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Amateur Sonneteers

MARION S. COLE, PROVIDENCE, R. I.

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T is very true that neither teacher nor pupil knows

what can be done until the attempt is made. It is a corollary of that proposition that only faith will

or can accomplish the results desired—if the goal munun annun

be high.

This is proved in nothing more than in English work of all kinds—in letter-writing, in composi

tion, in the appreciation and love of literature of both prose and poetry.

Does it seem that poets are not with us in our classes ? Perhaps they are not, but the poetic instinct and feeling are, as all will agree,-even though they are hidden under bashfulness and selfconsciousness ?

And I believe

Given a teacher who has or has had poetic longings (and what English teacher has not ?) and who likes to scribble; given faith and some alert pupils—we will secure verses. Our pupils may never be great poets, but they can learn to appreciate keenly by knowing the "How.”

In studying metre, it occurred to me that I would explain, at some length, the sonnet structure in which I was then much interested. The rhyme scheme was given, the divisions of the sonnet indicated, and three weeks given in which to await results.

The following were written by girls of fourteen and fifteen:

The Christ Child's Birth

One wintry night when snow was on the ground,
Three wise men from the East gazed at a star
In mystic adoration. And a sound
Came from the heavens, and echoed near and far,

Of angel voices singing loud and clear,
“Peace to the earth, good-will to all mankind."
The wise men wondered and were filled with fear,
The radiance streaming down their eyes did blind.
Why gazed these wise men at the star so bright?
Why sang the angels thus, both one and all ?
Because the Christ was born this snowy night,
The King of Kings lay in an oxen stall.
So let us now our carols sweetly sing,
In deepest worship, to the Infant King.

Christmas Night

The sky is covered with a radiance bright,
And from the heavens there sounds sweet music clear-
The shepherds on the hill-tops quake with fear:
With awe they read that brilliant, shining light
As but a signal for their instant flight.
And now these words the herdsmen plainly hear
Before the angel singers disappear,
“Rejoice, ye all, the Christ is born this night."
And soon throughout the land around the hills
Is passed the message which the angels bring,
And with great joy each happy heart it fills
The world has now its Saviour and its King.
Then may this song be told 'til time shall end
And with the Christmas spirit ever blend.

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Medical Inspection in the Schools

The Children's Point of View

THE CLEVELAND,

SAMUEL C. LIND, MEDICAL INSPECTOR IN

OHIO, PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

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LTHOUGH medical inspection of school children has existed for many years, and much has been written by educators and physicians on this subject, we are at a loss to find anything which gives

the children's opinion of the value and purpose of Juinunuginwine

medical inspection. It occurred to me that it might be both interesting and instructive if, in

a small way, some information could be obtained on this point, so with the kindly co-operation of the principals of the several schools under my supervision, a start was made. Just how to proceed was a problem, and after careful consideration I came to the conclusion that the most reliable way to obtain the desired information would be through compositions written by the eighth grades, in which they would express themselves on this topic. It seemed unwise to present such a difficult subject to the lower grades, because we must admit that medical inspection as a composition is somewhat beyond the scope of most children. In these themes the children were asked to state their opinion of medical inspection, the reason for such supervision, or if opposed, the grounds for their objection, and to tell what their parents thought. The teachers refrained from influencing their pupils in any way. In all 169 papers were prepared, and then began the task of interpreting and drawing honest conclusions from these essays.

The difficulty of analysis is great. To make a correct summary is a matter of judgment, and having reached certain conclusions we must ask ourselves, first, how much significance can be given the children's opinion, and secondly, to what extent are these opinions generally applicable? To the last question I may say that the district in which these children live is an average community of a large American city. · The people are not rich, neither are any except a few, very poor. They are an honest, hard-working type. Their incomes allow no needless expenditures. At times the mother must work to aid the father. Again a goodly proportion of the children are of foreign-born parents. Hence, if we accept these children as being the average of a large American city, their opinions expressed in the compositions have a rather broad application. In answer to the first part of the question, I may say that the limited material admits of no fast conclusions and that this report is not made with such intention, but because it may prove interesting and instructive to those concerned with the welfare of school children.

Of the 169 papers analysed, 101 contain a definite statement that the writer is in favor of medical inspection; 65 make no direct expression but without exception have no statement which can be interpreted as indicating that the child is opposed to medical inspection; under a liberal classification they could be added to the 101 in which an opinion is given. Three are against medical inspection, and are opposed to it because the family physician differed with the school physician in regard to the necessity of having certain defects corrected. Sixty children stated their parent's opinion, and except for these, all favored medical inspection as carried out in the Cleveland schools. Those who opposed, held that no necessity existed, since the parents should look after the health of their children. Thus we see that the vast majority of the children and their parents are in sympathy with medical inspection, and believe that it is worth while.

Now having reached a conclusion, let us examine the foundation on which it rests. A certain distinguished educator once said that it is not so much the conclusion which a freshman reaches as his method of arriving at the conclusion which is of interest, and this is doubly true in regard to these reports.

A consideration of why the children favor medical inspection involves a review of the various reasons given for its establishment. The number of different reasons advanced admits of no simple tabulation. Rather must we attempt a composite picture, as it were, in which all these essays are shown. After reading and re-reading the compositions one thought forms itself and stands out beyond all others. Almost without exception the children understand that medical inspection exists for their own benefit and good. They recognize it as an outgrowth of a desire to help them. After this comes a second thought which we may describe as an aim to help the community; a number see that the results coming from medical inspection are not confined to the school population alone but extend throughout the whole district. And you ask on what basis I rest two such broad conclusions. You question whether eighth grade children can so express themselves in short compositions as to warrant these two deductions. A more minute analysis of the papers may make this clear.

A few quotations from the various pupils will show that they consider medical inspection beneficial to themselves and in what respects they gain.

“This work is done to preserve the health of the children." "It teaches children to care for their general health.”

"After a child is looked after he seems to understand that he ought to take more care of himself.”

“There are many things which we do not know which we have found out from the doctor.”

“Maybe if a child is poor in his work it is on account of these ailments."

I could give many other excerpts from the papers expressing similar thoughts. A number of children mention the fact that injuries occurring during school hours have been cared for at this time. Others tell of improvement in general well-being after following the advice of the school doctor, and as mentioned, many of these are classified among the 65 papers in which no opinion was expressed.

That the good resulting from medical supervision is not confined to the immediate school population is shown by the following:

“Saves trouble in after years.”

"Medical inspection in the schools is a fine thing. It means a generation of healthy instead of defective men and women."

"It brings parents into consideration of the health of their children.”

Furthermore, 28 children say that medical inspection is of

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