Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Girl's Student Days and After
Author: Marks, Jeannette Augustus, 1875-1964
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Girl's Student Days and After" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



A Girl's Student Days and After

By

JEANNETTE MARKS, M. A.

(_Wellesley_)

_With an Introduction by_
_MARY EMMA WOOLLEY, LL. D._
_President of Mt. Holyoke College_

_New York Chicago Toronto_
_Fleming H. Revell Company_
_London and Edinburgh_

Copyright, 1911, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 125 North Wabash Ave.
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street

_Inscribed
to
MARY EMMA WOOLLEY, LL. D._



_Introduction_


The school and college girl is an important factor in our life to-day.
Around her revolve all manner of educational schemes, to her are open
all kinds of educational opportunities. There was never an age in which
so much thought was expended upon her, or so much interest felt in her
development.

There are many articles written and many speeches delivered on the
responsibility of parents and teachers--it may not be amiss occasionally
to turn the shield and show that some of the responsibility rests upon
the girl herself. After all, she is the determining factor, for
buildings and equipment, courses and teachers accomplish little without
her coöperation.

It is difficult for the "new girl," whether in school or college, to
realize the extent to which the success of her school life depends upon
herself. In a new environment, surrounded by what seem to her
"multitudes" of new faces, obliged to meet larger demands under strange
and untried conditions, she is quite likely to go to the other extreme
and exaggerate her own insignificance. Sometimes she is fortunate enough
to have an older sister or friend to help her steer her bark through
these untried waters, but generally she must find her own bearings.

To such a girl, the wise hints in the chapters which follow this
introduction are invaluable, giving an insight into the meaning of
fair-play in the classroom as well as on the athletic field; the
relation between physical well-being and academic success; the
difference between the social life that is _re_-creative and that which
is "_nerves_-creative"; the significance of loyalty to the school and to
the home; the way in which school days determine to a large degree the
days that come after. These, and many other suggestions, wise and
forceful, I commend not only to the new girl, but also to the "old
girl" who would make her school and college days count for more both
while they last and as preparation for the work that is to follow.

                          MARY E. WOOLLEY.

          _Mt. Holyoke College_,
    _South Hadley, Massachusetts._



_CONTENTS_


A WORD TO THE WISE                              13

I. THE IDEAL FRESHMAN                           17

II. THE GIRL AND THE SCHOOL                     25

III. FRIENDSHIPS                                33

IV. THE STUDENT'S ROOM                          41

V. THE TOOLS OF STUDY AND THEIR USE             54

VI. THE JOY OF WORK                             61

VII. FAIR-PLAY                                  70

VIII. THE RIGHT SORT OF LEISURE                 78

IX. THE OUTDOOR RUNWAY                          88

X. A GIRL'S SUMMER                              99

XI. FROM THE SCHOOL TO THE GIRL                107

XII. THE WORK TO BE                            115



_A Word to the Wise_


We train for basket-ball, golf, tennis or for whatever sport we have the
most liking. Is there any reason why we should not use the same
intelligence in the approach to our general school life? Is there any
reason why we should make an obstacle race, however good and amusing
exercise that may be, out of _all_ our school life? We don't expect to
win a game with a sprained wrist or ankle, and there really is no reason
why we should plan to sprain the back of school or college life by
avoidable mistakes.

The writer believes in the girl who has the capacity for making
mistakes,--that headlong, energetic spirit which blunders all too
easily. But the writer knows how much those mistakes hurt and how much
energy might be saved for a life that, with just a pinch less of
blunder, might be none the less savoury. School and college are no place
for vocal soloists, and after some of us have sung so sweetly and so
long at home, with every one saying, "Just hear Mary sing, isn't it
wonderful!" it is rather trying, you know, to go to a place where vocal
solos are not popular. And we wish some one--at least I did--had told us
all about this fact as well as other facts of school life. Anyway it
should be a comfort to have a book lying on the table in our school or
college room, or at home, which will tell us why Mary, after having been
a famous soloist at home made a failure or a great success in chorus
work at school. Such a book is something like having a loaded gun in
readiness for the robber. We may never use the shotgun or the book but
they are there, with the reassuring sense of shot in the locker.

It is something, is it not, to have a little book which will tell you
how to get into school and how to get out (for at times there seem to be
difficulties in both these directions)--in short, to tell you something
of many things: your first year at school or college, your part in the
school life, the friendships you will make, your study and how to work
in it, the pleasure and right kind of spirit involved in work, the quiet
times, as well as the jolly times, out-of-doors, your summers and how to
spend them, what the school has tried to do for you; and, as you go out
into the world, some of the aspects, whether you are to be wife,
secretary or teacher, of the work which you will do. Of one thing you
may be certain; that behind every sentence of this little book is
experience, that here are only those opinions of which experience has
made a good, wholesome zwieback.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank my friend, Mrs. Belle Kellogg
Towne, editor of _The Girls' Companion_ and _Young People's Weekly_,
Chicago, for her coöperation in allowing me to use half the material in
this little book; also Dr. C. R. Blackall, of Philadelphia.

_Camp Runway._ J. M.



I

THE IDEAL FRESHMAN


Freshman year, the beginning year, the year of new experiences, new
delights, new work, new friends, new surroundings; the year that may
mean much to a girl, that may answer some of the questions that have
lain long in heart and mind, that will surely reveal her more clearly to
herself, that may make her understand others better and help her to
guess something of the riddle of the years to come!

What has the student done to get ready for this year? If she were going
camping she would know that certain things were necessary to make the
expedition a success. With what excitement and pleasure, what thoughts
of jolly camp-fires, deep, sweet-smelling forests, and long days afoot,
she would prepare everything. She would not let any one else do this for
her, for that would mean losing too much of the fun. But the _freshman
year_, what about the thinking and planning for that, also an expedition
into a new world, and a veritable adventure of a vast deal more
importance than a few days or weeks of camping? Would she enter forests
upon whose trees the camp-fires throw many shadows, follow the stream
that cleaves its way through the woods, go along the runway of deer or
caribou or moose, with a mind to all intents and purposes a blank? No,
her mind would be vivid with thoughts and interests.

With the same keen attention should she enter the new year at school or
college, and as she passes through it, thinking about all that comes to
her, she will find it growing less and less difficult and more and more
friendly. She will consider what the freshman year is to be like, think
of what sorts of girls she is to meet and make friends with, what the
work will be, what she may expect in good times from this new adventure,
and, thoughtful about it all, make the minimum of mistakes and get the
maximum of benefit.

Here come some of the girls who are entering school and college with
her--bright-haired, dark-haired, rosy or pale, tall and thin, fat and
short, clever and average, desirable and undesirable,--in fact, all
sorts and conditions of girls. Who is to be the leader of them all? She
is the _ideal freshman_, a nice, well-set-up girl who does not think too
much of herself, who is not self-conscious, and who does not forget for
what she is sent to school. Despite the temptations of school life she
uses her days wisely and well. She does not isolate herself, for she
sees the plan and value of the recreative side of school-days. She is
already laying the foundations for a successful, useful, normal
existence, establishing confidence at the outset and not handicapping
herself through her whole course by making people lose their faith in
her. Our _ideal freshman_ may be the girl who is to do distinguished
work; she may be the student who does her best; and because it is her
best, the work, though not brilliant, is distinguished by virtue of her
effort. She may be the girl who is to make a happy home life through her
poise and earnestness and common sense. Whoever she is, in any event in
learning to do her best she is winning nine-tenths of the battle of a
successful career. It is she, attractive, able, earnest, with the
"fair-play" or team-play spirit in all she does, true to herself and to
others, whom every school wants, whose unconscious influence is so great
in building up the morale of any school. Mark this girl and follow her,
for she is worthy of your hero worship.

This is the girl who goes into school in much the same spirit that she
would enter upon a larger life. She is not a prig and she is not a dig,
but she knows there are responsibilities to be met and she meets them.
She expects to have to think about the new conditions in which she finds
herself and to adjust herself to them, and she does it. She knows the
meaning of the team-play spirit and she takes her place quietly on the
team, one among many, and both works and plays with respect for the
rights and positions of others. It is in the temper of the words
sometimes stamped upon the coins of our country--_E Pluribus Unum_--that
she makes a success of her school life. She knows that not only is our
country bigger than any one of its states, but also that every school is
bigger than any one of its members whether teacher or student. In a
small family at home conditions have been more or less made for her,
just as they are for other girls. Yet she knows that the school life is
complicated and complex, and it is impossible for her to feel neglected
where a more self-centred or spoiled girl fails to see that in this new
life she is called upon to play a minor part but nevertheless a part
upon which the school must rely for its _esprit de corps_. She goes with
ease from the somewhat unmethodical life of the home to the highly
organized routine of the school because she understands the meaning of
the word "team-play." She has the coöperative spirit.

Yet there are other girls, too, in this school which the freshman is
entering. There is the student who errs on the side of leading too
workaday a life, and in so doing has lost something of the buoyancy and
breadth and "snap" which would make her associations and her work
fresher and more vigorous. "The Grind," she has been called, and if she
recognize herself in this sketch, let her take care to reach out for a
bigger and fuller life than she is leading. And there is, too, the
selfish student whose "class-spirit" is self-spirit; and the girl who is
not selfish but who uses herself up in too many interests, dramatic,
athletic, society, philanthropic and in a dozen others. She is probably
over-conscientious, a good girl in every way, but in doing too much she
loses sight of the real aim of her school life. To these must be added
another student,--the freshman who skims the surface, and is, when she
gets out, where she was when she entered--no, not quite so far along,
for she has slipped back. She is selfish, relying upon the patience and
burden-bearing capacity of her father and mother, as well as the school.

No doubt every girl would meet her obligations squarely if she realized
what was the underlying significance of the freshman year; the school
life would surely be approached with a conscientious purpose. What a
girl gets in school will much depend upon what she has to give. No girl
is there simply to have a good time or merely to learn things out of
books. Nor is she there to fill in the interim between childhood and
young womanhood, when one will go into society, another marry, and a
third take up some wage-earning career. No, she is there to carry life
forward in the deepest, truest sense; and the longer she can have to get
an education and to make the best of the opportunities of school and
college life, the richer and fuller her after-years will be. Both middle
life and old age will be deeper and stronger. Let us think about these
girls, let us think about what it means to be a freshman, and so lessen
our difficulties and increase our pleasures; let us have a big
conception,--a large ideal always at heart--of what the _first year_
should be, and beginning well we shall be the more likely to end well.



II

THE GIRL AND THE SCHOOL


Inside school or college the girl is in several ways responsible for the
atmosphere. Merely in her conversation she can be of service or
dis-service. It may be simply a good joke which she is telling, but if
the joke misrepresents the school she will, perhaps, do lasting harm. If
she is hypercritical--and there is nothing so contagious as
criticism--she influences people in the direction of her thought; she
sets a current of criticism in motion. A student frequently gives vent
to an opinion that is only half-baked--it is well, by the way, to make
zwieback of all our opinions before we pass them around as edible--about
courses and instructors. She does not realize that some opinions to be
worth anything must be the result of a long process of baking, that a
nibble from the corner of a four months' or nine months' course will
not, however understandingly it may be Fletcherized, tell you whether
the course is going to be fruit cake, meringue or common soda crackers.
She may think that she herself is so unimportant that what she says
can't matter, or she may not mean what she says and be merely letting
off steam. Nevertheless her influence is exerted. Some one showed an old
lady, who had never been known to say anything in the least critical of
any human being, the picture of a very fat man prominent in public life.
She looked at it a moment, and then said sweetly: "My, isn't he plump!"
If only there were more old and young ladies like that dear soul!

