MARCH 20, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—I came home this morning at 1:40, but the day proved fruitful. I managed to read a good deal on the trip and that is something I need to do, for I am far behind.
The meeting for the War Savings Staff in the Upper Darby School was very successful, both as to numbers and evident interest. I am sure the audience enjoyed, as much as I did, the singing of the ballad, "I Am An American."
I am so happy to find that this ballad is sung in so many schools, for I believe that, as they sing the words over and over, the understanding of their actual meaning will come to an increasing number of young people. Democracy will be safe with them, if this ballad embodies their ideals.
I enjoyed the evening at Swarthmore College and left regretting that I could not spend more time with these intelligent and eager young people.
If we are able to be in the country for any length of time this summer, I feel we can all do a good deal to help our neighbors grow and preserve more food. I was glad to hear that the University of Maryland, under the auspices of the American Women's Voluntary Services, is conducting a class in farm training, which begins on March 22nd. It will be an intensive three weeks course. If the students promise to do at least three weeks work on a farm, they do not have to pay for their course.
About a dozen women have registered from various occupations—two of them saleswomen, one of them a beauty parlor operator, one a manager of a beauty parlor, a public stenographer, a clerk, two or three secretaries and two or three housewives. This shows that farm life appeals to a variety of people and that, when given the confidence which goes with good training, they are anxious to try this type of life.
I think this work will be done by the state universities in many parts of the country as a help in solving the farm labor problem. I am quite sure that before high schools send out their senior students to work on farms, they will give some training which will make them more useful. The untrained youngster is even less helpful than the untrained adult, but I think the adult may need more conditioning physically.
I fully expect that the first day I go to work in my own or anyone else's garden, every bone and muscle in my body will ache. That happened as one grows older with any new type of exercise, but I think this will have its rewards for many of us after the first painful period is over.