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Oct. 1, 1916
Oct. 8, 1916
Oct. 15, 1916
Oct. 22, 1916
Oct. 29, 1916
My paper is late today so I am writing my letter in the morning. I enjoyed your interesting letter very much, and am glad you have had a couple of good outings. My only motor rides since I have been down here have been the jitney trip between Millville and Bridgeton, and a couple between Mrs. Winch's and the post office with MacDougall when he is here. He has asked me to come up to Hammonton to see him some Saturday and then ride down here in his care in the evening when he comes to see Miss Hodgson, and I expect I shall be doing it one these fine days. It was certainly a surprise to learn about Ralph's automobile.
Mr. Winch has been in bed most of the week, and has had some bad spells, but he seems to have been improving steadily for about a day and a half, and I hope will keep it up. The trouble is he wants to get up too soon when he does feel a little better, and if he had stayed in bed where he belonged all week, instead of getting dressed and going downstairs every once in a while, I think he would be better now. He has not had severe attacks this week, as he has taken some nitro-glycerin tablets the doctor gave him, whenever he felt an attack coming on.
I have worked leisurely most of the week and expect that school will open tomorrow. However the Board of Education and Board of Health are in a row about it. The former having voted last night against the recommendation of the latter that it be postponed another two weeks. And the latter maintaining that school will be postponed anyway; so what the outcome will be I don't know. In the meantime there will be a session tomorrow, I imagine; the only thing that will be done will be registration and choice of courses by the pupils, and then we teachers will need the rest of the day in putting the results together, so that the pupils on Tuesday can be told at just what hours their classes come, particularly when they have courses in which there must be more that one division.
Dr. Whitney hasn't appeared on the scene yet, but I hope will arrive before tomorrow morning; the Board was all out of patience with him because he appeared so late before, and I don't know what would happen if he didn't come tomorrow; Probably they'd wire him not to bother to come at all. You ask me how I like him on the whole; of course as he hasn't been here the past two weeks I can tell you little more that I have told you already. It does rather appear that he is pretty confident in the correctness of his own views, but I do not believe that he will be hard to get along with, and Carey feels the same way. However arbitrary he may turn out to be, I hope that he remains, because his place would probably be taken by the manual training teacher, one Myers, who is shifty and unscrupulous, a man in whom I have no confidence whatever. About Dr. Whitney's editorial work, I don't know definitely what he was doing this summer, but I think he was working on some book he is writing, as he has already written some books, two that I know of on pedagogical subjects, one called the "The Socialized Recitation," and the other "Moral Education."
Friday evening I attended an impromptu watermelon party at a certain Mr. Price's, where some of the grammar school teachers, two to be exact, board. All the other teachers at Mrs. Winch's went down, also Carey, and about five other teachers, some of the High School, some of the grammar school. Mr. Price had gotten four of the largest watermelons I ever saw from Turkahoe (?), out in the country a bit, and one of these was enough to feed the whole of us. To show you how large those melons were, the four together weighed 193 pounds, and it was delicious. I succeeded in establishing my usual reputation in the watermelon line, and I trust, without loss of dignity or good manners. I furnished some piano music and Hiss Hodgson did some singing, and there was music of the chin variety in abundance from everyone. Poor Carey in an ill advised moment a few nights before had asked the difference between tatting and crocheting, and as most all the teachers were doing one or the other, he was called on to express opinions on the pieces they were doing; and whenever he is among the teachers at anytime and the matter of tatting or crocheting is under discussion, someone will say "Let's ask Mr. Carey." The teachers seem to like him; he has a reserve which commands respect , and at the same time makes them like to see what he'll say in such things as this fancy work topic; and, I believe, feel that he is good, principled and honest as I know he is.
Thanks you for sending the snap shots; I am mighty glad to have them. It was a surprise to know that Miss Stieberitz was up in Cromwell, and I am glad Lucinthia got a chance to meet her. I suppose Lucinthia got off last week and will get at work as soon as I do, despite my five week's start. Do you know of anyone that would be likely to ask for my tickets to the Yale-Harvard game this fall? I have a request for mine from a fellow by the name of Lindsay, at L. F. & C [ note - this must be Landers, Frary & Clark in New Britain where he worked previous to Pleasantville], and whom I would be glad to favor, but if any of my relatives wanted them I would rather give them first choice. I have already written Raymond, and if he says he doesn't want them do you think it would be well to write Uncle Ed? Or anyone else?