There is another kind of conversation which may not be ill-natured and
yet does harm. Idle gossiping, talking about things that are not worth
while or speculating about affairs which are not our business and of
which we know little or nothing. Akin to this is fashionably slangy
conversation concerning the latest thing in books, magazine articles,
trivial plays. For even the "tone" of school or college conversation a
student is responsible. She can make her school seem cheap or
cultivated. The remarks which visitors overhear as they go from room to
room or from building to building are likely to indicate the "tone" of
an institution. A catalogue may say all it pleases about a school but in
the end the school is judged by the women it educates and sends out,
even as a tree is known by its fruit. Cultivated, strong women are worth
more in advertisement than all the printed material in the world,
however laudatory.

When a girl has received everything her Alma Mater has to give, she has
no right to be untrue to its fundamental aims and ideals, or to
misrepresent it in any way, either by what she says or by her own
behaviour. Every student in a large institution is in a sense a
pensioner. No student can pay for what is given to her. Is it not a poor
return for her to be reflecting dishonour rather than honour upon her
school?

There is a certain social selfishness in the way some students take
their opportunities for granted without realizing that there are
thousands and hundreds of thousands of girls who would give all that
they possess for a tithe of such riches. Also, because of the sacrifice
which is being made for them at home girls are selfish in taking their
school or college life carelessly. The school has to bear much of the
responsibility for the individual failure. But of this the student who
is failing rarely thinks. Parents hold an institution to blame if it
does not do for their child what they expect it to do, when it may be
the girl who is at fault.

In the use she makes of her portion of inheritance, in the gift the
school bestows on the student, there is a large social question
involved. The school gives her of its wealth, the result of the
accumulation of years and of the civic or philanthropic spirit of many
men and women. This, if the girl's sense of responsibility is what it
should be, she feels bound to increase and hand on. It is the old
_noblesse oblige_ under new conditions of privilege.

While she is still in school the girl discharges part of this obligation
by realizing what is best for her school as an institution. A college or
a big school is no place for vocal soloists. Its life is the life of an
orchestra, of many instruments playing together. The student's sense of
responsibility is shown by her attitude towards the corporate government
and administration of the school. Instead of regarding the laws of her
school as natural enemies, chafing against them, making fun of them or
evading them if possible, she has a duty in fulfilling them. The
consciousness of this responsibility is the very heart and soul of the
student self-government movement, for it recognizes not only the
obligation placed upon its members by an institution, but also the wide
influence one girl may have on others. Student government knows that
upper class girls can determine the spirit of the under classes. Even
looking at the matter from the lightest point of view, respectful and
law-abiding ways are always well-bred ways.

When a student becomes an alumna she can discharge a large part of her
great responsibility by realizing that it is not any longer so much a
question of what her school can give her as of what she can give to her
school. One thing she can always give it--that is, kindly judgment. And
she can acknowledge that her ideas of what her Alma Mater is after her
own school-days may not be correct. The school, sad to say, is sometimes
placed in the position of the kindly old farmer who, hearing others call
a certain man a liar, said: "Waal now, I wouldn't say he wuz a _liar_.
That's a bit harsh. I'd say he handled the truth mighty careless-like."
Schools find that some of their alumnæ handle the truth mighty
careless-like.

While she is still a student a girl's service to her school lies largely
in her daily work, the mental muscle she puts into all that she does in
the classroom and studies out of it. If because of her and a multiple of
many girls like her, the college does not possess that _sine qua non_ of
all the higher mental life, an intellectual atmosphere, it is the
student's and her multiple's fault. "You may lead a horse to water but
you cannot make it drink," may be an old adage, but it would be hard to
improve upon it. You may set before students a veritable Thanksgiving
feast of things intellectual, but if they have no eagerness, no appetite
for them, the feast remains untouched. Energy and hunger of the mind,
not the anxious hosts, will in the end decide whether that feast is or
is not to be eaten.

The school considers not only scholarship but also the sum of all that
it is, its culture, its attainment, its moral force, as these elements
are expressed in its living members, its students and its teachers--in
short, its idealism. Idealism is having one's life governed by ideals,
and an ideal is a perfect conception of that which is good, beautiful
and true. If the girl's life is not governed by ideals, how, then, can
the school hope to have its idealism live or grow? Frequently students
think of the ideals of college or school as of something outside
themselves, more or less intangible, with which they may or may not be
concerned. Students cannot do their institution a greater injury than by
harbouring such a thought, for if their sense of responsibility will
only make the idea of the school personal, then indeed will the school
be like that house upon which the rains descended and the winds blew but
it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.



III

FRIENDSHIPS


Homesickness and friendships, how much and how vivid a part they play in
the first year, or years, of school life! An old coloured physician was
asked about a certain patient who was very ill. "I'll tell you de truf,"
was the reply. "Widout any perception, Phoebe Pamela may die and she may
get well; dere's considerable danger bofe ways." I will tell you one
truth about the first year of school life: friends there will surely be,
and homesickness there is likely to be,--there is "considerable danger
both ways."

Even if a girl has never been away from home before, it is possible that
she will not suffer from homesickness. It is probable, however, that the
new surroundings in which the girl finds herself, and the separation
from those who are the centre of her personal life, will bring on an
attack of this most painful malady. It takes time to fit comfortably
into the new surroundings, and meanwhile everything is strange.
Homesickness is not to be laughed at, but it must be less deadly, less
fatal than some people think it, or there would not be so many
recoveries. Girls often weep when they enter school, and then after the
long dreary years are really over, lived through, and the poor forlorn
freshman is metamorphosed into the senior, they weep again. Is it not
strange that these seniors who wept on entering school should weep also
when leaving it? It looks in the end as if Phoebe Pamela were sure to
get well. Yet the effort to get well requires a fine effort at
self-control,--an effort every girl is the better for making, although
it may take everything plucky in a girl to "back up" her intention to
remain in school. The earlier the student considers this question of
homesickness the better. Let her face its possibilities before she goes
away from home, and make up her mind, if she is attacked, resolutely to
overcome it. If it comes, let her never give up the struggle, for, by
giving in, she will only lose ground in every way, morally, socially,
intellectually. By her cowardice she will part with what she can never
recover later.

Many temptations follow in the wake of homesickness, and the most
serious of all is to make friends too rapidly. It may be laid down as a
rule that a friendship formed on this stop-gap principle, and too
rapidly, is not likely to endure. Such a friendship is not a sane or a
wise relation, for friendship is like scholarship: if it is worth
anything at all it comes slowly. Impulsive, quickly forced friendships
are not wise investments; the very fact that they come so quickly
implies an unbalanced state of idealizing, or lack of self-control. This
does not mean that one is not to form pleasant acquaintances from the
very beginning of the school life. Acquaintanceship always holds
something in reserve and is the safest prelude to a deeper and more
vital friendship.

There is no denying that there is great temptation to violent
admirations and attractions in school. In the first place, in school or
college the girl is brought into contact with a large circle of people
who are immensely interesting to her. The whole atmosphere is full of
novelty, of the unusual. Some of the students and teachers whom she
meets for the first time represent a broader experience, it may be, than
her own home life has given her. They are often new types and new types
are always interesting.

I shall say nothing of the idealism of friendship--it plays its part in
other books. It would seem sometimes as if almost too much emphasis had
been placed upon the making of friendships in school,--friendship which
is, after all, but a by-product, the most valuable it is true,
nevertheless a by-product of the life. Wholly practical are the tests of
friendship which I shall give. In the first place a friend is too
absorbing who takes all of one's interest to the exclusion of
everything else: there should be interest in other people, other
activities as well as in one's work. Such a friendship can only make a
girl forget for what she has come to school. The new relation which
disposes one to look with less respect and affection upon one's own
people and home--and they, be it remembered, have stood the most
valuable test of all, the test of time--cannot be a good influence. It
may be said in general that an association which is developing the less
fine traits in one's character, giving emphasis to the less worthy
sides, should be relinquished immediately, even at the cost of much
heartache. The heartache will be only temporary; the bad influence might
become permanent. On the other hand, since friendship is giving as well
as taking, one does well to consider the fact that if one's own part in
it does not tell for good, there is just as much reason for stopping the
friendship where it is. Some of these associations--and this is a hard
saying, I know--which seem everything at the time are nothing, as the
years will prove. A girl idealizes, and idealizes those who are not
worthy. Inevitably the day comes when she laughs at herself,--if she
does not do worse and pity herself for having been such a goose.

Only a few of the friendships made in school are destined to endure. One
of the foremost of those that last is founded on similarity of interest.
Perhaps it is the girl with whom one has worked side by side in the
laboratory,--a relation formed slowly and on a permanent basis. Many of
the best of friends have come together through community of interests,
and this is a type of friendship for which men have a greater gift than
women.

There is still another type which develops because of some conspicuously
noble or fine quality which proves attractive. Hero worship, this, which
enlarges one's self through the admiration given to another. Then there
is the friendship based on a purely personal attraction, with mutual
respect and self-respect as its dedicated corner-stone. This does not
mean that one cannot see any faults in the friend, or know that one's
own are seen, without losing affection. There is always something flimsy
and insecure about a friendship that simply idealizes. Any relation
should be all the stronger for a frank acknowledgment of its
imperfections. If a girl cares enough she will be willing to admit her
own faults and wish to make herself more worthy to be a friend.

And, finally, there is what might be called the lend-a-hand
friendship,--the relation that springs into existence because of the
need which is seen in another. It is not fair to make a packhorse of
one's friend or to turn one's self into the leaning variety of plant,
but it is fair and wise and right, if one is strong enough to accomplish
the end in view, to lend a hand to another girl who is not making the
best of herself.

Have a good time but do not swear eternal allegiance in this first year
to anybody, however wonderful she may seem. Hold yourself in reserve, if
for no other reason, then on account of the old friends at home, whether
they be kin or no-kin, for they have been true. And remember, as I have
said before, friendship is like scholarship and must by its nature come
slowly.



IV

THE STUDENT'S ROOM


There has been a general improvement in student rooms, yet many rooms
to-day have altogether too much in them: too many pictures, too many
banners, too much furniture, too many hangings. The great fault of most
rooms is this overcrowding. If we were only heroic enough to make a
bonfire of nine-tenths of all they contain we should see suddenly
revealed possibilities for something like the ideal room.

One serious and obvious objection to the overcrowding of rooms is the
hygienic. I am tempted to say that this is the most important objection:
indeed, since health is more important than wealth, I will say so. A
girl has neither the time nor the ability to keep so many articles in a
room clean: and while she is busy attending to her studies, some
cherished ornaments are not only laying up dust for the future, as a
more regenerate life will lay up treasures, but also breeding germs,
perhaps collecting the very germs which will take this girl away from
school or college. Besides, bric-à-brac not only gathers dust and breeds
germs but also wearies the nerves. It makes one tired to see so many
things about, and tired to be held responsible for them. Without
realizing it, we resist the amount of space they occupy and in their
place want the air and sunshine. Subconsciously, most of us long to get
rid of our bric-à-brac and then pull down the draperies that keep out
the sunlight. The simpler the window draperies in a room, the more
easily washed, the better and more attractive. For wholesome
attractiveness there is no fabric that can excel a flood of warm
sunshine. Any girl or woman who has curtains which she must protect from
strong light by drawing down the shades is guilty of a household sin
whose greatness she cannot know. That same sunshine, freely admitted,
will do more to cleanse a house than all the soap, all the brooms, and
even all the vacuum cleaners ever invented.

