SEPTEMBER 16, 1940
HYDE PARK, Sunday —Yesterday and today have been beautiful days. I think spring and early autumn are my favorite seasons in the country. Spring, because it is so exciting to see everything come to life again, and autumn, because the tang in the air seems to restore a vigor which the summer has relaxed.
The colors that come gradually to our countryside are perhaps more beautiful than any in the whole pageant of seasons. There is beauty, of course, in every season, but nothing lovelier than the blue sky of autumn with white clouds scudding across it. The gold, red and green of the trees repeat themselves in the fields where the goldenrod and the various creeping plants make a carpet of color.
I have spent the mornings out-of-doors and had a few guests this weekend. I very much enjoyed seeing Dean Mildred Thompson of Vassar at lunch yesterday. She is just back after a long illness but, while she may be still weak in body, she is certainly a person who gives one a feeling of the utmost vigor in her thoughts and mental activity.
In the evening, on Saturday, Ethel and Franklin, Jr., brought four of their young friends to supper at my cottage, though they were staying at the big house. We certainly had plenty of conversation. How much value it was to any of us, I really cannot tell. One able young lawyer argued his political belief against all the rest of us and did very well, I thought, considering that the balance of numbers was distinctly against him.
Today they will all be be back for lunch with me after what, I fear, will be the last swim in the pool this season, for by next weekend the water may be too cold.
If you have not seen the three essays on the purposes and problems of American education, published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass., I think you will be interested in reading them. Two of the essays are by Dr. James Bryant Conant and were published, one in the Atlantic Monthly this past May, and the other in Harper's Magazine, May 1938. Both of them are well worth reading for anyone interested in education and the development of democracy.
The third essay in this pamphlet is by Francis T. Spaulding. All three lay the groundwork for a changed and improved system of public school education in this country and are a stimulant to the thinking of all of us.