I really don't know how far Princeton is from here, but I should guess that it was about seventy five by rail. The letter you forwarded this week was from Grumman in Bridgeport. He is still studying at New Haven, preparing eventually to go permanently to Yale in China. I learned in the Alumni Weekly that Sid Lovett, one of my class mates, had lost his wife, to whom he was married in the early part of this year, I think. It is a great pity and seems very hard; Lovett is one of the finest men I ever knew, and had a particularly beautiful character, I don't know what was the matter, the item only said that she died suddenly.
I find there is still another address that I would like. John Schwieters'; you will find it in my class book on the rack in the parlor - Somewhere in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but I can't remember it.
The laundry didn't get off until Friday morning as I forgot it Thursday. At the rate it has been coming down here from home I imagine you got it by Saturday night. The extra bathrobe got down here last week, and thank you.
I got a letter from Mr. Wachter this week, just a personal one in answer to one I wrote him awhile ago. My successor there didn't last but about three weeks. C.F. forced Mr. W. to fire him on account of irregularities in work in former department, discovered after he changed.
I hope all are well and send love to everybody,
School finally commenced Monday, and what became of the feud between the Board of Health and Board of Education about it, I don't know. I have heard of no further efforts on the part of the former to close down. On Monday of course there were no classes; in the morning the pupils registered and made out their choices of courses, until about ten-thirty; in the afternoon they were notified as far as possible about their textbooks and first assignments, their being brief, ten minute periods for this purpose. The last two hours in the morning we spent in teachers meeting, and the afternoon from two o'clock on in distributing the pupils names into the different periods where a subject was given in more than one period. All this is not as easy as it may sound; at least we didn't leave the building until five o'clock or thereabouts. As I believe I wrote you sometime ago, Miss McClellan, Carey, and I have the downstairs rooms, where the Freshman have their desks; it has been up to us, therefore to take care of the Freshman. On Monday morning we grouped them all in my room, got their names, ages, parents names, etc., by way of registering them; then I gave an extended talk on the various courses between which they might choose, supplemented by a remark or two from the others. There is the Classical, the General, and the Commercial Course; if they choose the Classical, there is no further choice of individual subjects for them; but if they choose either the General or the Commercial three subjects only are required, and the other is elected from three alternatives in the former, two in the latter. Of course the chief thing to talk to them about was the meaning of the three courses and of the electives where there was a choice of subjects to be made. We talked up the General course pretty strongly as against the Commercial, and a lot more Freshman are taking the former this year than for some years, and a lot less taking the latter; how much was a result of our talk we can't measure, but all the teachers are glad to see things come as they did,
Of course a number of Freshman subjects require more than one class to accommodate all the pupils taking them; therefore we, that is Miss McC., Carey, and I had to spend quite a little time arranging the lists Monday afternoon so that no one should have any conflicts. As a matter of fact, we were not successful, although I didn't discover it until the next morning, when I started reading off the class lists to the Freshman assembled in my room for the occasion, and found that most everyone that was scheduled for English first period was also in the first period General Science class. I made some impromptu changes so that they could get along for the day, but at the end of the day I had them hand in schedules I had asked them to make out as I read off the names. Then I rearranged the class lists, so that the classes would be divided up evenly, checked them up with the individual schedules, went over the latter for bad arrangements, such as no recitations in the afternoon, corrected these, then made out new individual schedules for each pupil, and class lists for each teacher. This took until six o'clock, but since then everything has gone first rate, and classes for the last three days of the week have been running on regular permanent schedule. An extra period has been added, and there are now three in the afternoon instead of two, regular classes being over at three o'clock.
Dr. Whitney appeared the last minute again; it seems the reason for his staying away so long on both occasions is that his father has been very sick, having suffered a stroke of paralysis a while ago. Monday evening Carey and I went around to see him, and I got my long belated chance to make my report on text books and reference books. He accepted my recommendations bodily, which included new text books for Mediaeval and Modern History and Civics and reference books for American History and Mediaeval and Modern History. In Civics I could not make as definite a report as in the other subjects; instead of definite recommendations I made an outline of the various phases of the subject for which I should like reference books, and opposite each one wrote in the name of some book or books which covered the field; as most of them were books which I only knew by title, I didn't want to narrow it down to a choice of one, where there were more than one, without seeing if he had any preferences between them, provided he happened to know the books. So between us we decided on that list; and I hope he will be able to get them, as well as the history reference books. There is not a Civics reference book in the school library, and the quantity of history reference books is none too generous.
