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and study of the children themselves in their reactions to subject-matter and other environing elements. While a few of the university studies in elementary education have contributed much to progress, until the university makes its department of pedagogy a real school of education, with appropriate equipment and specialization in teaching force, the problems of elementary education belong legitimately to the normal school.
As was emphasized in the beginning, most of the problems of the elementary school are problems in relationships. These relationships are vital to the whole school system. Their solution demands the most profound application. They are vitally connected with the daily work of the departmental and training teachers in the normal school. In their solution the closest co-operation is essential. Prosecuted as a part of the daily work in the normal school itself, using the training school and normal classes as the equipment of the necessary experimental and testing laboratories, with the highest development of the child and the most efficient co-operation of the teacher always the major motive, such investigation work will lead to the realization of that constructive growth and higher development of the normal school which will mark the fulfillment of its true mission. Every department of the normal school is pleading for the productive scholar, the man or woman who realizes the great gulf between the subjects of study and the life of the child, and who has ability, training and ambition to bridge that gulf. No department of educational work in this country offers greater opportunity for a career of usefulness, progressiveness and productiveness than the normal school. The last count in the indictment of the normal school will not be canceled until its teachers awake to a full and responsive consciousness of these great obligations and opportunities.
The Wind-Built Hills
HENRY CHADWICK, MALDEN, MASS.
APE COD—no, not an attractive name, certainly ; but one might as well try to erase “Frog Pond” from the map of Boston, or “ Battery” from that of New York, as to call our famous beckoning sand bar anything else than “Cape Cod.” Names are forgotten as soon as one sees the long, white line of land gleaming on the horizon, and a charm
as of a new country holds the imagination. One waits with impatience for the steamer to round Long Point and enter the harbor of Provincetown.
Truly, it is a strange little berg, this Provincetown, but almost immediately there comes to the stranger the fascination of its single crooked street, its huddled houses, and the long wharves that reach far out into the sand-encircled harbor.
This capital of the Cape is a place of uncommon interest in the study of old towns along our Massachusetts coast; and the lives of its people that usually fade, forgotten, over the horizon of unwritten romance, furnish numberless instances of picturesque suffering and heroic endeavor.
Thoreau, in writing of Provincetown, says, “ It is worth the while to talk with one whom his neighbors address as · Captain.'»
This statement is as true to-day as it was in 1855. Your gray and stoop-shouldered old man, with his creaseless trousers, black shirt, and clay pipe, can probably tell you good stories without resorting to his imagination. Do not, however, be in haste to be touched by his apparent poverty, for more likely than not he has a son in college, one the master of a fisherman, and perhaps a daughter finishing in the New England Conservatory.
Before retiring at night you look out over the harbor at the lanterns marking the anchored boats, and search the distant darkness for the friendly flashes of the coast lights that stand guard on the outside of the Cape. Upon rising in the morning one first looks for the state of the weather, and scans the harbor carefully to ascertain what craft have arrived or departed since sunset. Thus he unconsciously becomes one with Provincetown.
It was the writer's pleasure to spend several September days here, idling about the wharves, fishing in the harbor, and roaming among the sand hills.
Gloucester has its downs and its sea-defying ledges, its Mother Ann, and Eastern Point; Marblehead, its quaint old houses, its lane-like streets, and its tiny harbor ; but Provincetown has its toy Sahara. Lighthouses, life-saving stations, salt fish, etc., all, command interest, but the desert woos and wins with its strange power.
One morning I left the town by a narrow side street that gave good footing for a few rods, but soon degenerated into a sand road. One so called is not a road at all, but merely two parallel V-shaped tracks with a chain of dents between. Each vehicle that passes changes the tracks, and each horse stamps his own dents, both obliterating the trail of those that went before.
I had to win my sand legs as the sailor does his sea legs, for the walking was very troublesome until I learned to step in the horses' hoof prints. But soon the town was lost behind a white hill, the untrailed places called as of old, and I left the road to seek the genius of the desert.
