« PreviousContinue »
further effect of awakening public interest in our common schools. In most of the counties the assemblies for evening lectures are crowded with eager listeners, and even the day sessions are largely attended by parents and patrons of schools. Under the auspices of Teachers' Institutes more than a hundred evening lectures upon educational topics are delivered each year, and in many cases, to those who have no other means of information as to the plans and scope of school work. The results of these have been in the highest degree beneficial. An enlightened public sentiment is quite as essential to educational progress as are good methods and faithful teachers. Not the least of the advantages of Institutes has been that they have brought to the front a large number of able teachers, who might otherwise never have discovered, even themselves, what there was in them. These persons are finding leading positions, and are being, and will be, felt in the future educational history of the State. Twentysix years ago I conducted three series of institutes in one of the Mississippi Valley States. Of those“ brought to the fore" in those gatherings, I can number two Normal School principals, several professors in Normal and other schools, one principal of a leading industrial Unirersity, and many who have been, and are, distinguished in other walks of life. And some of these, one in particular, a leading Normal School principal, was at the time he was unearthed, teaching a remote country school in the backwoods of Wisconsin, where he might have been contented to remain “a mute inglorious Milton,” but for the inspiration and recognition received in a County Institute.
True, there have been fearful bores evolved, those who are charmed by the sound of their own voices, and who can talk loud and long without point or method. But let us hope that Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest" may do its full work, and that they may be quietly and painlessly translated to a country where there are no bores, for we read that there the "weary are at rest.” But, my friends, the State still needs strong teachers; it needs the right man and the right woman in the right place, and the agitation of the County Institute does much in bringing the teacher and the place together, and if the Institutes cannot by vote, kill off the bores, it is because of some fancied restrictions laid upon them by the law, or by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Their will, I assure you, is good enough.
The press has contributed much toward our educational
PACIFIC EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL.
progress. I say this fully realizing that there are newspapers and newspapers. There is one class whose only desire seems to be to find something to carp at, some place to
pitch in.” These are they who, immediately upon coming into possession of a font of type, a printing press, a Faber pencis, a paste-pot and a pair of scissors, “become, in their own conceit, wiser than ten men who can render a reason.” Without having ever read a treatise upon the subject of education, they assail courses of study, text-books, and general plans of culture, with a fearlessness equaled only by its stupidity. Without ever having devoted an hour to the study of the detail of teaching, methods of instruction, or management, they sit in judgment upon the work of our schools, as though they had received an inspiration from above. It is not these I mean. They may, indeed, have done something. Even boils are said to be healthful.
But I refer to the press as we generally find it—the ready and willing coadjutor of everyone engaged in a good work. This has done much-much by its friendly criticisms; much by its hearty commendation of good work on the part of teachers and pupils; much by always opening its columns to educational correspondence, notices of educational gatherings, and in a score of other ways that teachers fully appreciate. It were better if the educational columns, always freely tendered, were more commonly used by teachers; not in glorifying their own work, but in discussing questions of general public interest, and calling attention to educational news.
And last, but not by any means least, much of educational progress is due to the influence of our Normal Schools. It would be strange indeed if the almost twenty-five years' work of this school, and the four years' work at Los Angeles, had not accomplished much. From the school in San Jose eleven hundred twenty-seven full graduates have been sent out-eight hundred fifty-three of them since I have had the honor of acting as its principal. Of the eleven hundred more than seventy per cent. are, from the best data in my possession, now teaching. Add to this number those who went out with elementary diplomas, and the undergraduates who, after a few terms, have passed county examinations, taken their certificates, and entered upon the work, and it is probable that more than one thousand of the present teachers in the State have had their work more or less influenced by the Normal Schools. The school at Los Angeles has sent out one hundred twenty graduates, most of whom are also teaching. The graduates, since I have been in the school, have spent from one to four years in completing their course of study. Their attention has constantly been kept directed to the fact that they were to be teachers, and during one full year, one-half or more of their time has been devoted to studying the subject of teaching, and in illustrating the result of their study in their practice in the Training Department. The influence of such teachers has been felt in the school-rooms, and modestly, we hope, in educational gatherings. In some of the counties, more than one-half the teachers are from the Normal Schools; in others, partly from the spirit of exclusion to which I have already alluded, hardly a Normal graduate is found. But where Normal teachers are, their work is felt, and it will be felt, more and more, in the history of the State. All this has been said, not in any sense in a spirit of boastfulness, but rather of humble thankfulness that such a work has been made possible.
CHARLES H. ALLEN, Principal State Normal School, San Jose.
The fleeting years, the flying years,
How much they take away !
Youth's beautiful, brief day.
The bitter years, the barren years,
A dolorous array.
Upon their desert gray.
The fatal years, the final years,
Remorseless, they sweep on.
Impatient to be gone.
F. McD. SHEARER.
A VERY REMARKABLE SENTENCE.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable and peculiar sentences to be found in any language is the following from the old Latin tongue: “Sator arepo tenet opera rotas.” The writer is unable to name its author, but remembers it as one of the Latin puzzles bandied about among students in his collegiate grammar school days. Let the sentence be read from right to left, and the reader will perceive he has precisely the same sentence, for when read forwards or backwards it is found to read the same. Now let the first letters respectively of the five words be put together, and we have 8-a-t-o-r, the first word. Let the second letters respectively of the words be put together, and we have a-r-e-p-o, the second word. The third letters respectively, the fourth letters respectively, and the fifth letters respectively spell respectively the third, fourth and fifth words of the sentence. The first word read backwards gives the last word, the second word read backwards gives the second from the last, the third word reads forward and backwards the same, the fourth word read backwards gives the second, and the fifth word read backwards gives the first. The reader will have already noticed that there are five words in the sentence, and that each word is composed of five letters.
The sentence may be freely translated thus: “God pervades (or fills) the entire universe and has complete control of all its movements.” All the words of the sentence are classic Latin except one, arepo, which was often in use in ordinary parlance, and hence may be considered a vulgarism for adrepit. The meaning of each word is as follows: Sator means, primarily and literally, planter, father, and secondarily and freely, the Creator, or God as the planter and father of all things; arepo, for adrepit, literally creeps into, insinuates oneself into–hence freely pervades or fills; tenet, literally holds, and hence, with the addition of opera, conveys the idea of having or holding under complete and infinite control the workmanship of the universe; opera, literally works or workmanship; rotas, literally wheels, freely motions or movements, and hence, when modified in thought by two previous words, gives the idea of the motions or movements of the universe being under the intelligent and infinite control of the Creator, whose spirit pervades the whole.
The writer would like to know the name of the author of the sentence. Can any of the readers of the JOURNAL give the desired information ?
PROFESSOR GRANVILLE F. FOSTER. Sunol Glen, Cal., Dec. 28, 1886.
MILITARY DRILL IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Inteilectual culture for the mind, physical culture for the body, a systematic training of youth in both these requisites, result in an ideal manhood. Our public school system furnishes every advantage for intellectual training, but there is no regular system adopted for the physical culture of our youth. That there is need of such a system is generally conceded. We cannot expect to establish a gymnasium in every school, and there is also a serious drawback in allowing young boys to overdo themselves on the various appliances found therein. What is needed is a system of physical training that will be simple of application and economical in time and money. This can be realized in military drill and exercise, and the following reasons are advanced in its favor:
The discipline it inculcates would be invaluable in our schools. It tends to make boys manly, self-reliant and obedient. While its exercise calls every muscle into play, there is no danger of broken limbs or more serious accidents. It imparts an erect and graceful carriage which is