I did little teaching on either Monday or Tuesday, having most of the burden of the Freshman on my shoulders, but on the last three days of the week have been right at it.. In American History we have been able to start right off with the text book, as we are using the same ones they had last year, and the same applies to my Algebra course, in which I have two classes. It seems so strange to be teaching algebra! In Mediaeval and Modern History our textbooks have of course have not yet arrived, and I have therefore had to do most of the talking, asking them questions wherever I can. The first couple of days I gave a brief outline of the growth of man from his crudest stages and the history of the world up to the fall of Rome, where the study begins. Then, beginning in the middle of the period Thursday, and continuing thru Friday I discussed the geographical basis of European History and incidentally tried to find out what they knew about European geography; as I expected, their knowledge wasn't vast. I created, I think, quite a little interest Friday by asking a number of questions to find out the pictures in their minds of the shape and boundaries of European countries, and the general topography of Europe, and then disallusionizing some of their pictures by springing a real map on them. Tomorrow one of the class is to give a report on some outside reading she has done on the Germanic tribes of the early centuries, their invasions of the Roman empire, and also the inner causes of the Fall of Rome. Tuesday I think I shall discuss the history of the early christian church up to the time the study begins, because it played such an important part in European History in the Middle Ages.
As I said before, it seems quite strange to be teaching Algebra, but I think that I shall have no trouble with it, particularly as it will only go as far as quadratic equations. Dr. Whitney's new schemes of supervised study, and so on, are not yet in effect, and probably will not be until he finishes the discussion of them in teachers meetings. I haven't of course gotten a chance to know about my pupils real well yet, particularly in the large Freshman algebra classes. In my American History class I have eight pupils, the whole Senior class; in the other History course, about a dozen pupils, of the Sophomore class. In each algebra class I have about twenty five pupils (there are sixty in the Freshman class). I know most of the people in my classes by name already, and know to a certain extent who will be the dull ones and who the bright ones in my history classes.
At the last minute they had to put a lot of old desks in the high school as the new ones didn't come in time, and they haven't yet gotten the seats for the first floor in the assembly hall; the furniture that is short will probably come off and on until Christmas, and I hope by the first of the year they will be fully and permanently equipped. Carey's and my rooms are the only ones which have decent desks; the rest of them have old double desks or seats without desks temporarily.
Saturday I took the trip up to Hammonton, which I mentioned a week or two ago. I left here about nine o'clock and got up there in about a half an hour (it's about half way to Philadelphia). MacDougall met me at the station and we went around town in his car thru the morning; first to a vacant lot where different members of the Boy Scouts had plots of land on which they had grown vegetables or flowers and on which MacDougall was one of a committee to make awards for best care taken of plot thru the year, most interesting and so on. From there we went out to a Mr. Kind's who is a large florist, his specialty being dahlias, and according to his story he has sold practically every blossom that has come out this year. He devotes one section to testing and experimental work, and has in that section over four hundred varieties, and there certainly are some beauties. The one that struck my fancy most was a very deep, almost black red cactus dahlia.
Hammonton is a great peach section, also grape and berry section, Around it practically every bit of land is under cultivation and utilized, and there are a number of very well-to-do farmers there. Thru that section there are very many Italian farmers, and they are also are several of them very prosperous. Hammonton is a much pleasanter town than Pleasantville; it is very shady, and we have no shade; and it's business center is more up-to-date looking: I imagine it's a little larger, anyway, although it doesn't seem so.
MacDougall, as I have probably said before is the instructor in the vocational school of agriculture there; he has a room fitted out in the center of the town, where classes and lectures are held, and then he has to go out around a great deal, as all the outside work, practical work done by the students in connection with the school is at their own places; consequently he has to go around and supervise and inspect this work. He's also frequently called into consultation by farmers in the neighborhood, who are having troubles with their crops or animals for which they are unable to find the cause.
We started back for Pleasantville in his car, an Overland runabout, about half past three, taking about an hour for the ride. Along the road a large portion of the way there is this unused wooded land, covered with fairly young and low growth, interspersed with the inevitable Southern New Jersey scrub pines, and covered also, MacDougall tells me, with half rotted stumps of other growths, which make the land difficult and unprofitable to clear. For one stretch there are a number of tracts which were sold to easy marks by enterprising land speculators, but very little land around them is cleared, and they don't look as though they gave anyone much of a living. The most striking thing about the trip was that there are about eighteen miles of absolutely straight road, from a couple miles out of Absecon, just above Pleasantville. I enjoyed the ride very much; the country is of course quite pretty now, although the large amount of dust on these roads rather spoils the appearance of the roadside trees.