A desert indeed it looked, for verily here seemed sand enough for Father Time to measure man's destiny from genesis through eternity. The old gentleman might nod and nod again, for he would never be called upon to reverse his hourglass. And yet, is it a desert? Close by rose a low hill on whose sides was a pine grove, but the trees were only ten or twelve feet high, and had flat tops. Starved and sparsely leaved they were, struggling with the poverty of the sand, and telling by their grotesquely twisted limbs mute tales of torture inflicted by the winter gales. But even here I obtained a good view of several catbirds, whose slate-colored bodies were as sleek, and whose voices as lusty as those of their brothers, my friends of Middlesex. There was a familiar flash of blue and
white, and a plump kingfisher flew away, leaving behind his trail of guttural staccato notes.
Everywhere were irregular low hills and valleys of sand, that gleamed dazzlingly white in the distance, except where relieved by the broken fringes and patches of long, coarse grass, that act in a measure as an anchor for the unstable soil.
The sand grains are in most cases white, and apparently of quartz ; but mixed among them are black, brown and red particles, causing the landscape after a rain to take on reddish tones. Plum Island is like the Cape in this respect, and probably the two are of one geological origin.
As I wandered among the sand dunes, it was not difficult to imagine myself lost in a great waste, an Eastern desert, perchance. So perfect is the deception that one would not feel surprised at the approach of a camel train or an Arab horseman. Could it be that beyond the glaring sky line would be found the pyramids and the sphinx?
In truth I was standing only in a shallow, cup-shaped valley, having steep sides packed as hard as if the sand had been forced into place under great pressure. This valley was marked by trails that led some distance up the sides, and then stopped abruptly. They were like parentheses placed alternately, end to end, and formed graceful sinuous chains. I looked for the traveler and saw on the other side of the valley a snake struggling to climb the steep wall of his prison. He was brown with black spots. As I approached he coiled, raised his head threateningly, swelled his neck, and hissed his hate for mankind. Moved by old Adam, however, I poked him gently with my walking stick. He would not strike, so I ceased teasing him, and soon he loosed his coils, and started off, moving with stubborn slowness even when I tried to drive him. He was an uncanny creature, and taken with his surroundings suggested Egypt and the asp of Cleopatra. I learned afterwards that he was a sand adder, whose sting could produce an uncomfortable, but not fatal wound.
I climbed from this valley only to gaze upon more hills, with smooth, round tops, and thinly grassed sides. Now the sand was as hard as a floor, now loose and shoe-filling.
Here and there among the grassy stretches were round holes, a trifle larger than a lead pencil. They were too large for ant houses, and too small for the adder's home. I plucked a long grass blade, and sounded for the bottom of one; then as the proprietor made no sign I examined his abode. The sand was heaped slightly around the mouth of the opening, and was held together by a web-like substance that clung tenaciously to each grain. The hole itself was lined with the same soft material, making a comparatively firm wall. As I moved away the tenant appeared, dodging among the grasses. He was only a fat, gray spider, his species unknown to me.
Ants were plenty, and their little doorways dotted the surface of the desert. They, too, fastened their front yards in place by some adhesive substance to guard their homes from the gale's relentless god. These ants were of the small red variety so common in our driveways.
Grasshoppers were numerous, and a few crickets scuttled about. One could not help wondering what happened to all these tiny creatures when the storms were loosed. Can the ant and the spider protect the entrances to their holes against the clouds of fine sand that blow about like snow? Where can the cricket creep, or the little green hopper hide?
Even in this apparently unsuggestive waste, Nature, feminine like, gives the answer to one prying question, only to tease by another problem, the solution of which lies in the study of all her moods.
A light, steady breeze sets the smaller grains of sand in motion, and if you pause to listen you can hear the swish of these grains, like sleet blowing over smooth ice, and a delicate pattering where they strike the myriad grass blades. Strong gales force the grass to lie flat, and I frequently came upon small clumps that had left beautiful impressions traced on the sand, just as a partridge leaves the symmetrical imprint of his wings on snow, as he rises to flight after resting or feeding.
A single blade may often be found that has marked an almost complete circle with its tip, and within the space thus defined are seen several concentric rings where the rough edge of the grass has ploughed tiny furrows.