The so-called beauty of a room should always give way before the hygiene
of a room. Not only should the room be sensibly furnished so that it may
have plenty of air and light, but closets should not contain articles of
furniture which belong where the air can reach them. There is a
difference between a room that is not orderly and one that is not clean.
A room that contains unclean articles in drawers or closets, unclean
floors, unclean rugs and hangings and unclean walls, should not be
tolerated for an instant. If a girl turns a combination bedroom and
study in school or college into a kitchen, if an ice-cream freezer
occupies all the foreground of this place she calls home, and
chafing-dishes with cream bottles, sardine tins, cracker boxes, paper
bags full of stale biscuits, fruit skins, dish-cloths and
grease-spotted walls, all the background, it is impossible to have a
clean room to live in.

The Golden Rule applies to rooms as well as to human beings and should
read, "Do unto a room as you would it should do unto you." And not only
for the sake of health should this Golden Rule for Rooms be observed but
also for the sake of the college or school. The room that belongs to us
only for a time should be as thoughtfully cared for as if it were our
own personal property. There is something inconsistent, isn't there, in
educating a girl in high thinking and fine ideals, if she is willing to
live in a room that for uncleanliness many a woman in some crowded
quarter of a city would consider a disgrace? Such contradiction in mind
and surrounding is out of harmony with all one's ideal for a
gentlewoman.

Not only beauty is restful, peace-giving and peace-bringing, but so,
also, are neatness and order. Orderliness helps to fit one for work.
There is undoubtedly some connection between surroundings and one's
mental state. In themselves disorder and confusion are irritating. The
sight of a dirty child crying in the doorway of an untidy house suggests
some connection between the wretchedness of the child and the squalor of
the home. I often think of William Morris, the great craftsman and
charming poet, who had much at heart the happiness of all people,
especially the poor, and his exclamation, "My eye, how I do love
tidiness!" To him, to the artist, it was, as it is, beautiful. George
Eliot had to put even the pins in her cushion into some neat arrangement
before she could sit down to write. Disorder wastes not only one's
feelings and health, it also wastes one's time, for a lot of this
commodity may be lost in looking for books, wraps, gloves and other
things which are not put away properly.

School ought to be a training for the life afterwards. That is why we go
to school, isn't it? Why should a girl indulge herself in habits which
will make against her usefulness in the life of the home or in whatever
circumstance she may be? There is a certain disciplinary value in order.
Every great military school has recognized this. Laxness in the care of
one's room may mean the habit of laxness in other and more important
ways. Disorderliness indicates a certain tendency in character, and if a
girl allows that sort of thing to go on she is very likely to show it in
other ways. Untidiness in any of one's personal habits--and what could
be more personal than a room?--should be taken up and corrected even as
one attempts to correct any weak point in one's character.

Do you know what is always--that is, if it is in it at all--the most
beautiful thing in a room? It is something which the Creator meant all
mankind should have, rich and poor, old and young alike; it is something
beyond the buying price of any wealth. It is the sunshine, more
beautiful, more valuable than expensive hangings that shut it out.
Perhaps it is partly because it is inexpensive, God-given to all people,
that housewives frequently draw their curtains against it. If they had
to pay more for it than for carpets and hangings, you may be very sure
that a great many husbands and fathers would be overworking in order
that their families might buy a whole display of sunshine instead of
tapestries.

Do you know what is the most helpful thing you can have in your room,
the article without which you cannot live in it at all, no matter how
fine the rugs and bric-à-brac may be? _Air!_ Air is the one thing which
is almost instantly and absolutely indispensable to human life, for we
breathe it in not only through our noses but also all over our skin.
Every hundredth fraction of an inch of our bodies is feeding upon air,
and the purer that air and the cooler the better and more invigorating
food it provides for the skin surface as well as for the lungs. The
mind, for it is housed in the body and its tenant, must depend for its
vigour or tone upon the fresh air in school or college study. Even a
very good head cannot work well set upon an anæmic body which is
suffocating for want of good clean air. If you wish to do your best work
and keep well, the first thing to do is not to open your books but to
open your windows. After that the books and a reasonable number of hours
of continuous study. American audience halls, pullmans, ordinary coaches
and public buildings of all sorts, especially libraries, are notoriously
overheated and unventilated. It is the intelligent American girl and
woman who, beginning with the home, will correct this evil. The schools
are, on the whole, in the forefront of the fresh air movement,
especially the public schools. As every one knows, the public schools
are establishing open air rooms for their children who need them.
Although there is much to be said about what a room should contain to
make it attractive, it should never be forgotten that sunshine and
fresh air are more beautiful and more priceless than anything else which
it can hold.

The first object in furnishing a bare room is to make it
habitable,--that is useful. Take the kitchen, for example, and
usefulness is practically the sole object in fitting it up. And the
curious thing about it all is that it cannot help being beautiful in a
homely, motherly way, for it exemplifies one of the strongest elements
of all beauty and that is _service_. The kitchen may be a very humble
place but if more women would make a study of their kitchens and then
take thought, it is likely that the rest of their houses would be in
much better taste. A thing that is useful, even as with some well-worn
homely old woman who has led a good and helpful life, always acquires a
beauty of its own. It may be hard for girls to see this but it is there,
and in time it will be seen. Just as it is essentially more beautiful to
have a clean, strong body rather than a pretty face and a body that is
not what it ought to be, so is it more truly beautiful to have articles
of furnishing in our rooms, in study or kitchen, that are of
indispensable genuine use.

Take the gaudy ambitious study one girl has made for herself. It is
defaced by the presence of articles of no value at all in the world of
needs; there is nothing in it that is genuinely beautiful and nothing
that is substantially useful. The furniture is almost too cheap to stand
on its own legs, and the colours would certainly never wash and not even
wear. This room is a junk-shop of new, useless, unattractive objects of
no virtue,--in short, a most unpleasant place in which to live. Have you
ever considered what gives even the simplest clothes for distinctive
occasions a beauty of their own? It is fitness. And it is this same
fitness which tells so much in furnishing a room. It might be said of
certain dresses that they "go together," that is, they are harmonious,
they belong together, they have, like some people, the beauty of
agreeing with themselves, and a very desirable sort of beauty it is.
Just as clothes are an expression of the people who wear them, so are
rooms an expression of the people who live in them. No well-bred girl
cares for tawdry, cheap, over-ornamented clothes. She is made
uncomfortable even at the very thought of having to wear such things.
She should suffer just as much discomfort on the score of a cheaply
furnished (and by "cheap" here I do not mean inexpensive--whitewash and
deal intelligently used may create a beautiful room), overcrowded and
over-ornamented study.

What is the meaning of the room which is your school centre for the time
being? It is an intimate place where a girl may have her friends and
good times; it is a retreat and it is a workshop. It is the girl's home
centre away from home, the place from which she will lead her life, in
its expression attractive or unattractive, like her or unlike her. To
intend that this room in beauty, in cleanliness, in order, shall be the
best expression possible of the girl's best self is the ideal to set for
the school study.

Get good materials and good colours. They need not be expensive.
Remember that colours have to go together just as furniture has to do
so. To have styles of furniture that clash or colours that do not
harmonize will negative any care which the student may have taken in the
selection of individual pieces or materials. To have too much with which
to fill the room is a good deal worse than not to have enough. Much
better it is to have a few things which are just what they should be
than to have too many and those undesirable. To get a desk, if a girl
can afford to do so, that she will be glad to keep her life long is a
good beginning, and a comfortable chair that will be made doubly
precious by all the school associations woven about it. And let her be
careful about pictures for her walls and not crowd them with cheap and
"fashionable" trash. Above all, let her remember that good taste,
simplicity, careful selection, will do more to assure her the possession
of an attractive room than all the money in the world can do.



V

THE TOOLS OF STUDY AND THEIR USE


A girl ought to take up her study with the same sense of pleasure as
that with which a strong workman enters his shop, knowing his tools and
able to use them. Having good tools and knowing them is certainly part
of the joy of work. And what are the tools the student must use? Well,
for the average student, the one that is first and most important is
_Good Health_. The mind is not as clear if the body is not in good
health, clean within and without.

The second set of tools consists of a different sort of equipment and
apparatus, tools with which a girl must become familiar and which she
must know how to use--_Books_, _Library_, _Laboratory_ and _Classroom_.
Why shouldn't a student be just as able to use her books as a carpenter
his plane or saw? One couldn't expect a fumbling carpenter or a clumsy
seamstress to accomplish much work or good work. There are times when a
girl need not claim to know anything but she must, at least, know where
to find what she wants to know. This is the first lesson in the use of
books; without knowledge of them or love for them, the student can't get
along at all. And beyond this somewhat mechanical use of books there is
a deeper and larger lesson to learn; to know that a book is not merely a
page of print where information may be sought but that it is a mirror in
which one finds the world, its wisdom, its joy, its sorrow, its divine
adventures. Robert Southey, the friend of the poet Coleridge, has
written beautifully on the subject in a little poem called "His Books."

Another tool in the student's workshop is _Previously Acquired
Knowledge_: that is, what one has in one's mind. Some people's minds are
junk-shops. But a junk-shop is better than an empty shop. This
previously acquired knowledge, if used rightly, becomes the tool of
later courses, the servant of later years. Our stored-up facts--many of
them--have not been an end in themselves. How could they be? For
example, such things as paradigms and formulæ and long lists of names
and dates, are tools pure and simple; but the student in the workshop
must have them or she will be like a carpenter who had much to do but on
coming to his bench found no tools there and so was idle all day.

A fourth tool for the girl in her study--one that cannot be deliberately
acquired, as information or apparatus or even health can be--is
_Experience_. This is the most valuable tool of all--one's experience of
travel, with people, in responsibility, in love, in joy, in sorrow, in
any kind of work. The girls who are the most interesting in the
classroom are the girls who are not contenting themselves with apparatus
alone but whose minds are flexible with experience, who bring all of
themselves, their life, to bear upon the work. A certain well-known
minister had prepared a sermon for his usual Sunday engagement, but
half an hour before service another text came into his mind. He could
not forget it, so he jotted down notes and preached the new sermon
instead of the one that had been prepared. This sermon made a great
impression on all who heard it, and the minister himself said of it that
some people would declare that it had been thought out in half an hour,
but that really he had put fifty years of his life into it. The sharper
and better the tools, the finer the character of the work. If experience
has been observed and retained, and previously acquired knowledge is
ready for service, and hand and mind know how to use books, and the
student is in good condition physically, then the excellence of that
girl's work in the class and out can be guaranteed.

And now what are the uses of the work which these tools can accomplish
for us? Coleridge wrote in his poem, "Work Without Hope,"

    "Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
    And Hope without an object cannot live."