Have you read in the papers about the hold up and murder in Hammonton last week? A man by the name of Ryder, who owns a great many large cranberry bogs at Atsion, north of Hammonton, with his brother, his daughter, and another man were driving out to the bogs Thursday morning to pay off the men, and in a lonely stretch of road were held up by a number of masked Italians, probably his own laborers. The daughter was driving and didn't stop, but the robbers were armed and made free use of bullets, killing the brother and wounding all the others; the woman kept on driving even after she was wounded and eventually got to the nearest town. These were people whom MacDougall new well, or rather, all except the brother who was visiting there from the West. And Saturday afternoon I saw the car, which was the one they used, in a garage at Hammonton, plentifully dotted with bullet holes.
Mr. Winch has been getting worse this week, and his attacks are coming with greater frequency; the only thing that relieves the pain now is the hypodermic injection of morphine; and I am afraid that his days are numbered. His daughter from Wilmington, Delaware, a Mrs. Smith, has been here since Wednesday, helping Mrs. Winch as much as she can.
The "old friend" arrived in due time, and apparently it didn't cost much more to send him than we have been paying. Thank you for the oranges enclosed. You ask me about the cereal breakfasts; we have shredded wheat two or three times a week, and the other mornings oatmeal, and good oatmeal, with cream of wheat as a change once in a while. We also have eggs or some meat like liver and bacon or croquettes and some hot muffins or hot rolls, which Mrs. Winch certainly does know to cook; beside that I have a special cup of cocoa every morning; I didn't ask for it and tried to induce Mrs. Winch not to bother with it but she wanted to make me something, so I take it, and it tastes fine with the muffins or rolls.
That new armored car of the British just "eats 'em alive", by the sound of the stories about it; I suppose its virtues have been at times exaggerated, particularly when the enthusiastic observer talks about the mowed down trees, and about when such and such car took its first house, but I guess its a pretty effective machine.
Raymond is going to use my tickets to the Harvard game; its fortunate no one else did want them; and I intended to word my last week's letter that any offers made were contingent on his reply to the letter I had written him.
Just what I can or shall do about election time, I don't know yet; shall let you know as soon as I do. President Wilson seemed to have a pretty cordial reception on his trip out to Omaha last week; I think he will get a great many more votes in the middle west than the Republicans think for. As far as I can judge, the fact that he has kept the country out of war appeals to the voters in that section particularly. Oh, I do want to see that miserable Hartford Courant eat its words on the 8th of November!
I hope Uncle Bill is feeling better again. Tell him for me he's got to quit staying out nights.
Thank you for sending along Lucinthia's letter. I enjoyed reading it very much. The Constitutional Government and International Politics courses look interesting and I hope she finds them profitable. Of course the others will be so anyway.
There are a few other things that in a less eventful week I would probably write about, but it past time to go to bed; and we'll continue in our next.
With much love to all
I have just seen Sam Sewall off to Philadelphia after a visit from him thru today. He has only been in Philadelphia about ten days, and last night called me on the telephone and arranged to come down for the day. Needless to say, I was mighty glad to have him do it, and we arranged it so that I met him today at Atlantic City about eleven o'clock. We wheeled around the Boardwalk until five minutes of twelve, and then came out to Pleasantville. He took dinner with me at Mrs. Winch's and spent the afternoon until half-past four; MacDougall drove us up to the Absecon station then, where Sam took his train for home. He has had some trouble with his knee the past year, was once in the Philadelphia hospital he has been in before, and for quite a while this summer was in a hospital at Keene, NH. Both occasions were, I believe, the result of falls he had on the bad knee. He is, however, quite well in that respect and every way now, although of course he limps and I imagine always will some. While at the hospital in Keene, he met and saw a great deal of a Mr. John Winch, who is own uncle to Mr. Winch here, so of course he and the Winches had something in common right away. Wasn't that strange? Sam has liked his law work more and more as he has gotten into it, and now seems very much enthused over it. I am very glad it turned out that way, for I had grave misgivings of the outcome when he started the study so reluctantly. I hope to see him down here again before long.
