May 22 was the last official assembly of the year at the school – and, for Grade 12 students, their last ever at Greenwood.
Principal Hardy began the assembly by commending our Grade 12s on having been outstanding leaders and role models in our community throughout this past year. “They are people of character in every respect, and we know that this will help them to be successful wherever life after Greenwood takes them.”
It was appropriate, then, that Principal Hardy started his address at the last assembly with a story about his own postsecondary experiences.
“Many of our graduates are heading to big institutions, where exams are written in big spaces,” Principal Hardy said. As a first-year Commerce student, Principal Hardy was required to take Calculus. “It was my albatross,” he said. “I went into the final exam with 50%, and the exam was worth 40% of my final mark, so I needed to do well. Some friends of mine wanted greater certainty about passing the exam, and they hit upon a solution: they arranged to cheat.”
Another friend was a strong student, and agreed to help them. Because the exam was written in a hockey rink with hundreds of desks, the cheating students could sit close to him and watch the movement of his feet, which would signal the answers to the exam’s multiple-choice questions.
“I had a hard decision to make,” Principal Hardy said. He made the decision not to cheat, but to prepare for the exam as best he could and let the chips fall where they may. “I hadn’t put in the work up to that point, and I probably didn’t deserve to pass,” he said. The final result? “The cheaters passed; I didn’t.”
Why did Principal Hardy relate this story to students? It comes back to the first assembly of the year, when he spoke to students about triathlete Paula Findlay and her struggle to finish her race at the London 2012 Olympics.
“The team doctor said to her, ‘you need to finish – you’ll feel better for it’,” Principal Hardy said. “How you finish is incredibly important. The journey is more important than the destination. We don’t take shortcuts here at Greenwood, so put your best effort forward in the coming evaluation weeks. Doing so is an important part of character.”