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the counter at five dollars a week. All the modern researches, too, and experiments in scientific agriculture are making the profession more difficult rather than easier. There is need, then, of a better educated and in every way superior class of people in the rural districts. The passing of the public domain, the increase of population, and the urgent need of conservation and wise use of natural resources demand that the farmer vie with the best and that he have all the preparation and assistance that training can give him. Farming has become agriculture, and the farmer has become a modern professional man.
This ideal ruralized college must still teach the humanities. The farmer is a man, his wife a woman; they are not machines or drudges. They live in a world of beauty. The earth beneath their feet teems with life; landscape, sunrise, sunset spread vistas of color that defy the skill of the artist. Every nook and corner of the world is full of beauty and knowledge. The farmer, of all men, has the best opportunity to see and to hear and to inquire and to know. It is criminal for a farmer to be ignorant or superstitious. The first duty of the college, then, is to excite the student's curiosity, to arouse within him a desire for the very best things of life. Art, literature, a flavor of philosophy, a taste of languages are none too good for the ideal farmer. Political economy and history are invaluable, for the farmer, of all men, must be a well-informed citizen, of judicial mind and clear vision. The young farmer should also know that poets have found the richest food for their thoughts, and sages for their reasonings amid the life of the country. A man does not need to be a fool, an ignoramus or a clown to be a farmer. He can work while he thinks and while he labors he can revel in the beauty about him. It is no wonder that country boys go wrong in the city. Their minds are even more barren than their scantily furnished hallbedrooms and with no resources within themselves they drift out into the glare of the city to find release from their lonely selves.
And here another field opens out. There is a duty not only to the few who get away to college, but to those who are compelled to remain at home. College extension is an urgent call to the college for service. A thousand themes, for example, are made luminous with a streopticon, and the legion of cheap theatres with their picture-shows are evidence of the efficacy of the plan.
The government prepares and sends out each year, information
, of one kind or another costing millions of dollars. Not one man in a thousand knows its value or realizes what it costs. For instance, a stereopticon lecture on weather maps and the weather bureau, our inter-waterway commerce, the common herbs and their uses, popular astronomy, the evil consequences of unsanitary conditions, on birds, forest, and like subjects without number afford boundless opportunity. A live college could thus arouse the communities about it and thus increase its own usefulness beyond possible calculation. A college, let it be borne in mind, does not exist for the members of the faculty, but for the community. Our universities are not great receptacles for books, specimens, curators, casts, et cetera, but great organisms, whose purpose it is to impart wisdom, intelligence and culture to the men and women of our country.
A strong feature in our proposed college would be the sciences. The farmers of the country, for example, have wasted money enough on worthless fertilizers to buy their farms, and they look over their unprofitable acres in abject helplessness. Every farmer should know chemistry. He should know what elements go to
. make certain crops and he should know how to find out what his own land lacks. It is as easy to the wise man as a simple problem in addition. Likewise geology would enable the farmer to know of the subsoils, of the nature of earths, and he would be spared the painful experience of boring for oil or gas in a granite rock or of digging for coal in a bed of devonian sandstone. Botany and zoology also, and meteorology are not handicaps but absolute essentials to successful agriculture.
The organization of lecture bureaus, entertainment courses, institutes, lecture discussions and other enterprises of similar character could well become part of a college's work. In the days of the district school the long winter evenings were devoted to debates. Many an orator and statesman points back with pride to those experiences. However much one may know, one is as a bell without a tongue unless endowed with the gift of persuasive speech. The restoration of the lyceum in our rural communities is today an imperative need.
There are a number of special features that ought to be adopted by our colleges, features, which if incorporated in our rural life, will add materially to our civic welfare. Landscape gardening ought to be taught. The college grounds could become the laboratory and such a love for beauty inculcated in the minds of the youths that the countryside within a generation could be made a bower of beauty. The American people are not afraid to work, and if the country home be transformed from a barrack into an abode where beauty and peace reign; if the life of the farm be made livable; if by means now open to all and practical for all, present drudgery be turned into professional work, there will be fewer fathers viewing with sadness, the acres they have wrought to win, but now, alas, to be sold because the children hate the farm. There is need of instruction in the homely arts. Shopwork, including elementary wood and iron-work; domestic science with care for every department of the home life construction, decoration and maintenance; horticulture and floriculture, and kindred branches are feasible and can be taught on a practical basis and put within the reach of all. Put one such graduate, trained, level-headed, patient and persevering in every community and the so-called social problem is far on the way toward solution. A course in elementary agriculture, based on some such line as the “Rural Science Series" including among other numbers such topics as “The Soil,” “The Principles of Agriculture,” “Rural Wealth and Welfare,” “The Farmstead,” and “How to Choose a Farm,” would be invaluable as a discipline and within the reach of every school, even of the public schools. The fact that the leading book companies of the country print these volumes and the further fact that some of them have reached even the twelfth edition, argue that here is a growing demand and an avenue of service for our educational institutions. One other subject deserves special mention. Forestry is concerned with one of the most beautiful subjects that could engage our attention, and is of increasing importance because of our present economic conditions. Forests are being wantonly destroyed, trees that have been for centuries monarchs of the woods are now for some reason dying off, and timber is becoming scarce. It will be necessary for us if we are to save our farms, if we are to preserve our climate, if we are to have any landscape at all, to look well to the welfare of this most important factor in our civilization. Without wood and water the country is a howling waste.
If our colleges are to lead, as they ought, they must divine the needs of the time. If they are to become-in many instances simply continue to be asylums, let us change their titles. Colleges exist for the people and for their needs and to inspire them with the right ideals. We must bear in mind that one-half of the population of the country live in the rural districts and that these people are equally entitled to an education fitted to their needs.
The agricultural colleges have no copyright or patent or peculiar monopoly on this great field. As public agencies owned by all, they are bound to minister to their utmost ability. Nor can we lay the burden at the doors of the state university. The amelioration of society is the solemn obligation of all, and the schools exist for the people, for their actual needs, and as a means to their progress.
Waste in English Grammar
Guy WHEELER SHALLIES, HEAD OF ENGLISH DEPARTMENT,
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, PLATTSBURG, N. Y. KORTERMEN teaching and in learning grammar there is, and
has been, since the flood of English grammars came upon the market, a great variety of terms used with as great a variety of meanings. It is no wonder, therefore, that children are discouraged by even the minimum amount of grammatical study required by them and find that the study
counts for little or nothing when they continue their language studies farther.
There is in all high school courses, Latin, German and French. In many of the larger high schools, Greek is taught as well. The classical course in high schools includes at least two of these languages, one of which must be Latin. If the student is preparing for entrance into a scientific school, the high school course which he must pursue contains German and French. Besides these languages there is history, mathematics, a certain amount of science, drawing, music and English extending over four years. The student must rank high and acquire a power to think or he will not be able to do well the work of his freshman year, and if he cannot do this well he will be handicapped during the other three years.
Today we hear much concerning the crowded curriculum of the high school and of the grammar school as well, and yet we go right on teaching many things of little value, repeating many more of little value because some one has felt as our grandfathers did, that every child must learn the "rule o' three." Then, too, we hear, this book or that book has it thus or so, or the teacher says she learned it so and so, and she will not change. Besides this, many a teacher feels that unless her pupils learn a certain fact in her grade they will never learn it. They are doomed to eternal ignorance. I have heard of a teacher who told her fourth grade in a quavering voice, "If you