The week past has kept me busy, but don't believe it will prove to be unique in that respect. So far I haven't had more than enough time to prepare work day by day, but hope I shall soon be able to plan things further ahead, and do other things necessary aside from planning recitations of the daily assignments, such as doing extra reading myself so as to be able to bring in more interesting and instructive sidelights, preparing topics and references for outside reading, and so on. My Mediaeval and Modern History text books haven't yet come, so I have started the class studying temporarily some English History text books that are on hand.
By a chain of circumstances, I am taking charge thus far of the training of the football team. Would you believe it? Cruse was hired for the Athletics man at the high school, but he hasn't seemed disposed to take care of anything but baseball and track; and early last month when we first came together he asked Carey and me if we couldn't come out do and a little football coaching, but at the time we gave him little encouragement. When school began, Cruse hadn't started anything in the line of football practice before a couple of boys came to me and wanted to know if I couldn't come out that particular night or very soon, to help out the team. I told them some or all of us would come out as soon as we could, which was about two nights after that; but in the meantime Cruse had decided to go to Philadelphia to have his appendix, which had been troubling him for some time, and excessively so for some days previous, removed. He expected this would take a month, so whether he had been going to do anything about the football situation or not, this would cut him out of it. So Carey and I went out and watched the boys the first night we had the opportunity, about a week ago Thursday, and talked the situation over with some of them, particularly with reference to possibilities of getting a coach from outside; telling them that as neither of us had played football at college or school, and our only knowledge of the game was from a spectator's standpoint, we hardly felt that we could give them proper training alone; it goes without saying that to try to bluff the boys along that we knew the game, would soon reveal our ignorance, and seriously lessen, if not destroy, any respect they would hold for us outside or in the classroom. And to have a coach from outside is not a new thing. Well, by Tuesday, I succeeded in getting the services of a certain Thomas Wootton, a young real estate man in town, to come out two nights a week; he has played and coached football before, so knows the game, and is a first rate fellow who could have none but a good influence on the boys; in addition to this he is giving us his time, which is of course very much appreciated. I go out to practice every night (from 3:00 to 5:00) whether it's his night or not; when he is there I go to watch him, and when he's not there, I keep the boys going along the lines he has started them on, or depending to suggestions he gives me in private. Besides, one of the teachers has to be with them anyway, to be responsible for their good behavior after they return to the school.
Cruse got cold feet on his operation when he got to Philadelphia. And appeared on the scene again Monday morning; he has been out to practice only once, however, and although he can give the boys more original good pointers than I can, I think I'd rather just as soon now that he'd stay away, as he might try to undo some of Wootton's work when the latter isn't present, and needless to say I have more confidence in Wootton than Cruse. I hope with Wootton's help, or rather, direction, we shall be able to turn out a decent team. However, it the last thing I ever expected to be doing; but it will do me no hurt, and more likely do me good to be out in the air that amount of time, also the knowledge I myself gain may prove useful, and it may help me along in my personal relations with the boys.
There is a Yale '82 man living here in Pleasantville, whom I met a couple of weeks ago. He is a Mr. McMillan; a man very much interested in boys, and in all civic activities of a wholesome character. He has asked Carey and me to come around to his Boy Scout meetings sometime, and probably we shall; but I would hardly feel that I could make a regular practice of it. With all the other things I have on my hands. I spent the evening at his house last Tuesday, meeting his wife, who is a Smith graduate, and a woman who takes a great deal of interest in the affairs of the world, very intelligent, interesting, and pleasant. They are people who I am sure it will be well worthwhile to know.
Monday evening we had another watermelon party at Mrs. Price's, at which we devoured another one of the big four, which, by the way, was the only one left after the party of ten days previous. How anyone can keep a perfectly good watermelon in their house all that time is more than I can comprehend.
Last evening I went with MacDougall and Miss Hodgson to spend the evening at Mr. and Mrs. Maltby's. Mr. Maltby I think I have mentioned before as superintendent of vocational instruction for Atlantic County. They were having a small house party over the weekend, and invited a few people from Egg Harbor and Pleasantville there for the evening. We played progressive "five hundred," had refreshments of cakes, candy, and ice cream, delicious ice cream, something like frozen pudding without the undesirable maraschino flavor; musical renditions were given by Miss Hodgson, and two other young ladies in song, and yours truly at the piano. We dispersed about midnight.
