. Most of the kids (not all by any means, but it seemed like the majority) were from the suburban/rural northeast, and I remember thinking that with all their pale skin and L.L. Bean attire that, well...they all looked kind of lame, because I was a 14 year-old, trying-to-look-cool kid from South Florida who thought all teenagers everywhere had short shorts/baggy jeans/tight jeans, tank tops and huge shoes. :roll:  I also noticed that almost everyone was white...and that was really weird for me because I'd always been used to more diverse environments. The staff, especially, just seemed really weird to me... I remember first walking into the Mansion, and I did get a strange sort of vibe from the place in general, but I really had no idea what to expect, or what was ahead of me...

(Of course, I did not get to come home a few months later... My dad got completely sucked into the whole Hyde mentality, and, despite my objections, I was forced to stay on for the school year. A few attempts at running away proved fruitless; I had nowhere else to go.)
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Offline nimdA

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Hyde
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2007, 08:06:57 AM »
Describe the intake proceedure upon arrival to Hyde.
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am the metal pig.

Offline Ursus

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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2007, 10:41:01 AM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
How were you transported to Hyde?

Where you informed of your departure to Hyde prior to leaving, or was it a bit of a surprise?

What was your first impression of Hyde upon arrival?


In my case, I went to Hyde by choice.  I was having some typical teenage issues with my parents and it was decided that it would be best if I went away to school for a year or two.  The choice was between Hyde and a normal, well respected boarding school.  We visited both schools.

My parents found out about Hyde from a neighbor who had hosted one of those obligatory admissions teas.  Hyde parents are expected to participate in recruiting more families into the fold.  It's a bit of an AmWay type of thing.

When we visited Hyde, we also had an interview.  I remember that my parents weren't too crazy about what transpired, but I was impressed with the avowed idealism of the place.  The school was sold on us as being a more meaningful institution than an "ordinary boarding school," and there were implications that should we opt not to attend Hyde, it would be because we didn't want to challenge ourselves.  The perhaps unstated insinuation was that we would then be settling for less than the best.  We bought the whole spiel hook, line, and sinker, especially me.

I'm not sure that my impressions upon arrival would be particularly helpful, as I had no experience to really compare it to at the time.  I grew up solidly public school, and knew no one who went to a boarding school.  The experience was a little intimidating to me at first, and more so, actually, as time went on given what happens there.  Certainly everyone else seemed more "with it" and ingrained in the culture than I was.

Hyde has an obligatory Summer School that kids are expected to attend before they return for the school year, and my case was not one of the few exceptions to that rule.  So my first arrival at Hyde was for the summer session.  I recently came across an advertisement for the 2007 season's offering, and it apparently now costs $6000 for the 5-week session.  In my day it cost substantially less, of course, but I also seem to remember that it was significantly longer.  Perhaps another poster from this time period would care to chime in and elaborate more on that?

The Summer session entails a great many "expeditions" into the wilderness.  Outward Bound had arrived on these shores not too many years prior, and Hyde patterned its expeditions a great deal on their model.  I actually enjoyed the forays into the woods and the ocean, as they fit right in with my personal predilection for isolation in the wilderness.  But I didn't understand many of the Staff's emphasis on "challenge," rather than "learning."  I thought that they really should be teaching us more about survival skills, as well as teaching us an appreciation of the incredible beauty of the natural wonders we came across.  Instead, there was far too much butting of heads with the "whiners" amongst us.  In retrospect, it is obvious that it was me who just didn't get it.  The confrontations were intentional for teaching us kids "character."
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Offline silentlysinging

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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2007, 01:50:07 PM »
Quote from: ""Ursus""

I'm not sure that my impressions upon arrival would be particularly helpful, as I had no experience to really compare it to at the time.  I grew up solidly public school, and knew no one who went to a boarding school.  The experience was a little intimidating to me at first, and more so, actually, as time went on given what happens there.  Certainly everyone else seemed more "with it" and ingrained in the culture than I was.