The only hope that can last is hope that is not wholly centred in
ourselves, but has some thought for others and our service to them. Work
devoid of inspiration and ideals, work done merely for one's self, study
pursued with only a degree as an end or for the sake of "pay" as a
teacher, turns school and college into a market-place, a place of
barter, where in exchange for so much energy and so much money we may
acquire a certain position and livelihood. Only that work in which one
has the consciousness of being, or becoming, useful to others, brings
joy that will endure. What do we think of the minister who is without a
sense of consecration? The responsibility of the student or the teacher
is quite as large, the opportunity for service quite as wonderful. One
of our greatest English poets, William Wordsworth, exclaimed: "I wish to
be considered as a teacher, or as nothing!" The calling of the teacher,
of the student, has through all time been thought a high one,--one that
has drawn to itself fine and unselfish spirits. The life of the student,
no matter how necessary to the world its market-places are, never has
been and never can be a life of barter, of trade.

The wealth that comes to the student should not be an exclusive
possession. It may be bought at a large price but it can never be sold.
It must be given away, or shared, for it is wealth which carries with it
a sense of social responsibility. It is enjoyed for a double purpose,
not only for the sake of the happiness it brings to us but also for the
sake of the joy or help it may bring to others. Millions of girls covet
the opportunities that come to a few in school and college, many of them
who far more greatly deserve this privilege than we. Indeed, what have
most of us done to merit the right to all that we have? The only way in
which we can show our sense of justice is by taking our privileges as
something to share with others. The girl who has health, pleasant
surroundings and work worth doing, has all a human being has a right to
expect. She ought always to be happy, always rejoicing in her work and
always eager to divide her wealth with others.

The redeeming feature of royalties has been their sense of
responsibility for their subjects! In great disasters, or calamities,
their first thought has been to go to the relief of the people. The King
and Queen of Italy are noble examples of this courage and unselfishness.
In America the only "privileged" class is the highly educated. It is
they from whom _noblesse oblige_ must be expected, who will show in all
emergencies their sense of responsibility, who will share all that they
have with others. A girl will be happy, she will grow, she will be a
leverage power for good with those among whom she lives, only in so far
as she uses her tools of knowledge in the service of others, and shapes
all that she does towards some humanly useful end.



VI

THE JOY OF WORK


If one is in good condition, the exercise of any physical power is a
pleasure. It is a pleasure to run, to sing, to dance, to climb
mountains, to row, to swim; it is a pleasure to shout for nothing else
than for the pure joy of letting off surplus energy. In the world of
animals, the horse and dog, to take only two illustrations, abound in
this enjoyment of physical energy. The horse paws the ground and snorts
and whinnies and loves the fastest road pace you will let him take. The
dog leaps in the air, jumps fences, barks, and races around madly,
sometimes after nothing at all.

But the highest power of which human beings are possessed is not the
power of the body. It is the power of the mind. Yet many of us
throughout our school and college life not only do not wish to use this
power but even rebel against it. "What," some girls are saying to
themselves, "enjoy the work of a classroom? Who ever heard of such a
thing!" Yes, just that. And if we don't enjoy the work of a classroom,
even an indifferently good one, there is something the matter with us,
or the subject should not have a place on any curriculum. Every mental
exercise should be full of the keenest pleasure, of intellectual
pleasure.

Our schools and colleges to-day are very much richer in the joy of
everything else--in beautiful surroundings, in freer and fuller athletic
and outdoor life, in a more varied and delightful social life--than they
were fifty or even twenty-five years ago. But it is a question whether
the joy of intellectual work has kept pace with this joy of life in its
other aspects. Sometimes it almost seems as if intellectual eagerness
were in inverse ratio to the ease and fullness of the opportunities we
have. At least many fair-minded girls have seen the predicament in
which the teacher is placed. The man who makes a vase for the use and
pleasure of others may rejoice not only in his own workmanship but also
in the thought of the service and delight he is giving to others. That
is, his pleasure is twofold. The teacher who is deprived of some
response of joy in the work he is doing is a workman deprived of his
rights. To those girls who are thinking of becoming teachers this should
be a sobering thought.

Missionary teachers, with their students eager to get anything they have
to give, are not to be pitied. Our schools and their groups of teachers
in isolated and uncultivated parts of the West and South are not to be
pitied. Even if education is with them shorn of much that gives it
charm, the opportunities that come are prized. Students and teachers
have intellectual joy in the work they do, and without that the greatest
university in the world might as well, or better, be a district school,
for then the work done would be truly useful. It is the teacher who has
to put much of her time and energy into making a subject superficially
attractive enough for a student to elect it, who is to be pitied. A
classroom full of blasé girls whose minds need to be tickled before
there is the least expression of intellectual mirth upon their faces, is
an ordeal not lightly to be met except by the professional joker or
academic tumbler.

Girls often become impatient with themselves, and that is one reason why
there is so little joy in work for them. Think of Helen Keller as a
famous example of this joy in work under the most adverse circumstances.
What could be greater than her handicap? Shut away from the world by
deaf ears and blind eyes and, for a while, by inability to speak, she
has nevertheless shown a keenness of pleasure and intellectual
acquisition that shames us who have all our senses in their fullness.
Think of her patient, unremitting delving, of the digging up, up, up to
get to the light which most human beings are privileged to enjoy with
no effort at all! The mind that accepts this wealth with no thought, no
sense of responsibility, is a trifler with riches that are about us for
God-given purposes. Think of the way in which Stevenson and John Richard
Green and George Eliot rose above their ill-health and did their work in
despite of it! Perhaps some of us have superb health and have never made
any conscious effort to use that gift for a high end.

Girls grow impatient with themselves when they wouldn't be impatient
with a little child. Yet the mind has to be trained even as we train a
child; it has to be brought back and back, again and again to the thing
to be done. After the asking of a simple question, oftentimes a whole
class will look confounded, because they have some strange notion that
thinking means getting hold of something very far away and difficult to
grasp. All that the first effort in thought denotes is taking a hold of
that which is nearest and following it up. It is the old story of
Theseus following his clue of thread, the slender thing in his hand, by
which he was guided out of the labyrinth and to the broad sea of
adventure.

There are difficulties in the doing of any work that is worth while. It
would be a poor adviser who painted the student's way as a path of
roses. First and foremost, one's own inertia interferes with the joy of
work. Some one has defined the lazy man as one who doesn't want to do
anything at all, and the indolent man as one who doesn't want to do
anything that he doesn't want to do. Then, too, there are certain
allurements and distractions in school life which are a hindrance to our
joy in an intellectual task. And there is the very natural
disinclination to the drudgery involved in all hard labour. No work that
is worth while is without drudgery. Lack of encouragement from older
people is one serious difficulty some girls have to meet. There is a
type of older person who is sure that using the mind will harm that
precious article. And, finally, there is our inexperience, our own lack
of comprehension, our own purposeless and formless lives.

Joy in work should not be altogether conditional upon one's sense of
ease or upon what is called success. Seeming success is not always
success. Often the most valuable lessons come from failures. Robert
Browning, the poet, speaks again and again of the noble uses of failure.
Let me quote one stanza from one of his greatest poems, "Rabbi Ben
Ezra":

    "Then, welcome each rebuff
    That turns earth's smoothness rough,
    Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go!
    Be our joys three-parts pain!
    Strive and hold cheap the strain;
    Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!"

You can't learn to walk if you haven't tumbled down a good deal in doing
it. It is often failure that means ultimate success. Of course if a
girl keeps on saying: "Oh, what's the use?" about everything she does
and all her failures, there isn't any use. In weak moments that sort of
thing can be said of every great and worth-while experience, of love, of
joy, of sorrow, of work. But a girl who allows herself to take this
attitude is a "quitter," and doesn't know the first principles of
playing the game.

Part of the joy of work consists in the mere delight of intellectual
exercise, delight in thinking a thing out. That is the way we develop
ourselves mentally, just as we develop ourselves physically through
sports. The mind that thinks is capable of deeper and broader thinking.
Thinking begets thought. A muscle that is left without exercise softens
and finally atrophies. The same is true of mental muscle. If this
strength is left unused it is gradually lost and cannot be recovered.
Mental concentration, the thought that is so strenuous that everything
else is shut out, strengthens the mind. In this wonderful old world no
new land has been discovered without physical effort. There is no
country of the mind which can be entered without a similar effort.

And there is another and very important joy in work--the sense that one
is being equipped for the work of the world, for usefulness. The mere
feeling that one's powers are being developed brings joy with it. There
is still another joy which every one of us must covet--the sense of
entering into the intellectual riches of the world, its wonders of
science and art and letters, with the feeling that we have a part in a
great treasure, a treasure which, unlike gold and precious stones, men
have never been able to gauge or to exhaust. Such gold and silver as we
take from that adventure cannot be lost or stolen from us. It remains
with us to the very last, and with it no life can ever become really
poor, or dull, or old.



VII

FAIR-PLAY


Few students realize how closely a classroom resembles a commonwealth.
To most of us it seems a place into which we go to have a certain amount
got out of us, or put into us. This conception of the classroom is
unworthy the modern girl who has, otherwise, a fine understanding of the
meaning of team-play, of playing all together for a common end, a game
or a republic united by a tacit compact.

Does the average student feel responsibility for the game of basket-ball
or lawn hockey which she is playing? The first thought of the girl in
answering this is that it was a foolish question even to ask. Of course
she does. But for her classroom? No, that is a different sort of game,
in which the responsibility lies all on the shoulders of the instructor.
It is a one-woman or a one-man game, and very often the students are
but spectators, cheering or indifferent, approving or disapproving. The
pupil does not hold herself accountable for this game; it is the teacher
who makes the class "go," who extracts from each student the information
bottled up in her, together, often, with a good deal of carbon
dioxide,--a process difficult and hard as drawing a swollen cork out of
a soda-water bottle. Finally, with a sort of noble rebound of effort,
the exhausted instructor is to put a vast deal of information back into
the girl before the student claps her book together and rushes pell-mell
to the next classroom, there to be similarly uncorked, if the teacher
has learned the art and her mental muscle is sufficient.

Such a conception of a classroom is not fair-play. The teacher, like the
coxswain of a college crew, may have rowed over the same course and she
may know it well enough to cover it in the dark; she may have won
distinction upon it, may be the fittest person in all the states of the
Union to cover it again, but if she has not a good or a winning crew to
coach, she will never win any race, even the shortest. No instructor has
shoulders equal to such a multiple burden as coaching, steering and
doing all the rowing, too. To play any classroom game in this spirit is
to be dead weight for every one else embarked upon the same adventure.
It is not fair-play.

By such an attitude on the part of merely one student in the class,
every other student associated with her loses, for the girl who will not
lift her own weight the others must carry. If that student were playing
in that spirit on the basket-ball team, do you suppose that the coach,
or the captain, would let her stay on? Not for a moment; off she would
go and very much humiliated, too. If it is a discussion, the touch and
go of the whole recitation will depend upon the presence of the
team-play, or fair-play, spirit in the course. The instructor may do her
best but if there is no play-the-game in that classroom, she might just
as well fold up her tent, like the proverbial Arab, "and silently steal
away." It is not that any recitation need be a brilliant affair--if most
of them depended upon that for existence they would scarcely exist at
all--but there must be an honest, earnest, responsible effort to make
the best of the hour. Good will inevitably come from the clarifying
effort to express thought, and the leading from thought to thought as
the work goes forward.