The rest of the week I have been at my daily tasks, daytime and evening, and I have nothing out of the ordinary planned for this week, although, as everything last week happened on short notice, I can't tell what the week may bring forth.
I really have enjoyed myself very well since I've been down here, though of course I've done nothing particularly exciting; the very pleasant, immediate surrounding I have, are probably largely responsible. For not only is my room, the house and table everything that could be desired, but it seems as though we were all part of a family - and there is a great deal of bantering between us, which, as everyone except Miss Tolbert at times, is good-natured, keeps the household alive most of the time. I never saw anyone who laughed as much as Miss Davis does; she is one of the most cheerful persons I ever met. Miss Hodgson is mot so uniformly cheerful, but she is the one who usually starts the pot boiling.
I don't believe I told you one little interesting thing about my visit to Hammonton last week - that I ate a fig right off a tree. There is just one man there who has three or four trees; keeps them out in the summer but has to put them under glass in the winter.
I had read in the Courant about the beast of a man who assaulted Tony Hoffman's little girl; saw also a day or two later a man had been caught who tallied to the descriptions of the other girls who were with her. I certainly hope they get the fellow that was responsible and give him the limit of the law's punishment. Whatever it is, it isn't bad enough; hanging's too good for such as he.
I forgot to mention last week that I had gotten Aunt Sarah's letter.
Did I tell you that one of MacDougall's sisters is attending Uncle Watson's school? Taking up playground work. So I suppose she knows Dorothy, and perhaps Dick and Uncle Watson.
I almost missed the question about Negroes in my classes. One boy and one girl in one Algebra class. One negro girl and a mulatto boy in the other.
Thank you for the heliotrope you sent; it pressed very well. Things have certainly kept late this year. Must close now, with much love for you and all.
Yesterday and today have been the two most beautiful days of the fall here, ideal weather for the Yale pageant, if it has been as good up in Connecticut; and from the fact that there is a full account of the pageant in this morning's Times, I conclude that weather conditions were satisfactory.
After considerable effort to find an opposing team, the Pleasantville High School football team had its first game yesterday. We hadn't succeeded in getting a match to Friday, except that we could have had one with some Pleasantville boys not in the High School; however the High School boys didn't want to play them, as some of them were alleged to be given to rough and unfair methods of play. Wootton and I told the boys on Friday afternoon at practice that there would surely be a game with somebody; and in the evening I went over to Atlantic City, determined to find a team somewhere. I went to the Y.M.C.A as the most natural place to get information, and before I left there had my game arranged. Several of the fellows who were around the Y.M.C.A got interested and made up a team on the spot; and I was only too glad to get them, whether they were a regular team representing a regular organization or school or not, because we felt it quite essential that the team should have a game with someone, for the sake of the practice, and keeping up interest. I spent a good deal of time unsuccessfully Saturday morning, trying to find a referee, trusting to chance there would be enough turnout at the game to fill the other positions, umpire, timekeepers, and linesmen. As a matter of fact, however, I even had to get my referee out at the field, but he was a fellow who knew the game well, so that worked out all right.
Our fellows played better than I thought they would be able to, especially our little quarterback, Lairgna [sp? -db], who was as game as they make them, The team who came over was heavier than ours, and some of them much older, but they were at a partial disadvantage because they had only organized the night before, and worked out their signals on the car coming over. There was no scoring up to within a few minutes of the close of the game, and then Pleasantville got what the referee declared to be a touchdown, but which the Atlantic City team refused to accept as such. They refused to play unless they could have it their way, so the game was declared forfeited to us, 1 - 0, as is usual in such cases. It is such an unsatisfactory ending, but there was little, if any, ill feeling about it. Next Saturday we play the Hammanton High School here at Pleasantville. Our football field is laid out in the Pleasantville ball park. I spent all Friday afternoon with five or six of the boys measuring off and marking out the field with lime, and setting up the goal posts; its a somewhat longer job than it sounds.
We have had two teachers' meetings this week, mostly given to discussion by Dr. Whitney of various improved methods of teaching that have been put into practical effect in various cities of the country. From a consideration of these we are each expected to work out a scheme for our classes. Dr. Whitney has traveled extensively, and studied in half a dozen universities. In America he has visited a great number of schools. Especially where some of the new ideas he has been giving us have been worked out. And he has traveled all over Europe and studied in Germany; has been in Palestine, too, I know; probably I'll find out several more places he's been to before the year's out. As far as I can make out, he is financially independent and supervises schools for the love of the work. He's a many-sided and peculiar creature.
