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Educational Biography

NATHAN C. SCHAEFFER

[For portrait see front cover) The new president of the National Edu- . sion on Industrial Education, president of cational Association, N. C. Schaeffer, has the Medical and Dental Councils of Pennbeen State superintendent of public instruc- sylvania, secretary of the College and Unition for Pennsylvania since 1893. He was versity Council of Pennsylvania, chancellor born in Berks County of the same State, of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, and February 3, 1849. After graduating from clergyman of the German Reformed church. Franklin and Marshall college, he studied In connection with his other work he has for the ministry and later went abroad and found time to write a number of valuable studied at the universities of Berlin, Tubin- educational texts including, Thinking and gen and Leipzig. He was an instructor at Learning to Think, History of Education in Franklin and Marshall 1875-1877; principal Pennsylvania, Bible Readings for Schools, of the Keystone State Normal school 1877- and has contributed extensively to educa93. He has been a member of the commis- tional and theological journals.

Phe roll of American worthies numbers men

like Washington and Lincoln, Grant and farragut, Hawthorne and poe, fulton and Morse, St. Gaudens and Mac Monnies ; ít numbers statesmen and soldiers, men of letters, artists, sculptors, men of science, inventors, explorers, roadmakers, bridge builders, philanthropists, moral leaders in great reforms; it numbers men who have deserved well in any one of countless fields of activity ; but of rich men ít numbers only those who have used their riches aright, who hape treated wealth not as an end, but as a means; who have shown good conduct in acquiring it and not merely, lavish generosity in disposing of it.-President Roosevelt.

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In Special Fields

THE SOUL OF A SCHOOLBOY

T. C. MURRAY, RATHDUFF N. S., BLARNEY, IRELAND AM fond of reading, and wish it to be curely imprisoned in my memory—“In writ

noted that I place this in red-letter with ing—thus he ever advised-put down things some few other items on the debit side of as they seem to you; truth, like a shivering my account with my teacher. It is four arrow, goes straight to the heart of the years gone last Michaelmas since I, as we reader; artificiality, though ever so cunhere (God pity us!) phrase it—"got out of ningly pointed, goes but skin-deep." Goodly books.” It may be thought a rude push advice, I think, and expressed in words as from the young world of school-life to that goodly. of dull plodding field labor. Yet with horny And now about masters first. I ask myhands and stooped shoulders, and often a self so:—Were they, as lads, like the rest sense of something burdensome on my spirit of their school companions? Or were they I never regret that that first chapter of my free from all the degenerate tendencies of the life-history is at an end! Ungrateful per- average earth-born child? The boys' art of haps? Not wholly, indeed for many a night lying (little subterfuges to escape tasks and when I ponder some little penny classic pur- home-exercises), idle talking (confidences chased on the market day, I feel a touch of on anything of note-ranging from the mastenderness for him whose character mostly ter's temper to bird-nesting)—of these and fashioned that history. And a mingling of all the other weaknesses which the childsense of gratitude too, that I can, though soul is heir to—were our masters entirely crudely, give tongue to the frequent innocent ? For, if not, what else can explain thoughts which arise to disturb, or charm, away their ignorance of us and our failings. or sadden me. Now, to-day, while trimming Ignorance, for-listen : the thorn hedge in the boreen, unkempt and On Monday last (even so it seems), I wild as any untended thing might be—hap- arrived at school late. It happened that prepening to come upon two truant lads, un- vious to my starting, my father discovered kempt as the bushes under which they had that one of our heifers, "Strawberry," was hid-my thoughts drifted towards the long missing. I being barefooted and a bit white building on the windy hill. And while learned in “Strawberry's” vagrant fancies, the hedge-clipper clicked in my hand, and was sent to seek her, and when I succeeded the prickly overgrowth of Summer dropped in my quest (she had sought out the sweeton either side, there was I in spirit a pupil est field of clover in the townland), I trotted in the old schoolroom once more. And- off to school. The master was not in his such are the tricks of association—all that best humor-somehow he never is on that perplexed me of old returned to vex me morning. I knew it from his stern eyes as again. Of these uncouth imaginings, I shall I met him in the porch. And ere I could put try to give herein some record, and pray my my cap on one of the pegs, my hands were readers to search them, not in the severe smarting keenly; and as I soothed the stingfashion of literary critics, but in that of ing pain by digging my hands into my armschoolmasters who can understand my limi- pits, I thought : was he ever late for morntations. And, for one thing, I shall try to ing lesson? And I thought again : would be guided by these words of my teacher, it not be more just, that he should chastise words which, with others of worth, lie se- my father (six feet two inches in his socks)

who ordered me to seek for “Strawberry?” set in the divine fabric of human intellect as And if I told him how it occurred (he never that of a Paul, a Dante or an Angelo! thought to ask me) would he have punished And as to the pangs of the mind. This me? And my speculative thoughts finally is another question that vexes my soul overmoulded themselves into a kind of monotone much. Had our master a mind-a mind I burden that kept going ding-dong for hours mean of that vibrant quality which most in my brain—"He preaches justice—is he boys possess? Had he feelings sensitive as himself just?"

