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growth and constant change, - this surplus of professional men would be more apparent here than in any other country.
Few realize the value of the years between fifteen and twenty-five for preparation. It is true, the smart boy may do great things in his profession at the age of twenty-one, but he never can leave the mark he might have made if he had waited. He never can go into those deeper channels of thought, where lie the pearls which will bear a value forever. The mind must have a longer training than we now give it. Money may be made quickly while the flow of petroleum continues, but literary attainments cannot be gained without the “midnight oil.” Now and then a Minerva comes into the literary world, fullly armed from birth. But those who are of more human mould must wait to brace their armor on, to learn the use of sword and shield, to study the ways of war. Thus the good soldier is found, and thus the good scholar. Erasmus again and again wished that students would keep in mind a single motto, Festina lente. We must heed such advice now in this racing age, or lamentable epitaphs will have to be graven on many stones for the future to ponder, where otherwise might be inscribed, “ Hic jacet an American scholar.” For, though it is not described in medical dictionaries, this morbid activity, “Hurry," is, with Americans, a chronic disease, and its victims in scholastic walks are innumerable.—Am. Ed. Monthly.
From the American Educational Monthly.
LESSONS ABOUT HOME. I. Physical Form8.—The lessons on the home neighborhood, spoken of in the preceding article of this series, must necessarially be oral. Teachers accustomed to give oral lessons, and familiar with the principles to be observed in their preparation, will need no aids in the preparation of these lessons on the physical features of the neighborhood in which their pupils live. Many teachers, however, will perhaps find the following report of a lesson on a neighborhood in Western New York, of assistance, as suggesting, better than any set of directions could do, the method of proceeding. The pupils are the children of the farmers of the neighborhocd, and the time summer.
Teacher. I would like all of you to think carefully a moment, and try to remember everything you saw on your way to school. (Several hands are raised, and the pupils, one after another, are called on to state what they saw.)
John. I saw some men mowing in Mr. B.'s meadow.
Charles. I saw a red squirrel running along the fence by the woods.
Mary. I saw some cows and a colt, and two calves, and some sheep and lambs, in Mr. Go's pasture.
Fanny. I saw some cherries that are turning red in the orchard across the road.
T. You have remembered several things, and I have no donbt if you should think a little longer you could name many more ; but we have as many as we can talk about in one morning. We are going to have a lesson on some of the things you have seen in coming to school. Mary spoke of something she saw in a pasture. How many passed pastures in coming to school? (Hands raised.) Mary, can you tell me what a pasture is ?
Mary. It is a field where the cattle, horses and sheep stay.
T. I thought somebody would remember presently that there is a creek to be passed on the way to school. I am glad Charles has thought of it, though it seems he thought most of the crab. I want to talk of the creek presently. Sarah may tell us first what she means by a spring.
Sarah. It is a place where the water comes out of the ground..
T. Has anyone else seen a spring ? (Hands raised.) Can Charles tell me anything more about a spring ?
Chas. There is a creek running from our spring.
Chas. (Interrupting.) That's the very same creek that goes from our spring.
T. Now will one of you tell me what a creek is, or how it is different from a spring, since both are water ?
James. The creek is where the water runs along through the fields, but the spring is just the place where it comes out of the ground.
T. Does the water run, James? Can't you think of a better word ? James. It flows.
T. That is better. Now I should not say that a creek is where the water flows through the fields, but is water flowing through the fields. Can any one give me another name for a creek ?
Fanny. Some people call it a brook. :
T. I like that name better, though most people about here say creek instead of brook. Can any one tell me where the little brook that flows through the pasture goes ?
George. It goes into the big creek that makes our mill-pond.
T. Does any one know of any other brooks that flow into the “ big creek” as George calls it ? (Several are named.) Now can any one give me another name than creek for this large stream of water that has so many brooks flowing into it?
Susan. Johnny Brown called it a river. He lives in Albany, and he said there was a river there big enough for ships and steamboats to sail on.
T. Johnny called it a river because he had only seen such large streams as are called rivers. You call it a creek because you only know of such small streams as are called brooks or creeks. So we have three different names for streams of water. One of these days we shall learn something about rivers. George will you tell us how Salmon Greek make your mill-pond ?