I, too, had never been to a boarding school before and didn't know anyone who had. Everyone else seemed more "with it" and "ingrained in the culture" for me, too.  :-? I like the way you worded that.

Quote from: ""Ursus""
The Summer session entails a great many "expeditions" into the wilderness.  Outward Bound had arrived on these shores not too many years prior, and Hyde patterned its expeditions a great deal on their model.  I actually enjoyed the forays into the woods and the ocean, as they fit right in with my personal predilection for isolation in the wilderness.  But I didn't understand many of the Staff's emphasis on "challenge," rather than "learning."  I thought that they really should be teaching us more about survival skills, as well as teaching us an appreciation of the incredible beauty of the natural wonders we came across.  Instead, there was far too much butting of heads with the "whiners" amongst us.  In retrospect, it is obvious that it was me who just didn't get it.  The confrontations were intentional for teaching us kids "character."

When I was there, they called the wilderness stuff "outpost". I went to Seguin over Summer Challenge and it was beautiful, the nature itself. I also remember enjoying that aspect of it. I don't know if Hyde had Seguin in your day? But it's a little island that's sometimes used for navy training and stuff that Hyde also uses for summer outpost (at least, they did in 2002). However, I wasn't very fond of waking before dawn and running up and down the same hill over and over again (how many times exactly depending on the groups collective "attitude") and then swimming back and forth in extremely, extremely cold (even in summer, even though the weather itself was beautiful) water (all before eating "breakfast". The rest of the typical
day there consisted mainly of two more fun-filled meals, sitting through a brutal Discovery Group, having some kind of workout and then collecting rocks.) Because to me, the message there didn't seem to be, "This is beautiful nature! And you should learn how to survive in it because it will make you stronger." (Which is what, I agree, it should have been, ideally.) Rather, the message seemed to be, "I am going to break you down."  Of course, Seguin was lovely compared to some later Hyde experiences like Thanksgiving Outpost.



Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
Describe the intake proceedure upon arrival to Hyde.


There was nothing remarkable about the intake procedure as far as I remember. I remember my dad and me coming to the Mansion first; all the parents bringing their kids into the Mansion for registration stuff. Shortly after, my dad was gone, and I was ushered off to my dorm by a girl who was going to be a senior the following year. (A lot of seniors or "on-track" juniors are part of Summer Challenge, mostly to proctor the incoming kids.)

As I was walking with this girl, she was basically telling me how horrible her life had been before Hyde...how utterly tragic and hopeless everything would have been for her without almighty Hyde, and so on. That's something I heard a lot... "Without Hyde, I would have been a crackwhore on a streetcorner somewhere!"and claims of that nature. Yes, the reality is that most kids did come to Hyde because they had problems of some kind, but the majority of these problems seemed to be vastly exagerated; "HYDE SAVED ME, WITHOUT HYDE I WOULD BE DEAD, WITHOUT HYDE I WOULD NOTHING," seemed to be the common, encouraged, acceptable and most-respected stance on things, oftentimes for kids who had simply let their grades slip from As to Bs or Cs or fought with their parents too much or smoked pot a few times.

Anyway, so that freaked me out a little. But she was generally nice, and  she tried to answer any questions. She asked me why I was there, told me about all the drugs she used to experiment with, and then continued on about how Hyde totally saved her life and such. (At that point, I started to get an inkling of what I was getting myself into.) Then she asked me if I had anything on me that would make me "dirty", and explained that being dirty meant breaking any one of the "Ethics". I didn't. (Anything that would make a kid dirty, in the event that a kid actually did have any of this stuff on him/her, was to be immediately surrendered: cigarettes, drugs of any kind (including Tylonol and stuff), alcohol, anything that could be used for gambling, etc, even anything that implied sexuality). All in all, the process of arriving was somewhat normal, I think. A bit unnerving, but not terrible by any means. There was certainly no stripsearching or any of that other madness I've heard happens at other places, nothing like that. In a way though, I think one of the scariest aspects of Hyde is its ability to appear almost completely normal. By the time you fully realize the true nature of the place, you're in too deep to get out.
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Offline nimdA

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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2007, 09:17:00 PM »
Hmmm.. most of my interview subjects don't type as much. heh..

