AUGUST 16, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday,—The heat has returned to us today and I am afraid that Mr. Gray, who has gone to New York City, will find it very uncomfortable. Mrs. Gray and I took him to an 8:30 train, then we returned to a leisurely breakfast. I went over to the big house a little after 10:00 o'clock to get my horse and give the necessary orders in preparation for my husband's arrival.
We have had a caretaker in the house since my mother-in-law went to Maine, but on the 18th it will really have to be in running order, for food enough for a big household must be on hand. When I am over here at the cottage, I almost forget what it means to start a really big house going. But with such able people to do all of the work it is only a question of remembering what needs to be done.
After making out various necessary lists and giving a few directions, I came back to find Mrs. Gray and Miss Dow very anxious to find their way into the swimming pool, for that is the one really comfortable spot on this hot day. Miss Dow is an excellent swimmer and, what is even more rare, she is an excellent teacher and has helped all of us improve our swimming since she has been here. In addition, last evening after supper with us, she played the piano at Mrs. Gray's request very beautifully for over an hour. She and I insisted on ending up the evening with hymns but I don't think we were entirely popular with the rest of the party, who felt that the singing was not as good as the playing had been.
My brother has written an article on one phase of education which appeared in this week's "The Connecticut Nutmeg." I am sure he could write many articles on various angles of this subject. I gather from him that he does not think either geometry or algebra are of much use to us, at least to most of us, because of the way in which we have been taught these subjects. I was never much of a mathematician. I can keep four checking accounts moderately straight, but that is about as far as I can go and it is neither my geometry, which I studied briefly, nor my algebra, which I studied for a longer period, that helps me.
In a few short sentences my brother suggests the one thing which we really should know about each of these difficult subjects. When I finished reading, I went back and reread and found that I understood him just about as well as though he had been explaining Greek! So if algebra and geometry are ever going to be of real use to me, somebody will have to explain them to me rather more simply than he does.