On Monday he appointed various faculty committees for student activities. I am on the Committee on Freshman, with Miss McClellan, and in this capacity we shall have to be present at all class meetings and be a sort of advisory committee in all Freshman class activities. I am also on the Orchestra Committee with Miss Ryder, and it will be out duty to organize a school orchestra, we are going to start tomorrow. We have already had our Freshman class organization meeting, at which the class named two nominating committees each of which was to bring in one slate for each class office we decided to have. One committee met with Miss McClellan and the other with me Thursday afternoon and selected their candidates. Then Friday afternoon the whole class met again to elect the officers from the two slates presented to them; this meeting I had to leave to Miss McClellan as I was in my old clothes out on the football field, covered with lime by that time. It was a curious thing that all the names suggested by my committee were elected.
When I went to Atlantic City Friday evening, I went with Carey and the Misses Hodgson and Davis, expecting to go roller skating after I completed my other errand. On my way down to the Garden Pier on the Boardwalk, where we were going, and where they had already gone, I met them coming back; Thought at first they had had enough of it, but the trouble was that there was no skating, and we could find none anywhere. As it was nine o'clock when I met them, there was no use in going to a show, and our evening's dissipation, except for a considerable walk on the Boardwalk, simmered down to patronage of an ice cream parlour for one round.
Carey went up to Philadelphia yesterday with Cruse, primarily to buy a shotgun, as he is an enthusiastic hunter, or "gunner" as they call them down in this neck of the woods. They also attended the Univ. Of Penn - Penn State football game, which unexpectedly resulted in a 15 - 0 victory for the former. Cruse is a graduate of Penn State,
Sam is still at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; you remember he lost a year thru his sickness in 1915. When he does graduate, I think rather than start private practice, he intends to enter the law department of the Pennsylvania railroad. By the way, I forgot to mention last week, that he is still single, and without intentions, he says; I didn't have time to question him very far about the particular case he had a year ago last summer, but shall probably learn about it in time.
Mr. Winch has steadily improved the last two weeks, and since Thursday has been downstairs. Yesterday afternoon he went for an automobile ride with Mr. Wilson. Today he doesn't feel quiet so well, probably got rather tired yesterday from bouncing around in Mr. Wilson's Ford. This morning I was afraid he had an attack on the way but it fortunately didn't materialize.
Mrs. Winch has every facility for pressing clothes, even to a special tailor's board for coats, so that I do my own pressing.
I only had one fig up there at Hammonton, and liked that all right, but I imagine that very many would be rather sickening. Apples aren't very plentiful here, apparently, although I have had a few.
Yes, I am glad that we can use that collapsible bag for mailing laundry. It certainly is much less bother than doing it up in paper.
I hadn't heard until you wrote that Ern had gone out for the Republican nomination for representative. In a way I'm not surprised that he did, because I recall that he mentioned once or twice thru the summer that he would like to do so. About my election day vacation, I'm afraid I'll not have the time to make more that the one day, much as I'd like to spend the Sunday home; it isn't so much the school time that I would lose, as I could find a substitute readily for my algebra classes, and give my history classes something to do themselves. But the outside time that I need for planning, and for studying for my state examinations.
President Wilson's re-election chances look brighter to me every day; reports in the newspapers indicate that the Republicans are pretty much worried; the Philadelphia North American, an anti-Wilson paper, has been conducting with other papers thruout the country, a straw vote which gives Pres. Wilson thus far a majority, and in the last few weeks he has been steadily gaining in this vote. Men who had bets at 2 to 1 on Hughes earlier in the campaign are now hedging, according to stock market reports. The betting now is about 10 to 8 in Hughes favor, with plenty of Wilson takers. And I notice that one of Mr. Hughes' managers, although listing enough states in the sure Republican column, classes Connecticut as doubtful!
That paper you sent me from Jim Cooper was a little occasional sheet of class news 1913 is going to have, called the Eavesdropper. With it was inclosed a very neat pair of covers to keep them in, same color as the class book, with my name in gilt at the bottom. The Eavesdropper had some news of Hughie McLean, so unless something has happened since then, he's still alive.