The basket-ball team cannot win, or even play, unless all the members
are playing together. Each one is needed despite the fact that she may
not be one of the chief or best players. Just so does the class need all
its students. If a girl is only average, it is not fair-play for her to
sit back and do nothing; neither is it fair-play for her to monopolize
the attention if she happens to be more than commonly able. It is not
fair-play to laugh at the girl who is at a disadvantage, or to appear
bored. It is unfair to the individual, to the classroom in general and
to the instructor. The least she can do in this class game is to give
her whole and her courteous attention.

Think of all the practice games in which the average athletic team takes
part. What can be said for the student who comes into the classroom
unprepared to lift her own weight, unprepared to help others? When one
comes to think about it from the fair-play point of view there is
nothing to be said for her. Nor is it fair-play for a girl to allow
herself to get into such a state physically that she is unable to study.
How often and often have fudge-heads--due to an application to too much
sugar and not to books--sitting row after row killed a school or even a
whole college! Before a class tempered by fudge and not by wholesome
outdoor living and conscientious devotion to work, the teacher might
better put away her notes and close her book. Nothing can happen through
or over that barricade of fudge-heads.

And it is not fair-play to cram because of time lost, or for any other
cause. The only end of cramming is that the student soon forgets all
that has been learned. Alone by normal, slow acquisition and all the
associations formed in such learning can information come to us to stay.
It may not be particularly wicked to cram if one has plenty of time to
waste, but it is foolish unless one has.

There is a kind of gossip in which a girl takes part, made up of
snap-shot judgments of the classroom, idle carping about some little
unimportant point, expression of wounded vanity and unfair talk, which
may mean a tremendous loss of prestige for a really admirable course; it
may mean that girls, who would naturally go into it because of their
liking or gift for the work, do not go or go in a critical and
unsympathetic attitude. If there is a complaint to be made about any
course it should be made to the responsible person concerned, and that
is usually the teacher. Anything else is not fair-play. In the
classroom the instructor is the "coach" of the game and she is the
person with whom to talk. It is needless to say that if a girl is
putting nothing into a course she cannot expect to get anything out of
it, or to complain because things do not "go." If she wants them to "go"
why does she not help, and have the profit of taking something away from
the work as interest on her effort? A girl gets dividends only from work
into which she has put some brain-capital.

And the people at home? Is it fair-play to them, when they are making
sacrifices of money or of happiness to keep the daughter at school, for
her not to put good work into her study and play her part faithfully in
the classroom game? So many things have to be taken into consideration
of which we are not likely to think. There is the girl herself, the
other girls with whom she is working, the instructor, the people at
home, the institution that is providing an expensive equipment or plant
through the philanthropic efforts of others or the taxation of the
public. If the girl does not play her part fairly, there is a rather big
reckoning against her, is there not?



VIII

THE RIGHT SORT OF LEISURE


The right sort of leisure ought to help as much in the development of
the girl as the right sort of work. If it is leisure worthy the name, it
will bring refreshment; it will not leave one physically and mentally
jaded. Neither mind nor body should ever be exhausted because of the way
in which freedom has been used. Leisure is as important to work as work
is to leisure. A person who has not worked cannot appreciate freedom,
while the one who has had no leisure is not best fitted for work. "All
work and no play makes Jack a dull boy;" it is just as true that it
makes Jill a dull girl. The girl who works all the time, not realizing
the importance of free moments, becomes fagged in body and mind. She is
a tool that is dull, and would do well to remember that even a machine
is better for an occasional rest.

Some mistaken ideas about leisure have grown up, making it difficult to
say anything on this subject without being misunderstood. Stories--whole
books of them--about "spreads" and more or less lawless escapades in
school and college, have given girls and other people, too, the
impression that this is the sort of thing school leisure is. Nothing
could be farther from the truth. Midnight feasts may occur in school,
and most of us, unless we are too good to be average girls, have taken
part in them. But such stories are vicious, for they misrepresent the
life by suggesting that eating inferior and unwholesome food is the real
freedom most girls desire. There is something repulsive in the very
thought. Feasts that leave a girl with a coated tongue and a dull head
and Monday "blues" do not fairly represent school or college leisure.
Good times that interfere with good work have no place in ideally free
hours. But, indeed, the odours from the chafing-dishes do suggest that
some of the girls are trying to put into literal execution the wish of
a great German professor in Oxford. The professor, eager to try a dish
he saw on the hotel bill of fare, but with his English and German verbs
not quite disentangled, said to the waiter, "Hereafter I vish to become
a Velsh Rabbit." Perhaps becoming a Welsh rarebit represents the height
of some girls' ideals, but this is hard to believe.

The possession of leisure depends to a great extent upon the will power.
The girl who has never learned to say "No," who has no power of
selection, cannot expect to have any hours for her own use. She is
quarry for every idle suggestion, every social engagement, every
executive "job" which pursues her. The girl who engages all her time
socially cannot have a sense of leisure, for she turns her playtime into
but another schedule, to be met as inexorably as her academic courses.
Her days become a formidable array of "dates," often stretching ahead
for weeks. Even if girls are not determined to have it for themselves,
they should give to others some opportunity for freedom, and should
respect their possible desire for solitude. The girl who engages or
annexes every particle of time, her own or that of some one else with
whom she comes in contact, is making leisure an impossibility. The girl
who leaves no margin cannot hope for even the spirit of freedom.

Many students excuse themselves for much executive work in school and
college on the ground that it is done in their leisure. That girl is a
goose who allows herself through any sense of self-importance, or
irreplaceable usefulness, to be so involved in executive work that all
other aspects of her school life are slighted. If she refuses to be
swamped by such "jobs" she can have the happiness of reflecting that
probably some girls who need the training far more than she does are
doing the work. To every girl will come the opportunity right along for
"managing"; club and social work will bring it, and a good-sized family
will bring it as nothing else can. But school leisure she will not have
again. The whole aim of the school is to enrich the lives of its
students, and it knows all too well that that student who does not keep
for herself the leisure upon which body and mind and soul must feed is
indeed poor.

There is one way in which leisure is very generally misspent in
school--and alas, outside, too!--not in managing one's own affairs, but
in managing and discussing the affairs of others. At such times the
remarks may be superlatively pleasant, but they are more often
superlatively disagreeable. It may be said with truthfulness that they
are almost never moderate or just. Everything is all black or all white,
with no gray. It makes one think of the little girl with a curl in the
middle of her forehead:

    "When she was good, she was very, very good,
    And when she was bad, she was horrid."

But, alas! the poor wretches discussed are not allowed even the natural
and somewhat happy human alternation between badness and goodness. No,
indeed, they are monsters of a desperate character--they may at the
moment be broken-heartedly conscious of their own faults--or they are
shining six-winged angels. And, woe! this sort of thing comes almost as
hard upon the angels. They can't endure it; so much goodness breaks down
their wing arches, and the glorious ones crumple together like
tissue-paper.

And upon the girls busily engaged in creating angels of loveliness and
gargoyles of ugliness, this sort of conversation works havoc. It does
not invigorate them, it does not inspire them. It belittles their
minds--thank fortune, that making kindling wood of the characters of
other people does do this!--and stunts their finer feelings. This sin,
that they "do by two and two," they pay for one by one. Gentle and
considerate feelings are lost, time is wasted, a vicious habit,--almost
no habit is more vicious,--is acquired. Such gossip can never become a
pure enjoyment; it remains at the best an ignoble, discreditable
excitement. Rolling these sweet morsels under their tongues, a taste for
ill-natured or exaggerated comment fixes itself in their mouths. Even if
they have consciences that, like good mothers, will occasionally wash
their mouths out with soap, they retain the disturbing memory of unkind,
coarse, or foolish words.

Yet school should be the last place in which to indulge in idle talk.
Such indulgence is against all the idealism of student life. Idle or
meddlesome talk never helps any one, either the one who talks or the one
who is discussed. If you have anything to say about other people, and if
going to them will help you, the only friendly thing to do--it is not an
easy thing--is to speak to the people concerned. If we really knew how
to put ourselves in other people's places, no unkind, unfriendly words
would ever be spoken again. There would be things hard to bear
said--rebuke or reproof are never easy to receive--but nothing
unfriendly. Think how idle, ill-natured talk flows around the world, and
then think what a different world it would be if there were none of it!
It is to human life what the blights, the scales, the insect pests are
to tree and flower. Fortunately, as people grow older they come to think
themselves less infallible, and as they grow wiser they become more
tender and more lenient in their judgments.

In companionship whose leisure interests are good there is a sense of
freedom filled full and running over, of minds and hearts doubly rich,
of good times doubly jolly. But on the whole, girls have too little
absolute solitude; there is scarcely a girl in twenty, except the "dig,"
who is alone at all. One trouble with dormitory school life is that it
fosters leisure-wasting and time-wasting "gang" habits. A girl so
surrounded never wants to be alone a moment, either indoors or out. With
such, the blessing and blessedness of solitude should be learned, for
solitude rightly used makes strong men and women.

The woman who has leisure has a grasp upon time, is master of it instead
of being mastered by it. It is the girl whirled around in a squirrel
cage of pointless weekly and Sunday engagements who is oppressed and
mastered by her lack of freedom. And then there is the hard-pressed
future; we must lay up some leisure for that. The time when one is most
hurried is the time when one most needs the sense of freedom. The story
of the old Quaker lady who had so much to do she didn't know where to
begin, and so took a nap, is profoundly full of wisdom. When the old
lady woke up she found she had plenty of time after all, not because she
had done anything but because she had come again into a leisurely frame
of mind.

Leisure means neither a blank mind nor an empty hand. It means a holiday
taken with an eager mind, with eyes keen in their delight and knowledge,
with hands capable of some beauty or some use. All of us have leisure
to think, but not all of us think. Some of us, if friends come in
unexpectedly, will quickly pick up something and pretend to be busy.
When Watt sat by the fire watching the steam from the teakettle lift the
lid, he was not precisely idle. The powerful, indispensable steam-engine
was the result. One reason, aside from all religious considerations, why
we need a quiet Sunday, is that we may have that sense of freedom which
feeds mind and body, and even the crumbs of whose profitableness have
made the world rich in great inventions, in great pictures, in wonderful
books.



IX

THE OUTDOOR RUNWAY


After Nebuchadnezzar came in from eating grass there had taken place in
that potentate a great change for the good. One of the factors in this
betterment may have been the grass itself. The grass-cure has always
been popular and always will be, for it is just as good for the tired
mind as it is for the tired body. Nowadays every big school and every
college provide a grass-cure for students who are out at elbows with
their nerve sleeves, or who have not sufficient muscle to make them fit,
or who are overworking or need toning up in any way. There is more and
more recognition of the fact that a school course which is taken at the
expense of health is not worth having. And side by side with this
wholesome admission has come a great awakening in the last fifteen years
to the curative value of the _outdoor runway_, whether that runway be a
field track, energetic walking in a park or campus, or a cross country
run.

