Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tence in the intellectual work of women, that could not, therefore, be brought into barinony with that of men. But, as we have seen, Dr. Clarke himself admits that such necessity is scarcely imperative except under the age of eighteen or nineteen, and the period of study for which coeducation is really desirable, indeed, necessary, does not begin until that age. Moreover, Dr. Clarke draws his examples, not from students who have been educated at mixed schools, but from those who have attended ordinary girls' boarding-schools; so that no proof is adduced of any special influence of co-education, unless the general statement that “co-education is intellectually a success, physically a failure," can be considered as such proof, which we do not believe. Since, according to Dr. Clarke's own argument, the argument does not apply to the particular point of controversy upon which it has been inade to bear with most force, it is superfluous to return to our own reasonings, whereby we believe to have shown that the dangers signalized, though they exist, menace the minority and not the majority ; that they are then attributable, not to mental exertion, but to the coincidences of mental exertion as at present conducted ; that they are to be averted, not by a single manæuvre, but by a general system of training, that should include, instead of excluding, special attention to intellectual development; that the results of such training would remain, after the consolidation of the physical health and the termination of the period of growth had rendered further training unnecessary; whereas, the peculiar precaution suggested by Dr. Clarke, would rather tend to create a habit of body that would persist throughout life, to inmense inconvenience.

Mary PUTNAM JACOBI.

110 West Thirty-fourth street, New York.

By Sarah Dix Hamlin. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

“ RECOGNIZING the equality of both sexes to the highest educational advantages," for four years the doors of the University of Michigan have been “open to all students."

“ The University is organized in three departments, as follows: the Department of Literature, Science, and · the Arts; the Department of Medicine and Surgery; the Department of Law. Each department has its Faculty of Instruction, who are charged with its, spe cial management.”

Eager to avail themselves of the advantages here offered in such a “ broad, generous, and hospitable spirit," a number of women from different parts of the country have matriculated, and are or have been pursuing studies in common with students of the other sex. .

During the four years three women have graduated from the Literary Department, four from the Law, and twenty-one from the Medical. At the present time there are in the first department above mentioned, fifty women; in the second, five; and in the third, thirtyeight.

Of those in the Law and Medical Departments I can say comparatively little. The general impression is, that they have endured the work quite as well as the men; and it is a fact, that a number of the women who

entered the Medical Department, with four lectures per day to attend, and all the work of the laboratory and dissecting-room to perform, have steadily improved ir health from the tiine of entering until leaving; while those who were well at the beginning of their college work, hare in no case suffered a deterioration of health froin their intellectual labor. One of these women, Miss Emma Call, of Boston, graduated last year, the first in her class.

Thus far the women-graduates from this department hare generally taken positions in their profession which they are filling with usefulness, if not with honor; and in which, as far as powers of endurance are concerned, they are showing themselves able to compete with inale physicians. There seems to be an impression prevalent among them—and perhaps it is not peculiar to their sex alone—that the physician should be the physiological educator as well as the healer of the race, that his or her duty is to teach people how to use the “ ounce of precention ” as well as the “pound of cure," and that, through the mutual labors of the two sexes, more than in any other way, is to be brought about the long-desired, and much-needed, health reforın.

Although it may yet be too early to form an estimate of the effect of this system of “identical co-education” upon the health of the women who have graduated from this University, we believe that there has been only one case of protracted illness, and there is no reason for asserting that this was caused by intellectual labor—at least, in this institution, since the lady was here only six months—having taken her previous course elsewhereand is a graduate from the Law Department.

Of those who have graduated from the Literary Itpartment, we have positive information that as yet they have suffered no “penalties" from their “severe and long-continued mental labor," and they were, on graduating, as well as on entering. One woman who matriculated with the present senior class, took the whole course in three years, went forth in better health than when she entered, and is at present the principal of the High School at Mankato, Minn., while another is still prose cuting her studies, and contemplates taking a course of law.

In regard to those at present in the Literary Department, it is impossible to get at any statistics as to excused absences, which will show the average attendance of one sex as compared with that of the other, and from which inferences can be deduced in regard to the health of the women-students; for the university authorities not having dreamed that there was a “new natural law” to be revealed, which should assert that the course of “identical co-education” is conducive to health and usefulness for the one sex, and to premature decay and the hospital or cemetery for the other—have not preserved the records of excused absences. The professors assert that non-attendance upon recitations, on account of illhealth, has been no-greater on the part of the young women than of the young men, and that in many cases, the attendance of the former has been better than that of the latter; yet there is nothing, perhaps, except personal acquaintance and observation, which cay reveal. the true condition of the present health of the women of the Literary Department of Michigan University, and the manner in which it has been been affected by the intellectual labors they have undergone.

In the present graduating class, there are eight women

who have been, at all times during the college course, as well as an equal number of their classmates, or the samne number of women in any pursuit in life. One of these, who is not only the picture of health,' but who is perfectly healthy, was only sixteen years of age when she entered. Two other young women, who have ranked with the first of their class in scholarship, and who have been in excellent health during the entire course, with the exception of slight illnesses in their freshman yearnot caused by study-who are now among the most healthy of their class, have, in addition to their college work, nearly defrayed their expenses by teaching during the vacations, by giving private instruction after study hours, and by working in various other ways. They have not, in this fourth year of almost double duty, any lurking disease which threatens to impair or to destroy their usefulness in the future, and they are as strong, ambitions, and happy as when they entered.

One who entered the class in its sophomore year, and who intended to graduate with it, was obliged to withdraw on account of her health; but those who know her best cannot assert that this was caused, either directly or indirectly, by her intellectual labors, or that, under the same conditions, the same results would not have followed from any kind of work. She was, and had been for a long time before entering, in a very bad state of health, and was utterly unfit for study.

Thus far, the health record of the women of this class has compared favorably with that of the men, and there is, at the present time, no physiological reason why it should not thus continue even 'down to old age.

The class of '75 had, on entering, eleven women. Of these, one has died, an apparently healthy girl, who

« AnteriorContinuar »