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What place has dramatic literature in such a course?
The relative importance and proper relation of the study of prose and poetry.
MUSIC The San Jose Quintette Club have been secured for the association. They will give several numbers. The quintette consists of the following artists: Mrs. Hillman-Smith, soprano; Miss Nella Rogers, mezzo-soprano; Miss Carrie Foster McLellan, contralto; Mr. M. L. Lawrence, tenor, and Mr. J. M. Reynolds, bass,
Miss Ethel Kathryn Holladay, a violinist of great ability, will also take part.
One of the attractive features of the musical program will be a large chorus of children trained and conducted by Mr. Milton L. Lawrence.
Mr. Lawrence is a graduate of the Tomlin's Musical Institute of Chicago, and has devoted himself for some years to the musical training of children, meeting with signal success.
Besides the large chorus, classes from different grades will be given illustrative lessons in the presence of the audience.
A chorus from the Pacific Grove High School will sing a number of part songs under the direction of Mr. Lawrence.
SPECIAL RAILROAD RATES. A two-thirds rate for the round trip is made by the railroads from all parts of the State.
This rate may be secured by any person by getting a certificate from the railroad agent at the time of purchasing tickets; full fare is paid on the going trip, and the certificate, when properly signed at the convention, will entitle the holder to travel home at one-third rate. These certificates are good for travel any time after December 13th, and for return from December 31st until January 7th.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT. Pacific Grove offers a great variety of accommodations, and the Hotel del Monte has been included in the plan of entertainment for those who may desire to take advantage of the session of the association to visit there. Special train arrangements will enable one to stay at Del Monte and comfortably attend all sessions.
HOTEL RATES. Board and room per day at Hotel del Monte, $3.00; board and room per day at Hotel El Carmelo, Pacific Grove, $2.00; board and room per day at private boarding houses, Pacific Grove, $1.25; lodgings, Pacific Grove, per day, 50 cents; lodging, Pacific Grove, per week, $2.50 to $3.00. A reduced rate by the week can be had at El Carmelo and at boarding houses. Accommodations may be secured beforehand by writing to Rev. Thos. Filben, D.D., Chairman Committee on Entertainment, Pacific Grove, Cal.
HOTEL DEL MONTE. It has been felt that large numbers of teachers would desire to use the occasion to visit this famous hotel, situated three miles from Pacific Grove and in easy connection with it. The hotel will be
THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS for the association, and the scene of a reception to the program talent.
The charm of Del Monte is of world-wide fame, and the matchless setting of the hotel is at its best in mid-winter.
A SPECIAL RATE of three dollars a day has been made by the management for those in attendance at the association.
A SPECIAL TRAIN will be run between Del Monte and Pacific Grove to make it convenient for those who may stop at Del Monte to reach the sessions without loss of time. The train leaves Del Monte before each session and returns at once after each session. Fare will be ten cents each way. This feature of the association is expected to prove very popular, and accommodations should be secured at once by addressing Hotel Del Monte, Del Monte, Cal.
RICHARD D. FAULKNER, President,
Franklin Grammar School, San Francisco, Cal. MRS. M. M. FITZGERALD, Secretary,
1627 Folsom St., San Francisco, Cal.
ARNOLD TOMPKINS: Primarily, it is not discipline which the teacher must keep in mind, but an all-sided touch with the life of the world in which the pupil lives, and moves, and has his being.
SUPERINTENDENT GORTON, Yonkers, N. Y.: The public schools receive more popular criticism on the score of expense than for all other reasons. Many people think of the schools only as the cause of endless taxation, and attack the school appropriations first, altho there may be boundless waste in other departments.
0. A. MORTON, Bar Harbor, Me: The college courses are not perfect: they tend sometimes no doubt to polish pebbles and diamonds, and they never have, nor never will be able to make a $10,000 man out of a two-cent boy; but they have furnished and continue to furnish a very large per cent of the strong, well-balanced, broad-minded, and progressive leaders of our nation, and the demand for college men increases with every decade.
F. B. DRESSLAR.
The instinct for play is one of the most urgent demands of child nature, and the proper equipment of playgrounds a necessary duty of all parents and school authorities. If children, and in fact the young of all the higher animals, were not endowed with this instinct, were not led into a life of activity thru the solicitations of this natural impulse, normal development of their physical life would be impossible, and the most important phases of their educational progress permanently hindered.
No gymnasium, however adequate its equipment, can take the place of ample playgrounds where children may play freely, undirected and unhindered. The gymnasium, under the wise direction.of one who knows what is needed in the case of defectives, is of great importance. But the necessary restrictions of a well ordered gymnasium, and the more or less artificial demands made therein, are in the main uncongenial to the playloving child. It is very rare indeed to find the zest and spirit of play permeating the work of gymnastics for school children even when a full supply of apparatus is at hand. Those calisthenic exercises which are prescribed in the lower grades of our public schools are too frequently carried out under a silent protest, with the marks of the tedium of it in every feature and movement of the children. About all the fun derived from this work is gotten by the mischievous boy, who makes it the occasion for clownish contortions, or roguish drives at some unsuspecting neighbor.
However, it is neither my purpose nor my desire to say aught against physical culture as practiced in gymnastics, for I heartily approve in this work when it is adjusted to its proper task; but there is the desire to emphasize the fact that free unhindered and undirected plays are more potent as exercises for normal children than any prescribed work-fun ever devised.