Must close with much love to all,
This is probably the last letter I shall write you before Election Day, as any letter sent next Monday morning wouldn't reach you until after I got home. I plan now to leave here at one thirty, going over to Atlantic City first, and getting a 2:05 thru express for New York. If I have good luck, I shall take a 6:00 express out of Grand Central, arriving in Berlin in time to get the 9:02 for Middletown, which should enable me to get home on the nine thirty trolley. I haven't definitely planned when I shall go back, but I think I shall probably take the six thirty trolley down, the 6:59 Berlin Trolley, and a thru express for New York leaving Berlin at 7:28. This will get to New York at about ten o'clock. I want to try and work it so that I can see New York on election night for a couple hours and incidentally get the returns; then get a sleeper about midnight for Philadelphia and come over here from Philadelphia in the early morning in time to get to school. I'm writing Jim McNeill that I'll work around the polls Tuesday, provided the time I am on hand is sufficient; before I left home I said I should do so if I could.
The Pleasantville High School football team got defeated by Hammonton yesterday, 6 - 0. It was a slow and not very interesting game. They want us to play a return game up at Hammonton, and I think we'll probably give it to them as our schedule isn't yet full. I hope the boys will be able to turn the tables on them when the time comes. This week we play a team from Atlantic City which calls itself "The Alumnus."
Friday night the Senior girls gave a reception to the Faculty, at which all the Senior and Junior students were present, meaning about twenty in all. They had a very entertaining program arranged and I enjoyed the evening very much. The affair was held in the High School gymnasium, which was prettily decorated with autumn foliage and American and other flags for the occasion. The first event must have been inspired, I think, by my American History course, which all the Seniors are required to take; the names of many characters well know in American History had been written on slips of paper, and one of these was pinned on each person's back; then each one was supposed to guess what name was pinned to him or her, and to aid in guessing was privileged to ask such questions as "Was he an explorer?", "Was he a General?" The first to guess won first prize, and the last the booby. The second event was a stunt with dumbbells; we formed into equal sides, chosen by a leader for each one; at either end of the gymnasium there were two chairs about two feet apart, two dumbbells were placed at one end, and the leader of each side was given a long stick, and at the word "Go!" started pushing one of the dumbbells down the room with the stick, was obliged to go between the two chairs at the other end, then come back and go between the other two chairs and around to the starting place, where the race was taken up by the next one on each side, and so on, till everyone on each side had gone around once; of course it was a race to see which side would finish first.
For the third event, the girls had written on various slips of paper, different crazy stunts such as singing the alphabet to the tune of America, making an imitation of a dog bark, imitating a commuter catch a train, and so on. These slips were put in a hat, and one by one they were drawn out and the indicated stunts performed. Miss Tolbert, who is an ardent suffragette, drew for her stunt a two-minute talk on suffrage, which she of course didn't try to do seriously. Three teachers were selected as judges, I being one of them; we were to award a prize to the best male and best female performer, and we voted Miss Tolbert's suffrage stunt the best female performance, but she declines to believe that I concurred in the decision, as for some reason she things I don't sympathize and agree entirely with her suffrage views. After this event there were refreshments, dancing, and cards, the party breaking up at about eleven.
The rest of the past week has been uneventful in either school or leisure hours. This week I shall give the first tests I have made up in my teaching career.
The Barber Asphalt Paving Co. is sure enough Mr. Sewall's firm, and it was quite a surprise to learn that Jack had gone to work for them. I did know, however, that Jack wanted to quit at Naugatuck.
The pamphlet on physiology arrived safely and I thank you very much for it; it will probably prove useful in studying for that physiology and hygiene examination. It wasn't anything that belonged to me.
Mr. Winch has been downstairs now for two weeks without having any attacks. He doesn't seem to get his strength back very fast, however, and is very short of wind, or rather gets very easily out of breath.
We started to form our school orchestra this week; we hope to have three or four violins, a cornet, a clarinet, a cello, a trombone, and drums and traps; we may be able to get a viola also, as I was talking with Mr. McMillan in the post office the other night, and he said that Mrs. McMillan had a viola which me might use, and I understood him to say she would help some one to learn to play it. Miss Ryder and I are the committee in charge of organizing the orchestra, and Miss Haskell, the music teacher, will do a good deal of the training. I shall probably help out some with the Boy's Glee Club also, when football season's over, as Miss Haskell wants me to play the accompaniments for her, so that she won't have to do that and conduct the singing both.
I hope I shall see you all at 9:40 on Monday the 6th and find everyone O.K.
With much love,
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