I have many questions I want to ask, but will stick to the standard format.

They didn't inspect your luggage, strip search you, or have you take a urine test at Hyde?
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am the metal pig.

Offline Ursus

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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2007, 10:19:34 PM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
Hmmm.. most of my interview subjects don't type as much. heh..
Just your luck to be stuck with such a loquacious duo!  :lol:

Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
I have many questions I want to ask, but will stick to the standard format.

They didn't inspect your luggage, strip search you, or have you take a urine test at Hyde?


I tend to rather think that the summer wilderness session functioned more like one big intake en masse.  In my time, they did not have older, more indoctrinated students functioning as mentors during the summer.  However, it is possible that there were one or two who functioned as staff.  Perhaps this difference is merely semantic and it is a question of my perspective.  I was very young, and they all seemed way more grown up than I was, even the kids who actually turned out to be my same age.

In addition to the expeditions into the wilds of Maine, we had ropes courses and wall-climbing challenges on campus, with the students grouped into teams competing against one another.  This was supposed to challenge our fears and insecurities as well as drive home the necessity of working together as a team.

Seminars (now called Discovery Groups) and School Meetings were introduced into your curriculum during the summer.  Sometimes a School Meeting could function more or less like a Seminar when there was a hot issue on hand, but with more of a mob mentality to it.  Sometimes they were screaming sessions for Joe Gauld or Ed Legg chastising our incredible ineptitude or utter lack of moral fiber while we sat in ashen silence.

Pushing for your best in Sports and developing a good work ethic were also introduced during the summer.

Hyde relies extremely heavily on Brother's Keeper to do much of the policing normally done via urine tests and strip searches.  Not a day goes by that the concept isn't brought up in a myriad of ways... The point is driven home again and again:  it is an act of caring and concern for your fellow students to pressure them to turn themselves in.  If they still will not do so, then you must do it for them.  To do any less would be inconscient, morally lacking, and a sign of weak character.
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Offline silentlysinging

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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2007, 10:53:29 PM »
Quote from: ""Ursus""
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
Hmmm.. most of my interview subjects don't type as much. heh..
Just your luck to be stuck with such a loquacious duo!  :lol:

Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
I have many questions I want to ask, but will stick to the standard format.

They didn't inspect your luggage, strip search you, or have you take a urine test at Hyde?


Hyde relies extremely heavily on Brother's Keeper to do much of the policing normally done via urine tests and strip searches.  Not a day goes by that the concept isn't brought up in a myriad of ways... The point is driven home again and again:  it is an act of caring and concern for your fellow students to pressure them to turn themselves in.  If they still will not do so, then you must do it for them.  To do any less would be inconscient, morally lacking, and a sign of weak character.



Ugh, Brother's Keeper!  :cry2: Brother's Keeper was one of the Ethics, and it basically meant that nobody could ever trust anyone else, because knowing about someone else being dirty in any way (or even just having a "bad attitude") and not essentially ratting them out made you dirty, too, and this basically created an environment full of mistrust and paranoia and general insanity. And if someone thought you were dirty, they would either put you right on 2-4, or first they would "confront" you, take you to Dean's Area and sit you down with an incident sheet and try to force a written confession out of you(even if you really didn't do anything). Brother's Keeper definitely fucks with your head. (And I don't know why I just wrote most of that in the past tense; I guess because my own experience at Hyde was in the past, but, for the record, all of this stuff continues happening there, and is still the same, as far as I know.) But no, no stripsearching or urine tests.

And yes, all my responses thus far have been quite long! Hehh. And they'll probably continue to be.:oops: I just have a lot to say!! :lol:
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Offline nimdA

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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 11:51:43 PM »
Actually it only makes it easier on me. With you two most of what I will be doing is steering the conversation. Easiest interview I've ever done.

