DECEMBER 9, 1952
NEW YORK, Monday—On Saturday I went to Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania, to speak for the Council on Student Travel. The assemblage of 150 had discussed at some length how to improve time spent in this country by foreign students, whether they came for regular college semesters or only for the summer.
They also reviewed the technical side of improving accommodations and all the various arrangements for our own students on trips abroad, either for the summer or for longer periods of study. Then they discussed how to prepare our students better for their time abroad so that they might get the maximum out of it.
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The chairman for the luncheon was the head of the group that conducts the tours in the Experiment for International Living, and I was pleased to hear from him that one of my granddaughters, who spent a summer on one of their trips, has helped them a great deal since. It is always nice to hear good things said about a member of your family.
As has been my custom when I am in this country at this season, I went on Thursday to the Christmas sale for the benefit of the blind, conducted by the New York State Commission for the Blind. This year the merchandise is displayed on two floors of the building on the corner of 48th Street and Lexington Avenue, and I think there is a greater variety of goods on sale than ever before. Many really lovely Christmas gifts can be obtained there and since it means so much to the blind people if this sale is successful, I hope many people will patronize the public sale. It is open, I believe, until December 15.
During the past week I saw two plays. One, called "The Seven-Year Itch," was very amusing and well-acted. I heard a man behind me say he had read the script 40 times and each time he had laughed harder than before. I think Vanessa Brown and Tom Elwell do an extremely good job in the leading roles.
The other play was "Electra," with Katina Paxinou of the National Theatre of Greece. From the time the curtain rises until it goes down there is no interlude, and, for the first time, though I have seen "Electra" before in different countries, the chorus seemed to me to take its proper place in the play.
Whether one understands modern Greek or not does not really matter. There is music in the voices, and one feels the tragedy move forward.
I think both the French group that has been performing in New York City and this group from Greece have given us this winter something that goes much deeper in theatrical art than the usual run of modern plays. I am glad to have been able to see them both.