AUGUST 5, 1955
MEEKER, Colo.—The longer I am on Elliott's ranch here in Meeker the more I grieve that I ever gave up riding, for this kind of riding even old ladies could do. This is to say, an old lady could if she has stayed moderately slim. Perhaps it will give me the needed incentive so that if I return here in the autumn I will have reached a point where I can feel I can get on a horse again.
The ranch is wonderful for the children. The two little Morgans who began to learn to ride at Hyde Park this spring are riding all over here and enjoying it. My grandson, Bill, is a good teacher, and a sensible one, not letting the youngsters get frightened, knowing that confidence is half the battle and that there will be time later on when they have acquired enough skill to let them try out the fun of dealing with a horse that must really be well handled. My daughter-in-law, Minnewa, looks wonderful on horseback and rides very well.
As I went out for my morning walk this morning I found myself confronted with the ranch's one old sow and her 11 little pigs, all but two of which were where they should be—behind a wire fence well off the road. Two naughty little ones were running around on the outside. Luckily, Minnewa's little boy, Rexie, came along and managed to shoo them to safety. Then when I came back a whole crew of men and boys were trying to fix the fence so that the little ones could not get out again. This seemed to me an impossible task, however, as I watched the little porkers slither under the wire.
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I was interested to see in one of the local papers an article from Boston reporting that there was great excitement in a meeting there because the schools could not get good science and mathematics teachers. The reason given was that they had to pay women as much as men.
This seemed to me odd reasoning coming from two school administrators, and further in the article I discovered that one of the two men came from Massachusetts and the other from Nashville, Tennessee. Both were attending the Educational and Reporting Conference at Harvard University.
The conference is an experiment sponsored by the Fund for the Advancement of Education. It brings together school people and newspaper reporters from 10 cities for a three-week discussion of how to get the story of schools before Americans.
The statement of how to get better science and mathematics teachers was further explained in these words: "I could go down to MIT and compete for them. I could bring some of them back for $5,000 a year and the school board would be delighted".
I can't help wondering why higher salaries both to men and women, if they teach equally well, is not a good idea. I have known women who were marvelous mathematics teachers and I have known other women who were good in science, so I don't think this is exclusively a man's province. But if the salaries were high enough for the best men or women to be obtained, then our children would get the good teaching that they deserve.
I agree with these school administrators that the child is the first consideration, but the principle of equal pay for equal work has taken a long time to achieve. And I would have to have it proved to me that men are the only competent teachers of these subjects before I would agree to the principle being abandoned.