What is the living arrangements like during the wilderness trips?

Coed?

What was a daily schedule like?
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am the metal pig.

Offline Ursus

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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 01:56:02 AM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
What is the living arrangements like during the wilderness trips?

Coed?


I remember the expeditions as always having at least two staff members along.  We carried most of what we needed, on our backs or in the dories or canoes, depending on the type of expedition.  Some heavier equipment, supplies were sometimes transported to a pre-determined rendezvous by other staff.  We slept in our sleeping bags, in tents or out in the open.  If in tents, sexes were segregated.  I believe I only went on co-ed trips, but perhaps some were single-sex, as Hyde in my time had more boys enrolled than girls.  Certainly single-sex expeditions would have been the case in the very early days, as Hyde was originally a boarding school for troubled boys.

There is a scary story about a kid who almost drowned on one of those trips which was just recently told on the Hyde board; the staff on that trip were Malcolm Gauld and Paul Hurd (Malcolm is the son of founder Joe Gauld, and is currently head of all Hyde Schools; Paul is the first student to have graduated from Hyde, and is married to Malcolm's sister Laurie, who is currently headmaster of the Bath boarding school).
http://wwf.fornits.com/viewtopic.php?t=21721&start=30
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Offline nimdA

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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 11:55:02 AM »
waiting on the rest of the questions to be answered prior to asking more.
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Offline silentlysinging

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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2007, 04:09:25 PM »
Quote from: ""Ursus""
I was very young, and they all seemed way more grown up than I was, even the kids who actually turned out to be my same age.
DITTO! (Ha.) Seriously though, I was fourteen when I came to Hyde, and to an extent, I felt that way, as well. The few other fourteen year-olds there seemed more mature than me in many ways, and most kids were at least fifteen, or sixteen or seventeen. How old were you at the time? Just curious. :)



Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
Actually it only makes it easier on me. With you two most of what I will be doing is steering the conversation. Easiest interview I've ever done.

What is the living arrangements like during the wilderness trips?

Coed?

What was a daily schedule like?


From Hyde's own website*:

"OUTPOST
Outpost is a service provided to the Hyde boarding school students. Outpost students are challenged in an outdoor setting to face unproductive attitudes and reconnect to a sense of personal excellence."


I never had any experience with "WFLC" (Wilderness Family Learning Center), and prior to viewing Hyde's website just now, I didn't know that "Adventure Trips" existed. All I experienced myself (in terms of Hyde's wilderness programs) was outpost. so that is what I will describe. I went on three outposts during my stay at Hyde: Seguin, this canoe-thing sometime in the early fall, and then Thansgiving Outpost. I already mentioned Seguin, and basically covered what it was like there. I only stayed at Seguin for a few days, while the latter two lasted 2-3 weeks each. They were all coed, but of course boys and girls slept in different tents.