George. Father built a dam right across the creek, so the water was stopped from flowing; and it filled up behind the dam, and spread out wide and deep, and kept getting larger and larger, until it came up to the top of the dam. Now it pours over all the time, and doesn't get any fuller.
T. George has told us that very nicely. One of these days we shall learn about something that is very like the mill-pond, only a great deal larger, yet nobody ever built a dam to make it.
Fanny. I know what you mean—it is a lake.
T. Now we will talk of some of the other things you have seen.John said he saw a meadow. How many others passed meadows on your way to school? (Hands raised.) John, tell us what you mean by a meadow ?
John. It is a field full of grass.
T. The pasture was a field full of grass too, was it not? Are a meadow and a pasture the same thing ?
Chas. The cattle eat the grass in the pasture, but the grass in the meadow is mowed and made into hay.
John. (Interrupting.) The cattle eat the hag too, don't they.
T. John should not interrupt. We know that the cattle eat the hay, but what Charles means is that they are not allowed to eat the fresh grass as fast as it grows in the meadow, as they do in the pasture. Let us try to find some other difference. When you look over the pasture, and then over the meadow, can you see any difference in the land itself?
Mary. Our pasture is a great deal rougher than our meadows. George. Our pasture isn't rough, but it is swampy. T. Why do you say yours is rough, Mary? Mary. There are hills all over it and there arn't any in the meadow, only little bits of knolls.
T. But what do you mean by the hills ?
Mary. (After thinking a moment.) When the ground is a great deal higher than the rest we call it a hill, and where there are a great many hills we say the land is rough or hilly.
T. That is well said. What do you say of land that, like the meadow, has no large hills ?
James. We say it is level land.
T. When you read about level lands like the meadow you will see them called plains. One of these days we shall learn something about a plain. Who has seen other hills than those in Mary's pasture ?
Chas. I saw some awful high hills the other day when I was going to Ithaca with father and uncle George, but uncle said they “wan't nothing” to what you see in New Hampshire, where he liyes. He said there were some there so high that if you were on top of them you'd see sometimes the clouds, and thunder, and lightning under your feet, and where you are the sun would be shining. He calls them mountains.
T. That is very interesting, and we shall some time learn about those not “awful” but very high hills that are called mountains. Now we want to talk only of what we have seen. George says his pasture is swampy. What do you mean by that, George?
George. The ground is all wet and muddy, and little bunches of grass grow all over it; but you can't very well go across it for the ground is so soft that if you happen to step off the grass you will sink knee-deep in the mud. I got stuck in it the other night when I went after the cows.
T. But how do the cattle get along ?
George. Oh! the pasture an't all swamp, and the cattle know where to go; and besides they don't care if they do get in the mud.
T. That word “an't” is not a very good one. I should say “is not" instead. Does any one know any other name for a swamp?
Mary. Some people call it a marsh.
T. Do you know, George, why your father takes that swampy land for a pasture, instead of planting corn or having a meadow there?
George. Father says the ground is so awful wet,—(class laugh) so very wet, that he can't do anything else with it; and he says he is going to have some ditches dug to "run" the water off, and then next spring he will plough it up.
T. Do you know, Mary, why your father does not make use of his level fields for pastures instead of that hilly one ?
Mary. We have some level fields that were pastures last year, but they are cornfields this summer. I asked father why he didn't plough that one too, and he said it is so rough and stony that it is not good for anything but pasture, but the cattle can get enough to eat and so he let them run there every year; but he ploughs up the level pastures sometimes and plants corn and potatoes on them.
T. We have now talked as long as our time will allow. To-morrow we shall talk of the woods and other things you have seen this morning. Try to see something more when coming to school to-morrow. Who can tell me everything we have been learning in this lesson? (Hands raised.) Fanny may try.
Fanny. We have learned about pastures, and brooks, and a spring; and hills and meadows, and a swamp.
T. Now I would like to see the hand of every one who can tell me what each is, and where we may find some of each.
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