the strings of a wind-harp-yielding sweetAnd about Terry Murphy. It goes with- ness only when touched with delicate symout saying that Terry (poor fellow) is inor- pathy? It cannot be, for if so, he would dinately dull—unteachable almost. And dull understand that in ridicule there is a stab boys, though ever so gentle and unoffending, sharp almost as death. I know, indeed, it is like Terry,area sore trouble to schools. Look only a stab; and the wounds of a child (O, alone at the amount of energy idly consumed most wise God) heal rapidly. I feel diffiin telling them all hours of the day, what dent at seeing set in the framework of words a nuisance and what "brainless fools" they this incident. Read it. are (as if fools were eyer otherwise). But The boys here—all of us—spoke, and still there is much more. Terry, for instance, speak in too rich a brogue. The inspector how badly he stammered through his read- found fault with this—and no wonder, he ing to-day. No wonder he got a rousing himself having a voice so grand and “englithump. And his spelling was appalling- fied.” The master tried desperately to tune fifteen errors I remember (and more our accent to the inspector's; but mockery is thumps). Then that recitation, “The Last a terrible medicine! Better the evil of the Minstrel!" (O, master of romance, wouldst disease than the pain inflicted by such a thou ever have penned the story, if thou remedy. I was one who erred most frecouldest foresee poor Terry's quivering quently in this matter of verbal euphony. I palms). Dull boys are a grievous trouble, no confess my trespass and admit to the full its doubt, (0, but sorest to themselves). But gravity. Now it so happened that on being my mind in its odd fitful manner, takes a asked on one occasion why I absented myself new attitude, and such odd questions as from school for a whole week, I, from old these arise to perplex me. Who is to blame custom, replied, “I had to be snagging the for Terry Murphy's dullness? Himself? swades, sir.” The ominous silence gong Impossible—he does his very best (can mas- was struck, and every group became a study ters do more, I wonder?) His parents then? in still life. Then, having first explained the O, no, they teach him according to their query put to me, he gave forth, with ruthlights; and, despite his morning look of mis- lessly perfect mimicry, my answer, and conery, send him to school most regularly. cluded with an impromptu parody which Who, then? Pardon-must I blame Him (pleased with its cleverness) he repeated who fashioned his mind, and who— even as twice: our master says—is all-wise; Him into “You may teach and beseech Simon Walsh, whose designs we look more blindly than as you will, the ant does into the mind of man? He is But the scent of vulgarity will hang round the Author of that work, poor Terry's brain, him still." and if He seems to our view, to have made He laughed, and the crowd (disloyal little it less wonderful than a schoolmaster's, be beggars) taking the cue, laughed with him. sure if we could but understand-it is as And I crimson, burning, miserable—my heart appropriately, as wisely and as beautifully quivering with suppressed rebellion-the tears dropping from my eyes, would gladly even from poor dumb beasts, that I am ever barter, if I might, all this exquisite mental' perplexed why masters so rarely seek it. anguish for the most brutal physical inflic- Our masters with a few acts of thoughtful tion—and deem myself rich for the exchange! kindness, might unlock our hearts and seize And that night this strange thing I did, and the riches which God has so plentifully I write it only because it is true, and stored therein. When the Parish Priest, old “Truth," my teacher said (as I have told Father Maurice, meets a knot of us wending you) "is a shivering arrow.” Under the our way to school, he gives us a smiling, friendly cloak of darkness, I stole along the “Good morning, lads.” Every wayside roadroadway to the master's house. A dramatic mender, every toiler in the fields, the postfeat I contemplated. To go in to him—to boy trudging on his rounds, the policeman tell him of my wretched feelings of my at the barrack door reading his morning sick heart of the untasted dinner-of all paper, all Aing us a brave good morning. the tears which I had shed ever since under But our master ? Cold always; always sia bush in my father's garden, and to implore lent; driving all the gathered warmth of him not to mangle my sensitive mind again! morning impressions from our souls. Might I approached his door, some madness or the he say something cheery, we could trip memory of the day's humiliation sustaining gladly into school, instead of dragging ourmy resolution. It was closed. Would I selves in as we do to the dead accompanistrike the knocker? No, he might not like ment of a stifled sigh. Why do not masters that; besides, I never before struck a know such things as these? They are so knocker. Perhaps if I waited he might come clever, so learned in all kinds of complex out (God, pitying me, might inspire him to studies—it would take them such a brief do so) and seeing me, speak to me.

time to study the simple soul of a school boy! But having waited what I felt to be an end- And lastly, as to mere physical suffering. less time, and having only the weak faith Were schoolmasters themselves ever punof a little boy, I resolved to knock. That ished? If they were, memory has played sudden reverberating sound-how it fright- them cruelly false. Hearken to this :-I (a ened me! My fluttering heart seemed to mere stripling) could transform the school have leaped from its ordained centre, and nature of the cruellest bully into tenderness fearful as some poor feathered thing at the surpassing that of woman. To all masters sound of gunpowder, I Aed, my bare feet I give this panacea. Try it—will youlittle heeding bramble or highway rubble, or though it is only a rustic asks you? Take sharp stone. So he never knows; but may, the cane which you have used on soft childperchance, should his eyes fall on this. And ish palms; or mayhap (now and then) on should it thus happen, I hope he will forgive little heads or other tender places and when me, and that he (and all masters) will learn the school is dismissed, give it to your felto put just a little less bitterness, a little more low teacher. Extend your hand, open wide sweet into the cup from which they give the your palm, and bid him strike just as firmly young mind its draughts of intelligence.

as you yourself do! And having tried, if And again, as to love. A most beautiful

you find heart to use it again for some time thing it seems to me. Having a mother, I

on one of your little flock, I rather pity than understand its meaning. When I go home of evenings, “Rory” bounds to me and his

hate you. Pity you most truly. For your bark is all music, for it is the voice of wel

soul must be, indeed, a graceless thingcoming love. When I go into my father's having lost every ray of that tenderness and fields, the calves and the lambs run and nose sweetness which every spirit caught from the me, and their affection fills me with most Creator as it leaped exulting from His rare soft feelings. It is a thing so grateful, hands !—Irish School Monthly.

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