Some girls--and there are more girls of this type than there are
boys--put in their outdoor life as a stop-gap. It is inconceivable that
this should be true, yet it is true. Apathetically the students have
exercised sixty minutes, considering this minimum quite sufficient. Not
a particle of zest do they reveal in the exercise taken. They do not
seem to know or they do not care that the fields and woods should be
full, not only of health and all that goes with it, including success,
but also of the best of friends who all have their good points worthy of
notice and imitation, in quick leap, cheerful voice and blithe song.
What are sixty minutes in this great outdoor runway? Not a tithe of the
twenty-four hours and at best only half of what the minimum should be.
Exercise should be taken even if nothing else in the school life is.
And I say this advisedly, for health is the basis on which not only the
future of the woman's life must depend but also that of the race. Good
health, the inheritance of it, its maintenance and increase, neither the
girl nor her parents can ever hold as too sacred a trust. That it is a
sacred trust the schools are recognizing more and more, and provisions
are being made, especially in the public schools, for the defective in
health as well as for the strong. The outdoor school, at first an object
that attracted universal attention, is now being taken quite for
granted. Foolish the girl who does not learn to take the outdoor runway
for granted, too, and go out to it in high spirits to learn its wisdom,
to take part in its joys and to receive its health.

It may be accepted as a new axiom--the more exercise the less fool.
Strong, able muscles, steady nerves (and let us remember that nerves
depend for their tone on the muscular condition), a clean skin open at
all its pores and doing its eliminative work thoroughly, and clean
strong vitals make up the kind of beauty within the reach of all
womanhood, and the physical beauty which she should most desire. The day
is coming when our ideal of what is physically perfect--not spiritually,
for Christianity has carried us beyond anything that Greece ever
knew--will be more like the Greek in its entirety, its emphasis upon the
harmony of the whole body. The body is a mechanism to be exquisitely
cared for--self-running, it is true, and yet in need of intelligent
attention. Think of the care an engineer gives his engine, and it is by
no manner of means so wonderfully and so intricately fashioned as these
bodies of ours on which our happiness, our working ability, even our
very goodness depend. Health as a safeguard to one's whole moral being
is coming into more and more recognition, and not only as a safeguard
but also as a cultivator of all that is best in us spiritually. There
are people very ill, or permanent invalids, whose great victory it is
to be among the saints of the earth, but that it is easier to be good
when one is well no one will deny. Every big school has now its class or
classes in corrective or medical gymnastics, in which stooping
shoulders, ewe necks, curved spines, flat insteps, small waists and
narrow chests are rectified as far as possible in the limited hours of
the school days.

The time is coming when parents will consider it a disgrace to allow
their children to be physically undeveloped. The physician, always in
advance of the community for which he cares, sees how grave in moral or
intellectual import physical defects may be. The educational world,
alive to new messages for the reconstruction of its educational ideal,
begins also to place more and more emphasis upon the physical care and
development of its students--and not by any manner of means for physical
reasons only but because the whole girl or the whole boy is better
spiritually and mentally for having a body that is strong and well. The
whole being keeps better time, just as a watch does, for having clean
works. No one has the right to shut out the fresh air or the sunshine;
no girl should remain undeveloped physically through lack of exercise
when she could, through exercise, make herself strong. Even to abuse her
feet, the important centre of many important nerves, by tight shoes, is
wrong; so is it to rack her spine and upset or throw out of position all
the delicate and wonderfully fashioned organs of the abdominal cavity by
the wearing of high French heels. Undoubtedly, however, American
motherhood and girlhood represent something more and more intelligent;
indeed, in physical culture women are beginning to keep step with men,
and it is upon this fact that school and college depend in their
splendid efforts to make the sum of feminine vitality, despite the
pressure of modern civilization, plus rather than minus.

_The more exercise the less fool_; and it is worth remembering that the
daily exercise, the plunge into cool or clean air, as well as the plunge
into water, is a wit sharpener, and will do more for a student in the
long run than "digging" possibly can. _Mens sana in corpore sano_ may be
an old saying but it is still new enough to be repeated with vigour to
certain people. Let us get out-of-doors and have our wits sharpened and
see more, and do more, and be more! No one can permanently starve her
whole body for the want of fresh air and exercise, which are the body's
birthright, and expect to have a clear head or do well-balanced and
helpful work in the home, or in school, or in some wage-earning career.
If the girl attempt this impossibility she will be like the frog which
jumped up one foot and fell back two. She will get to the bottom soon
enough, the bottom of the class or the bottom of her health account, but
she will never get to the top of anything. Any success, if by chance it
should come to her, resting on a basis of ill health or indifference to
her physical fitness for living and working, will be like the house
built upon the sands. Before the girl is twenty, before she is
twenty-five--the earlier the better--she should recognize this fact and
begin to establish her life on the bed rock of health.

It is true, too, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, that the country
boy and the country girl are more resourceful than their city cousins.
Out-of-doors they have had to use their wits and have not been spoiled
by all the appliances of city life. Out-of-doors, too, they have made
invaluable friendships with bird and squirrel and rabbit and deer,
friendships whose intelligent wood-life has taught them much.
Self-reliance is one of the lessons of the outdoor runway; and wisdom
and inspiration come from it when they are needed. About this truth the
work of the poet Wordsworth is one long poem. Again and again he writes
of the perfect woman shaped by the influences of nature. Of her he
says:

    "Three years she grew in sun and shower;
    Then Nature said, 'A lovelier flower
      On earth was never sown;
    This child I to myself will take;
    She shall be mine, and I will make
      A lady of my own.

    "'Myself will to my darling be
    Both law and impulse: and with me
      The girl in rock and plain,
    In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
    Shall feel an overseeing power
      To kindle and restrain.

    "'She shall be sportive as the fawn
    That wild with glee across the lawn
      Or up the mountain springs;
    And hers shall be the breathing balm,
    And hers the silence and the calm
      Of mute, insensate things.

    "'The floating clouds their state shall lend
    To her; for her the willow bend;
      Nor shall she fail to see
    Even in the motions of the storm
    Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
      By silent sympathy.

    "'The stars of midnight shall be dear
    To her; and she shall lean her ear
      In many a secret place
    Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
    And beauty born of murmuring sound
      Shall pass into her face!'"

No one can afford to neglect all the spiritual influence of nature, and
the only way to receive it is to go to nature. Purity of mind, a clean
conception of God's creative plan, a more active intellectual life are
all there for the girl who will seek them. She cannot afford _not_ to go
back to nature for these helps, for every woman is in some sense a
burden bearer, and she must needs know all she can of what life means in
order to bear these burdens well.

There are various kinds of outdoor life, some one of which is within
reach of every human being, even if they are cripples. Probably most
girls when the outdoor life of school and college is spoken of think
that athletics is meant. That is one part of the outdoor runway, and
since it is provided in every school, and insisted upon, but little
about it need be said. It is doing its work with more and more
inspiration, as the response to its ideals comes in. And it does
something more in every well-equipped school than merely make a girl use
her legs and arms: it gives her a large, sane ideal of health and
provides her with the means of keeping well. There is no more useful
profession for the woman seeking one that is useful as well as
remunerative than physical culture.

There is another aspect of the outdoor runway of which less is said. I
mean gardening, or the care of live stock of some kind, or bee culture.
This is practical remunerative work which for the girl living at home
and going to school should serve famously as a grass-cure; it would keep
her out-of-doors with profit to both her health and her purse. And then
there is another kind of grass-cure: the outdoor life out-of-doors, to
be taken in long country walks, in fishing expeditions, in picnics, in
camping or wherever roads, hills, meadows and brooks lead. Finally,
there is the outdoor life indoors. This life insists upon windows open
to the air and open to the sunshine, and this life every one of us may
have all the time.



X

A GIRL'S SUMMER


Any girl who settles down to a summer with the idea of doing nothing, or
in an aimless, not-knowing-what-to-do-next fashion, lessens her
opportunities for pleasure. Pleasure is not idleness, although in the
minds of a great many people who have not thought very much it is. The
right sort of leisure is full of opportunities for doing interesting
things.

There are some girls who look upon their summers as an escape from the
slavery of their school year. There are others who think of their
summers as something to be endured until they can go back to the more or
less selfish freedom of the school. Neither is the right way. The summer
ought not to be an entirely frivolous season, neither ought it to be too
workaday. If a girl has work to do, everything should be so arranged as
not to deprive the vacation of its recreative side. On the other hand
the summer should be all the happier because of a definite object to be
accomplished. Something is wrong with a girl unless she finds both
summer and winter full of opportunity and pleasure.

No one can possibly do all the delightful or useful things which may be
done in a single summer. In these months there is opportunity for growth
just as in the winter--perhaps more opportunity physically. And
intellectually there is much to be seen and observed. For the girl who
can, it is well to plan to be out-of-doors as much as possible. For
some, there are opportunities for camping, for long walks, for
gardening, to learn how to do certain physically useful things, to row,
swim and ride. Only an extraordinary emergency would deprive a girl of
all the out-of-door exercise which she needs. If she isn't able to be by
the sea or in the mountains, in almost all cities there is opportunity
for exercise and games. With a short car ride she can go to golf links,
to tennis courts, into the country. In many semi-citified homes there
is space for a girl to do some gardening, one of the most profitable of
pleasures, good for the girl and good for the home. Many homes would be
much more attractive if there were more of the garden spirit in them.
But if there is no chance for this, there can always be physical
culture, an opportunity to build one's self up in health, to live sanely
and wisely, to get plenty of sleep, and to take corrective exercise. In
physical culture a girl should find out what she most needs--almost any
gymnastic instructor in school or college would be glad to outline
work--and then in ten or fifteen minute exercises develop herself along
those lines.

For the girl with means there is the chance for travel, a splendid
opportunity to cultivate many virtues of which the young traveller
seldom thinks: patience, adaptability, seeing the bright side of things.
Travelling may be made a very important part of education. It is too bad
that some people of limited horizon take it simply as a chance to
aggrandize themselves, something to boast about and with which to bore
their friends by repeated accounts of what they did "abroad." The great
Doctor Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the famous dictionary and author
of "Rasselas," heartily disliked young travellers, for, he said, "They
go too raw to make any great remarks." Travelling, if it is what it
should be, is an educational opening. In this way can be gained a
background for history, for literature, for sociology, and a vivid and
living knowledge of geography. Merely running about with a guide-book
will not achieve these ends, although a guide-book is a very important
asset: sympathy, trying to understand what one sees, will. Travelling
takes away provincialism because it broadens the outlook. In a very real
sense the world becomes one's home.

The girl who is not able to move about or actually travel may travel in
books. She should be ashamed to read what is harmful or merely cheap,
but further than that it may not much matter. Let her read the Little
Books, if she wishes, and the Great Little Books. As surely as the
magnet swings towards the pole will the Great Little Books take her to
the Great Big Books. She will be drawn on and up in her reading, and
will have cultivated a love for reading which is far more important than
perfunctory knowledge of the classics.

Just as any books that are good point towards books that are better, so
should the good work of a girl's school year be turning her mind towards
the future and her work as a mature woman. In the summer she has time to
assimilate all she has done, to get her bearings, and to plan wisely for
the year, or years, to come. For a girl of strong physique the summer
vacation gives an opportunity to add towards what she is going to do
eventually; to specialize in some line of work, to take a library, or
scientific, course. Many girls, however, who wish to spend their summer
in this fashion ought not to consider it, for they are not strong
enough. It is well for them to remember that it is the quality of work
that counts rather than the quantity. Often the quality of a girl's work
for an ensuing school year depends upon her freedom from study during
the summer. Students should be very sure, if they undertake work in the
summer, that it is not done simply from a nervous desire to go on
regardless of the quality of the work done. But for those in perfect
health this is an opportunity to try their powers in different ways in
order to discover what it is they really wish to do. A summer so spent
may keep many a girl from slipping into teaching just because it seems
the only thing she can do. Such a salvation will be twofold, for it will
save not only the girl, but also a profession overcrowded with loveless
followers. There are so many needs to be filled by a woman's work that
it is her duty to look for some vocation for which she is truly adapted,
to get out of the ruts of those professions into which women flock
because they have no initiative.

