MARCH 9, 1943
WASHINGTON, Monday—I wonder if other people of my age have dreaded, as I did, beginning to study anything again. If anyone else is as foolish as I am, I would like to say right here, that it really is great fun to try to use your mind again in the way you did when you were at school. After my first Spanish lesson, I sat down to try to write the words I had been taught, and was horrified to find how few I remembered. Nevertheless, I found myself enjoying it.
It is fairly easy to copy what someone else is saying if you know any other foreign language, but my difficulty seems to be in thinking quickly enough. If anyone were listening to what I was trying to say, I think they would get tired before I got to the end of thinking it through.
Perhaps, with practice this will come. I shall go to each lesson hopefully and pray that someday I shall wake up and be able to think of a sentence in Spanish without slowly translating it and having to think carefully of how each word should end and with what it should agree.
I find myself confronted again with a report from the National Safety Council on Accidents in the Home. It is quite appalling and means much now in the manpower situation. Last year a total of 30,500 persons were killed in home accidents, and 4,500,000 were injured. Of these injuries, 120,000 resulted in permanent disabilities.
As housewives, we seem to have a special job to do in the National Safety Council's campaign. Some of the reasons for many of these accidents can be found in the fact that we allow hallways and stairways to be cluttered up by boxes, mops, toys and other things people fall over. They do this sometimes, because we do not always adequately light hallways and stairways.
Another reason for many falls seems to lie in rugs. We surely ought to be able to make these skid-proof. The kitchen seems to be the most dangerous room in the house, burns and scalds and cuts not only frequently come to the cook, but also to children. If we have small children around the house we should never leave pot handles turned out, so children get hold of them and spill the boiling contents on themselves.
The suggestion is that every woman should consider her house or apartment a business establishment, and should inspect it from time to time and require that people who do the work, including herself, live up to certain safety rules.