AUGUST 17, 1939
NEW YORK, Wednesday—We came down to New York City last night, because tonight I am speaking on the Hobby Lobby program and I wanted to spend today with my brother on Long Island. After I have finished on the radio here tonight, we will motor back to Hyde Park, where I am going to make myself very unpopular by interrupting a dance to say a few words at a League For Women Voters party. They hope to raise the money for the county at this party, so let us hope that the night will be cool, for dancing will then attract more people, for I can't think that speeches are going to draw many people at this season of the year.
I don't think I have ever mentioned in this column a new achievement by a woman flier. On Tuesday, August 8th, after only six hours of instruction, Miss Jacqueline Cochran made an instrument landing at a Pittsburgh airport. She is the first woman to land "under the hood" without any view of the ground. For many men who have also landed on the airtrack system, the average of instruction has been more than ten hours. This blind landing, as it is called, is one of the new safety devices installed at only a few airports, but it will probably be someday universally used in bad weather.
Miss Cochran is flying again in the National Air Races this year, but being a flier is not her only occupation, for she manages her own factory which is an outgrowth of her beauty parlor work which she deserted when she took up flying.
Some interesting things on education have come to my notice lately. One booklet on the Nash Plan by Travis A. Elliott, the superintendent of the Nash School, in Nash, Texas, has some very interesting ideas for people who work with children below high school age. Like all progressive ideas, I should think it would require extraordinarily good teachers to put it into practice, but I am glad to see that they have not discarded an obligation on the part of the pupils to become proficient in the tools of learning.
You can never develop your own interests, it seems to me, unless you know how to read and write, and if you don't discipline yourself and your mind as a child by learning arithmetic and some other subjects which may not seem so useful at the time, you will be handicapped in many of life's situations. You may realize later in life that the mastery of certain subjects has given you the necessary discipline to do correctly and well an uncongenial task, and life is filled with uncongenial tasks.
When I was connected with Miss Dickerman in the Todhunter School, I always admired her extraordinary ability to combine the old with the new and to give each child under her care the type of training that child needed. I was always interested in watching her work with the young people and in the contacts which I had with the young people myself. In resigning from the school, I miss not being able to be in such close contact with an expert in handling youngsters, but I know that the future will not hold for me any school contacts, for as one grows older one must concentrate on a few activities if one is to do anything well.