Often a girl thinks only of what she will do with her own summer without
thinking of what she will do with her mother's or her father's summer.
For nine or ten months they have been thinking of what they could do for
her. Sometimes girls do not realize the actual need of help and of
companionship which those at home feel, and the older people are too
unselfish to force this need upon their juniors. Between the
unselfishness of those who are older and the self-centredness of those
who are younger, there is often sad havoc made in a home. A girl who,
after a year's absence and all that has been done for her, can't adjust
herself to those who need her, has still something to learn.

If older people cannot do without the buoyancy of the young, the young
cannot very well afford to forget the mother and father who have much,
although no word may be didactically spoken, to teach them. Let the
girl take her summer not only as an opportunity to grow closer to her
family but also as a chance to learn home-making, to train herself in
the practical things of the home. This practical training is often a
very valuable supplement to the school work. The time is passed when the
learned woman who is unable to do anything for herself is the ideal--if
she ever has been that. The inability to make a home for herself, to do
all the necessary things daintily, detracts from a woman's power. In
practical ways a woman should be both dainty and capable. Parents, as
well as girls, sometimes forget or do not clearly recognize the fact
that no school, no college, can take the place of the home, that schools
are not primarily schools in home-making, but rather schools of general
education. The summer is a good time for the girl to find her place
again in the home life, and for both parents and children to rejoice in
the pleasures of the home--pleasures and opportunities which no
institutional life can give.



XI

FROM THE SCHOOL TO THE GIRL


What the school is able to do for the girl depends very largely upon the
girl herself. The majority of people with whom she comes in contact do
not take that into consideration, and the school is held unfairly
responsible for the girl. All any school can do is to use the material
it finds. Some one has said, with harsh but true emphasis, that a
college does not make a fool, it simply helps in the development of one.
As an illustration of its limitations, a school sends out two girls from
the same class; one girl it is proud to have taken as a type, the other
it is sorry to have represent it. Yet both have been under exactly the
same influence. Students do not realize how fearfully at their mercy a
school is, or that, so far as reputation is concerned, it is they who
make or mar its credit.

If the school training is worth anything at all, it makes the most of
unpromising material. Its really discouraging experience is not with the
girl of limited ability who gives her best and so in some sense gets the
best, but with the student who doesn't give her best and who, because of
her own indifference, is always misrepresenting the training she is
receiving. No school ever wishes to have its ideals confused by a vulgar
display of wealth or by loud or conspicuous behaviour. Yet many a
school, with ideals all that they should be, is misjudged in public
places because of some thoughtless or unreliable girls. This doesn't
seem like fair-play or team-play, does it? The fineness of life ought to
be felt and expressed in student behaviour. Yet how often it is not!

Another way in which the ideals of a school or college are
misrepresented is by lack of intellectual integrity. Any school informed
with a large spirit wishes to meet its students on a platform of
absolute trust,--a platform which makes precautions against dishonesty
unnecessary. Just so long as a school must be vigilant in order to keep
a few students from unfair behaviour, just so long is it prevented from
meeting them all on a basis of absolute trust. Why should girls excuse
themselves for classroom dishonesty? What would they think of a girl who
cheated in basket-ball? Would they condone that? Until student
government has recognized absolute intellectual integrity as a part of
its ideas, it will not have achieved its end. The rock on which all
scholarship is founded is honour. Lack of honour is fatal to its ideal.
"Cribbing," often excused by people who do not stop to think, is the
small beginning of a big evil.

Many a large institution is like an anxious mother, not always
infallible in wisdom, but personally interested in and eager for the
success of the individual. A successful girl brings credit to her
school, for she demonstrates, as nothing else can, the fact that the
school is achieving its purpose in service to the community. How much
this encouragement is needed, girls do not realize, for they do not know
all the difficulties which institutions, especially technical and
collegiate, have to meet in sending their students out into the world.
In finding a position for a student, the school has to consider the
whole girl. It may care greatly for an attractive personality and yet
see that its possessor is lacking in qualities of faithfulness and
accuracy, and that with its utmost endeavour it has never been able to
correct these faults. On the other hand, the school may have those
students whose manners, whose dress, whose personality, whose spelling,
whose awkwardly expressed notes, whose lack of promptness, make against
success in any capacity.

Another point for which the school looks in recommending its students is
physical fitness, which shows itself in many different ways: in voice,
in carriage, in attractiveness, in staying power. One teacher who had
an excellent record as a student and was, besides, a fine girl, had so
unpleasant and absurd a voice that her students were in a continual
state of amusement and would learn nothing from her. A great many
teachers have lost in power because of a poor voice, strident, or
lifeless, or husky, or falsetto. A poor enunciation, or words that do
not carry, are ineffectual means by which to reach a class, to hold a
customer, or to introduce one's self favourably to the interest of
others. For a girl who is going to have any part in public life--and
most girls do nowadays--a good voice is an absolute essential. And it is
well for us to remember that the voice is not something superficial, but
that it is the expression of that which is within.

Another way in which physical fitness shows itself is in the carriage. A
girl who carries herself with erectness and energy brings a certain
conviction with her of fitness for many things, of self-respect, of
ability, and reveals in her bearing something of her mind as well as of
her body. We are always tempted to think a person who "slumps"
physically may slump in other ways. A good carriage, good voice, and
strong, clean, digestive system are far more important than beauty of
features.

There is another matter at which the school in placing its students must
look. To be a desirable candidate for a good position a girl need not be
expensively gowned, but she must be daintily and freshly dressed.
Immaculate shirt waist, a plain, well-made skirt, with good shoes,
stockings and gloves and a quiet, pretty hat, are all any woman needs in
meeting her business obligations. And that daintiness which she shows in
her dress she must show in her person too, in clean skin and
finger-nails, good teeth, and smooth, attractively arranged hair.

It is very important for the interests of a school, as well as for the
individual, to place its students advantageously. To have them succeed
widens its sphere of usefulness and influence and opens new channels of
service. Every college puts itself to considerable expense in looking
out for the interests of its students, for the glory of a great school
lies not only in the people whom it collects into its midst, but even
more in those whom it sends out. A girl has no right to go so lightly
through her school life that she fails to see in it all the
self-sacrifice and effort and ambitions that have gone into the building
up of what is her privilege and opportunity. In so far as she does this
she fails in the team-play spirit. Why should a girl think that she can
spend her father's money, or the means of her school, thoughtlessly?
What would happen to her if she did this with the funds of her
basket-ball team? Yet girls waste the resources of their school by
carelessness with its property, a carelessness that collectively mounts
up into thousands of dollars, and never once stop to think how
difficult every big school finds it to make ends meet.

Before it is too late, at least now that she is leaving school, let her
stop to realize that a great deal of the work for an institution is
along the line of self-sacrifice, in the gifts given, in the work of its
administrators and teachers. This unselfishness means a financial loss,
for business ability might be invested in more lucrative ways; it means
a social sacrifice, for there is a certain kind of impersonality which
is demanded in work that deals with a continually changing community; it
means risk in the great strain put upon physical and nervous strength;
it means forgetting one's self; for the true teacher is willing to be
forgotten when she has served others. What a school may accomplish for
its students is its only compensation for all this self-sacrifice.



XII

THE WORK TO BE


One of the qualities a girl who has completed her school or college life
needs to show for a few months more than anything else is the quality of
adjustment, for she will find that she must continually adjust herself
to new conditions whether they be of the home or elsewhere. All the time
through school she has been in some sense a centre of interest. Her
class has been an important factor in the academic life. When she has
gone home it has been as a school or college girl, and she has been of
interest because she brought that life into the home. But now the
attitude of others towards her is different. She ceases to be the centre
of attention, and for her a day of serious readjustment is at hand.
Perhaps in her own estimate she has seemed even more important than she
really was. She is likely now to swing from a sense of self-importance
to an injured feeling of insignificance, and to a conviction that people
can get along quite as well without her. Up to this time when she has
gone home she has been an honoured visitor. But now that she is at home
to stay, instead of becoming the centre she is merely part of the family
circle with its obligation of doing for others. Her presence in the
household is no longer a novelty.

The swift change from a highly-organized, methodical life to the life of
the home where there is not so much method, is hard for a girl. One
reason it is difficult is that while she may be accomplishing a great
deal that is useful, she seems to be doing nothing and to get nowhere.
She feels as if she were in the midst of a conflict of duties. In school
she has had implanted in her the idea that she must accomplish some
definite thing, and between this objective and the irregular demands of
the home there appears to be more or less clashing. She is confronted by
a problem not easy for any one to solve: how to keep her definiteness
of aim and work, and yet not be self-centred.

Oftentimes when a girl fails to adjust herself to the home life, her
family and friends feel that she is rather selfish in her desire to
carry out her own aims rather than to give them up for new demands.
Frequently the family is as much to blame for not realizing that the
girl needs to be helped back into the old life as the girl is for not
being able to help herself. In the home the spirit of team-play is much
needed. Quite as much as the girl, the family has a lesson to learn in
the art of adjustment and in remembering that this grown-up child isn't
just the same individual she was when she went away several years ago.
They need to realize that the girl may be able to give more to the home
life than she ever did before, but that it will be given in a somewhat
different way.

While she is learning the difficult art of finding her place again, a
great deal depends upon the individual girl, not only in the home but
in the community at large. Sometimes she needs to be reminded that
although she may have had more advantages than those left at home, that
doesn't necessarily make her a superior person. A girl who is inclined
either to pity or to admire herself too greatly should give herself a
vigorous shaking. In the long run she will find it easier to do that on
her own account than to have others do it for her. The friends at home,
or in the church, or in the town, with education of a different kind
coming to them, may have quite as much and more to give her than she to
give them. One indicator of a really cultivated woman is her power to
adapt herself to the circumstances in which she is placed. A gentlewoman
never calls attention to the difference between herself and somebody
else. The woman of broad culture is the one who makes everybody feel at
home with her. If a girl's education has been worth anything at all, it
should give her not a superior, set-aside feeling, but a desire to be
more friendly and useful wherever she may be, and, not placing too much
stress on externals, to look for essentials, to get the full value from
every person and from every experience with which she comes in contact.

Girls go to so many different kinds of homes that it is unlikely that
they will meet the same sorts of difficulties. There is the girl who
goes into the society home, where it is impossible for her to carry out
her ideals without conflict with its social standards. On the other
hand, there is the girl who goes into the very simple home where all the
stress is upon the domestic side of life. And there is the girl who has
to provide part of the family income. Very likely she has the hardest
problem of all. She enters upon some new work, and nine times out of ten
the way is not made easy for her; she is a novice with all the hardships
that come to the novice. Perhaps in the beginning she has met a very
real perplexity in hardly knowing what line of work to take up. She has
no particular interest, no especial talent, no brilliant record, no
powerful friends, no money with which to establish herself. With her it
must be as it is with thinking: she must seize hold of the thing nearest
her. What seems to her a temporary and unsatisfactory expedient will in
many cases open out a path leading to something much broader. At least
she may remember this as consolation: that even that experience of
uncertainty, of indecision, is a part of education, and out of it,
rightly and bravely met, will come some richness for her future life.