I actually have a few fond memories** of the canoe trip, a lot of horrible ones, but a few fond ones. The water was really pretty, and our schedule was basically getting with a partner and canoe-ing all day, every day, supplies in tow. Of course, this was totally exhausting. We would, however, stop to prepare and eat 3 meals a day, and to set up tents and stuff for the night. During these stops, a workout could happen if one of the two staffpeople deemed it necassery.*** There were Discovery Groups at least once a day, sometimes during meals.  Now, Discovery Groups in general can get pretty sick... Let me explain. A Discovery Group consists of all the kids sitting in a circle, with at least one staffmember to lead it. The staffmember (who is not a liscensed psychologyst or therapist of any kind, by the way; there are, in fact, no lisensed therapists working at Hyde, not one) usually begins (after the "rules" are read) by singling out one specific kid and asking him/her some kind of personal question. Basically, if the kid does not respond with intense emotion or tears (even if he/she is simply being honest), then the kid is clearly doing something wrong and having a bad attitude and not opening up. And no matter how the kid responds, however he/she reacts, whatever he/she says, the discussion is then opened up to everyone else in the Disco Group who must then, essentially, tear him/her a new one. For example, a staffmember might say, "Tell me about your early childhood." Then the kid might say, "My early childhood was pretty good. I had a teddybear named...etcetc." Then the staffmemember would say, "Bullshit. You're not opening up!" Then a fellow kid would chime in with, "You have such an unproductive attitude! Why aren't you telling the truth?" And everyone around the circle would have to voice their quaint little reactions. It usually becomes this dynamic of the entire group collectively focusing on and attacking the one kid in the spotlight, who oftentimes does start crying at this point if he/she wasn't crying already. Then the staffmember moves it along to the next kid and, in outpost, this can continue on for hours, until the staffmember feels it's time to end it. The format varies. Sometimes Disco Groups are just everyone telling their "life story", with people just going around the circle telling the story of their lives thus far, with the same dynamic of when the person who's sharing is done, everyone responds to him/her. Sometimes they're focused on particular questions or a more specific theme. A good, somehwat-mild example: I remember a Disco Group during this whole canoe-thing where a girl, after being pressured insanely to "open up", started sobbing uncontrollably as she talked about her dead brother, egged on to keepkeepkeep talking about the pain of her loss, which, in the heat of all this madness, somehow inspired three other kids, including me (I had just lost my mother about four years prior) to breakdown and uncontrollably sob. Chaos ensued, and the guy who was leading it seemed pretty satisfied with this, and ended it there, with us shaking and sobbing. Sometimes it was almost like the goal of Disco Group was just to make you completely cry and lose it. They would prod and prod and prod and pressure, and delve into serious, sensitive issues without any real idea of how to properly handle said issues.

Anyway. The worst outpost I experienced was the last one I experienced: Thanksgiving Outpost. Most kids actually got to go home for Thanksgiving, but there were a select few of us with such bad attitudes that instead, we got a 2-week wilderness trip. This one consisted entirely of hiking through snowy mountains all day with bulging backpacks full of supplies, stopping only to eat, sleep and be ridiculed. I can elaborate if you'd like me to, but I'd rather not.



*Hyde's website is, of course, mostly propoganada/very good marketing; i.e. see their description of Summer Challenge, the program which I have previously mentioned that I started out in (as most kids do): "Summer Challenge is for teenagers, ages 14 - 18, who are looking for fun and challenging experiences. This summer program for teens blends thrilling outdoor experiences with a dynamic character development program in which teens have the opportunity to connect with the positive influences that will drive them toward reaching their highest potential. Participants don't have to be experts at any of the amazing challenges that will be presented to them during this five-week summer program experience; they just need to come with their best attitudes..." They do make it incredibly appealing to kids who actually want to improve themselves, and mostly to the parents of any teens, nonetheless "troubled teens", by totally misrepresenting the reality...but, I suppose, that's just what any good advertisement does.


**There were a couple days when we had to "hurtle", I think the word is? Actually carry the canoes on our backs for relatively short distances (about 2 miles). To be fair, I was convinced that I would not be able to do this, no way, and I did have a genuine feeling of pride and accomplishment after I successfully did. So that was one good experience. However, during this same experience, I remember there was one kid claiming to be injured, who really, truly looked like he was in a lot of pain. and, of course, the staff told him that he was not injured at all, but simply had a bad attitude. At this point, I remember him making some kind of comment about how, once his parents knew what all this was really like, they were going to sue. In response to this, the guy (staffmember) literally laughed in the kid's face, and I distinclty remember him saying, "You know how many people have said that? A lot. You know how many lawsuits Hyde actually has?? ZERO." Which, thanks to this board, I now know was a lie.


***In retrospect, I really hate the fact that exercise was/is used so frequently as punishment at Hyde (and apparently lots of other places). Between push-ups, 2-4 5:30s and other workouts, it definitely was. I'm extremely interested in child psychology, and there is a lot of information out there these days about what a generally horrible idea that is:
http://www.nospank.net/exercz.htm
http://www.lafamily.com/display_article.php?id=225
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