OCTOBER 4, 1939
SEATTLE, Tuesday—It certainly is fun to visit one's children. I found myself marvelling at the strength of my youngest granchild yesterday. He is the most friendly, happy baby I have seen in a long while. As he sat in his father's lap at breakfast this morning, I couldn't help noticing how alike the two heads are in shape, though I can't say I have ever been able to see close resemblances in features when a baby is only six months old. The older children are fascinated by him and when he grows up I suppose it will be hard to keep them from spoiling him.
Anna, Sistie and I took a walk yesterday afternoon with the two Irish setters. "Jack" never forgets me and greeted me warmly, but "Jill" is a fickle lady and took very little interest in my arrival, but she has no objection to be petted, which some will say is a woman's trait. My trip out this time was very uneventful, though the rain and fog kept us two hours in Billings, Mont., which gave us a chance to go to a hotel. I had a bath at 5 a.m., and breakfast at the airport at about 6:30 Mountain Time, which was 5:30 Pacific Time, and this meant I was very pleased when we sat down to lunch here in Seattle. I don't think one feels really weary until evening, but I have to own that I was practically falling asleep standing up when I finally went to bed at 9:30 p.m.
I hope that the October issue of the Survey Graphic will be read by everyone who can possibly get a copy. It deals with the schools of our country and tries to answer some of the questions which most of us have been asking ourselves these last few years. You cannot see a great deal of our young people without being concerned over what our system of education really accomplishes for them. In this October number are observations of 31 expert educators and journalists who try dispassionately to answer three questions with which we are all concerned.
1. What are goals of our schools? Are they meeting the tests of American education in the American way?
2. Are our children learning how to think for themselves as citizens of a democracy, or are they likely to fall in line behind a rabble rouser?
3. Can we cut across economic and racial barriers and really provide equal opportunities for education for every young man?
Some of us know, for instance, that approximately 800,000 children in the U.S.A. did not attend school last year because there either was no school owing to the poverty of their neighborhood, or they belonged to a family which was too poor to provide them with clothes and books, etc. We also know that because of economic conditions in certain parts of our country, the school year has been curtailed, in some cases only a few weeks, but in some cases several months.
It is true that some great men succeeded without schooling, but most of them somewhere along the line came in contact with a great teacher who pointed out the way whereby they might educate themselves. In many places we are giving little thought to the development of great teachers today. We think more about curtailing their salaries than we do about improving their qualifications. A really good teacher can never be paid, and they do not develop well on starvation wages.