The beginning of a work, teaching or anything else, may have to be
rather irksome, indeed, may be exceedingly difficult,--an experience
that will perhaps test staying power to the utmost. When it is too late
to give due appreciation we realize that the work in school which was
planned for us and arranged with our physical and mental well-being in
view was, after all, not so hard as we thought it at the time. We wish
that we had enjoyed our leisure more and complained less.

From the point of view of fatigue, as a secretary, a clerk, a trained
nurse, a teacher, a social worker, the burden may be so great that the
girl is disheartened. She is all the more disheartened because, knowing
that a useful life is a strong, steady pull, the way before her seems
interminable. If she carries her whip inside her--this counsel is not
for those of us who are lazy--she does well to remember that there is a
point beyond which fatigue should not be borne, that is, when it
overdraws her capital of health and nervous energy. Raising pigs is
preferable to a so-called high profession when pig-raising is happily
joined with a reasonable amount of health and security. The pigs and
health together can always pay mortgages and buy necessities for those
dependent upon us and for ourselves. The high calling without health is
like a wet paper-bag: it will hold nothing.

The girl meets with another difficulty in finding out that in almost any
line of work a great deal of time is needed for the mastery of what seem
the simplest principles. No one wants the girl who hasn't had
experience, and nobody seems disposed to take her and give her that
experience. However, we all find some one who is hardy enough or kind
enough to try us; and as every year now there is more effort put into
finding the work girls are most suited to do, there is no excuse for
slipping into teaching as a last resort. Not unnaturally we sometimes
distrust ourselves, especially in taking up an occupation to which we
are not accustomed. And in her new work the girl, uncertain of her
ability to master what she has undertaken, is placed in a position in
which she has the encouragement of neither the school nor the home.
Before, she has put much of the responsibility for her work and life
upon parents and instructors. Now she has to be her own judge and pass
judgment on herself and her work. She has, too, not only to lift her
own weight but the weight of others as well. As she longs for
coöperation, good will and encouragement the value of the team-play
spirit has never seemed so great before.

       *       *       *       *       *

We do not need to be told to remember the happy and easy experiences of
life. No girl forgets them. What we do need is some one to tell us where
the hard places will be, to warn us, to stiffen our courage and to point
clearly to the uses of hard work and adversity. And although this may
seem like placing another straw on the poor camel's back, it is now time
to say that in her life-work, whether it be in her home or outside, a
girl should be very clear in her mind what her aims and purposes are. If
she is working solely for the praise and commendation of others, she
will often be grievously disappointed. Not in recognition does real
reward lie, but in the work itself. If she wins great popularity she is
likely to find that there is nothing that shifts so quickly and is such
a quicksand. If material wealth is her sole object she will harden into
the thing she seeks and add but another joyless barbarian to a modern
world congratulating itself that barbarism is a thing of the past, and
yet presenting the spectacle of a mammon worship such as has never been
seen before. If gold is her end, and not the means to a nobler end, then
she will find herself constantly sacrificing higher issues to that, and
lowering her one-time ideals. Truly the woman who marries solely for the
comforts of a home, the woman who teaches, or nurses for "pay" alone,
has her reward, and that is in self-destruction. She is a carrier of
barbarism, not of culture; of disease, not of health; of tribulation,
not of joy. The only real reward there can be lies in the idealism, the
joy, the strength of the work done and in a mind and heart conscious of
having done their best.


THE END



_JOHN T. FARIS_ Author "_Winning Their Way_."

"Making Good" Pointers for the Man of To-morrow 12mo, cloth, net
$1.25.

     _Dr. J. R. Miller_ says: "Sixty intimate messages to young men
     and boys on the things that make for success or failure. Bright
     and short and full of illustrations from actual life, they are
     just the sort that will help young men in the home, in school,
     among associates and in business. Everywhere is the suggestion
     of the necessity for Christ if men would build up fine
     character and make life worth while."


_JEANETTE MARKS, M. A._

A Girl's School Days and After

Introduction by Mary K. Woolley, President of Mt. Holyoke College. 12mo,
cloth, net 75c.

     In twelve most readable and suggestive chapters ranging from
     "The Freshman Year" through "School Friendships," "The Students
     Room," "Tools of Study and Their Use," "The Joy of Work," "The
     Right Sort of leisure," "The Girls Outdoor Life," to "The Work
     to Be," the author writes in a practical yet interesting way of
     wellnigh every phase of the girl and her school.


_FREDERICK LYNCH Director of N. Y. Peace Society._

The Peace Problem The Task of the Twentieth Century

Introduction by Andrew Carnegie. Cloth, net 75c.

     Andrew Carnegie commends this book in no stinted terms. "I have
     read this book from beginning to end with interest and profit.
     I hope large editions will be circulated by our peace
     organizations among those we can interest in the noblest of all
     causes."


_JAMES M. CAMPBELL, D. D._

Grow Old Along With Me

12mo, cloth, gilt top, net $1.25.

     "Shows in most helpful fashion things one should strive for and
     guard against, things he should leave off doing, as well as
     others he should put on. It is a pleasant thing to read and it
     should be a potent factor in leading one to an appreciation of
     the real beauty and opportunity that lies 'west of fifty
     years.'"--_Chicago Tribune_.


_MRS. NEWELL DWIGHT HILLIS_

The American Woman and Her Home

12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

     The author shares with her gifted husband the power of both
     entertaining and influencing people with the pen. The
     remarkable interest awakened lately by Mrs. Hillis' articles in
     "The Outlook" has inspired this helpful book.



FICTION


_WILFRED T. GRENFELL, M. D._

Down North on The Labrador

Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

A new collection of Labrador yarns by the man who has succeeded in
making isolated Labrador a part of the known world. Like its predecessor
the new volume, while confined exclusively to facts in Dr. Grenfell's
daily life, is full of romance, adventure and excitement. The _N. Y.
Sun_ recently said: "Admirable as is the work that Dr. Grenfell is doing
on the Labrador coast, the books he has written, make his readers almost
wish he would give up some of it to write more."


_CLARA E. LAUGHLIN_

The Gleaners

A Novellette. Illustrated, decorated boards, net 75c.

Again Miss Laughlin has given us a master-piece in this story of present
day life. Millet's picture, "The Gleaners," is the moving spirit of this
little romance and, incidentally, one catches the inspiration the artist
portrays in his immortal canvas. "The Gleaners" is issued in similar
style to "Everybody's Lonesome," of which the _Toronto Globe_ said: "One
of the successful writers of 'Good Cheer' stories for old and young is
Miss Laughlin, and whoever reads one of her cheery little volumes
desires more."


_PROF. EDWARD A. STEINER_

_Author of "The Immigrant Tide," etc._

The Broken Wall

Stories of the Mingling Folk. Illustrated, net $1.00.

Professor Steiner has the story-teller's knack and uses his art with
consummate skill in this collection, where will be found dramatic
tragedy and profound pathos in strong contrast with keen humor and
brilliant wit, all permeated by an uncompromising optimism. No man has
probed the heart of the immigrant more deeply, and his interpretation of
these Americans of tomorrow is at once a revelation and an inspiration:
a liberal education in brotherhood.


_A. D. STEWART_

Heather and Peat

12mo, cloth, net $1.20.

"This is a very delightful story, told in the broadest and most
fascinating Scotch language. The author belongs of right to that class
of modern Scotch writers who bring out matters of vital human interest,
with religious and tender touches, and this story is one that any writer
might be proud of and any reader of feeling and vitality must delight
in."--_Journal and Messenger_.


_YANG PING YU_

The Love Story of a Maiden of Cathay

Told in Letters from Yang Ping Yu. Finely decorated boards, net 50c.

Written in English picturesquely colored with Chinese, at once naive and
yet full of worldly wisdom, frank and yet discreetly reserved. The story
as told in the letters is real, vivid, convincing. It is a human
document that will compel the attention of the reader from beginning to
end, and verify again the saying that "truth is stranger than fiction."


_MARION BLYTHE_

An American Bride in Porto Rico

Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

"The story is very pleasant and very human. In her bravery and courage,
in her wit and merriment, the bride reminds one somewhat of the "Lady of
the Decoration." This similarity adds, however, rather than detracts
from the charm of the book. She is thoroughly good-natured and clever
and companionable, with a whimsical and ever-present sense of
humor."--_Chicago Evening Post_.


_ISLA MAY MULLINS_

The Boy from Hollow Hut

Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

Readers of John Fox, Jr.'s stories will recognize the location of this
story at once. The author and her husband, President of the great
Theological Seminary of Louisville, have taken a large interest in these
descendants of _some of the best American stock_. Through the tender
humanness of her narrative Mrs. Mullins bids fair to gain a large
audience for this intensely interesting work.


_DR. OLIVIA A. BALDWIN_

Sita, A Story of Child-Marriage Fetters.

12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

A realistic story of native and mission life in India; a story dealing
with the stress of famine and the pathetic condition of India's
child-widows.


_MRS. MAUD JOHNSON ELMORE_

The Revolt of Sundaramma

With an introduction by Helen B. Montgomery. Illustrated by Gertrude H.
B. Hooker. Net $1.00.

Sundaramma, a Hindu maiden, is the heroine of this story which relates
her revolt against child marriage and her flight from such slavery.


_NORMAN DUNCAN Author of "Dr. Luke," etc._

The Measure of a Man

A Tale of the Big Woods. Illustrated, net $1.25.

"The Measure of a Man" is Mr. Duncan's first full-sized novel having a
distinct motif and purpose since "Doctor Luke of The Labrador." The tale
of the big woods has for its hero, John Fairmeadow--every inch a man
whom the Lumber Jacks of his parish in the pines looked up to as their
Sky Pilot. Human nature in the rough is here portrayed with a
faithfulness that is convincing.


_ROBERT E. KNOWLES Author of "St. Cuthberts," etc._

The Singer of the Kootenay

A Tale of To-day. 12mo, cloth, net $1.20.

The scene of action for Mr. Knowles' latest novel is in the Crow's Nest
Pass of the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia. To this dramatic
field he has gone for local color and has taken every advantage of his
wide knowledge, picturing life of every phase in his most artistic
style.


_HAROLD BEGBIE Author of "Twice-Born Men_"

The Shadow

12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

A new story by the novelist whose study of regeneration, "Twice-Born
Men" has made the religious world fairly gasp at its startling
revelations of the almost overlooked proofs of the power of conversion
to be found among the lowest humanity. His latest work is a brilliant
study of modern life which will maintain the author's reputation.


_RUPERT HUGHES_

Miss 318

A Story in Season and out of Season. Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net 75c.

"Is there any excuse for one more Christmas story?" "Surely nothing has
been left unsaid." "The truth, perhaps." "The truth?--about Christmas!
Would anybody care to read it?" "Perhaps." "But would anybody dare to
publish it?" "Probably not." "That sounds interesting! What nobody would
care to read and nobody would dare to publish, ought to be well worth
writing."


_J. J. BELL Author of "Oh! Christina!" etc._

The Indiscretions of Maister Redhorn

Illustrated, 16mo, cloth, net 60c.

The thousands who have read _Wullie McWattie's Master_ will need no
introduction to this Scottish "penter" and his "pint o' view." The same
dry Scottish humor, winning philosophy and human nature fairly overflow
these pages.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Girl's Student Days and After" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home