The play instinct of the lower animals is, comparatively speaking, of short duration. In the case of the young of mankind, it covers in a more or less intense degree the whole period of infancy, youth, and adolescence; and even in normal adult life it should not be entirely wanting; for the "bow must be unstrung when not in use, else it will lose a part of its ejective power.”
It has happened in the case of much of our work for the children that we have neglected to observe that the larger demands of their lives are often satisfied by the simplest means, and have consequently overlooked the fact that free play is of vital importance to their general well-being.
No observant person can mingle for any length of time with children and fail to wonder at the tremendous amount of energy they exert in satisfying the play-instinct.
Some years ago I set myself the task of reporting the complete activities of a baby of thirteen months, and in four hours was so completely exhausted I was compelled to desist. That lively boy had walked, during this time, by actual calculation, nearly one-third of a mile, got up and sat down scores of times, pulled this, lifted that, and in almost numberless ways, exercised mind and muscle.
But this merely represents a beginning; a baby with the freedom of the house; the activities of an infant two months after acquiring the ability to walk. It however represents the expenditure of an amazing amount of energy, and the necessary variety and completeness of exercise which his normal growth demanded. At a later age there is added to this inherent demand for exercise, the strong incentive growing out of an increasing love of fun.
No definition of fun defines it; and this is fortunate, for it is too personal to need a definition. And yet it is the most efficient spur nature uses to develop capacity and healthfulness in children, and preserve sanity in those grown older. The playground, with its endless variety of fun-games, furnishes opportunity for the lungs to expand and fill themselves with pure air; for the heart to respond to the demands for quickened circulation and thereby to strengthen its tissues and its responsive power; for the important muscles of the whole body to develop and maintain their proper coördination and spontaneity; for the brain to increase and to sustain its motor power; and, best of all, it begets and continues that feeling of buoyancy and juvenility which is such a large element in our enjoyment of life, and our power to resist disease.
The ardent, normal desire for fun of this wholesome sort is an unfailing symptom of vitality. Individuals as well as nations are in danger of decadence when they stifle and starve this inborn and essential yearning. As a counteracting or corrective impulse to the urgent sort of life Americans are gradually fastening upon themselves, there should be developed in our boys a permanent craving for healthful out-door exercise; and for the older ones there should be preached the gospel of fun. In our intense desire to do more for the education of our children we are likely to forget that our chief duty consists in furnishing natural opportunities and then of keeping out of the way. We are in danger of giving too much manufactured direction.
Besides the physical well-being resulting from open air sports, the playground furnishes a most proficient propæedeutic exercise for that sense of justice, fair play, and unselfishness absolutely necessary in any worthy character.
It is my observation that here is afforded a very considerable part of that drill in democratic ways of thinking and acting, essential to the proper education of the boys of this nation. Class distinctions on the playground grow out of cleverness and courage, not the financial or social standing of a boy's father. There the guiding spirit and hero is he who inspires fair play and succeeds best under those limitations. Then too, "team work" is vital in this country, and those who participate in the prevailing games at school are early impressed with the fact that successful coöperation necessitates unified purpose and action. Here as elsewhere, of course, unequal endowments and skill lead to inequality of power; but perhaps under no conditions do boys of the same age meet on more common ground than they do when physical prowess and endurance represent the talents in question. Boys, therefore, who are mentally handicapped and in general make no showing in their school work, have on the playground a more equal opportunity to shine before their fellows and get that stimulating recognition which brings higher self-respect and a feeling of worth. The leveling process here, as in all kinds of education, in not due to the degradation of those above, but to the elevation of those below.
Turning now to the opportunities offered for play at our public school, we are confronted with the fact that it is very rare to find school authorities sufficiently impressed with the importance of ministering to this phase of child life. In the main they are not inclined to give any serious consideration to playgrounds. Some commendable progress has been made of recent years in New York City in this regard, and more recently in Chicago, but there seems to be no general movement forward. In every populous city, there are school buildings situated well within the business section, and others in densely settled portions, where land is very dear. It is altogether out of the question to expect expansion of playgrounds here. Indeed, it is to be hoped that this will not occur, and that as soon as possible schools will be removed entirely from such places. It would be a wise municipal policy to demand the purchase of large grounds well on the outskirts of most of our cities and here, under favorable conditions, erect schoolhouses where children could have breathing space and playgrounds and where they could at least get a glimpse of nature. The interest on the difference of the amount of money invested would go far toward providing free transportation to and from such schools. The dirt, dust, and foul air of the cities would be escaped, and, for a time at least, the ears of the pupils would not be assailed by a constant din of all sorts of noises. All this would afford a relief far more significant than most people are at present prepared to understand.
Unless those who have to do in a direct way with providing school facilities become more keenly conscious of the importance of the playground, our school children, especially in the cities, must necessarily suffer seriously. All public spirited people certainly agree with President Draper in his plea for more attractive schoolhouses and school grounds, and likewise with Professor Bailey in his wish that the time may come in this country when it will be possible for us to have a real school-garden connected with each schoolhouse; but I am sure Mr. Barnes of Kansas hit the nail on the head when he said: "I long ago discovered that the real reason why they (schoolgrounds) are not made more attractive is their limited area. Our people in the West, notwithstanding the low value of land, brought with them the idea that a quarter-acre or half-acre was enough land to waste (?) around a schoolhouse. Outdoor exercise is an essential part of an education. In the West, where land is cheap, we should have taken five acres for grounds about each schoolhouse."*
We have not yet developed the habit, as have the English people, of
* See "Youth's Companion," February 14, 1901.