« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
reduce the time from eight years to four and the money cost onehalf, or more, the effect will be, not merely to double the number who can and will receive its benefits, but to increase it in a much greater proportion. Where five now pursue the old method not twice five can pursue the new if the cost be reduced one-half, but rather five times five. The increase will not be so much by arithmetical as by geometrical ratio, or in proportions greater. still.
I have no doubt whatever that there are thousands of young men in our State both able and desirous to pursue such a course of study as the college at Orono presents and that they would come forward at once if they were fairly cognizant with the facts in the case.
And now a word about the matter of labor by the students. I deem it very important that this be properly understood, and the first point I make is, that manual labor was not introduced into the college course primarily nor chiefly to support the student while studying. That attempt was made long since and failed. Some of you undoubtedly recollect the manual labor schools of a generation ago, and what became of them. But in that plan as in many other schemes and beliefs there was much truth, and very important truth mingled with the error. The error sunk those schools, but the truth did not go down with them; that floated, and it has now been harnessed to the college at Orono, to help that institution float also.
Properly viewed and properly practiced, labor in connection with study serves most important uses. In the first place the body needs exercise as really as the mind. It cannot be developed and trained without. Nor are intellectual powers, however great, of much practical utility when lodged in a feeble body. Man is a compound being-soul and body. The soul inhabits a material body and it is only by means of this material body that we communicate with, and operate in this world of matter in which we live. And the education, the strengthening, the training of both should proceed along together with even steps. How many of the most promising youths who entered college in years gone by broke down in consequence of forgetting and neglecting the imperative needs of the outer habitation while eagerly seeking the development of the inner man? Of late years this necessity has come to be generally recognized by the old colleges, and they
have provided gymnasiums to furnish the needful exercise. But why may not this be supplied in the form of productive labor as well as in unproductive? Will not productive labor, if properly regulated, serve an equally useful purpose? We believe it can; and if so, there is the incidental advantage of contributing toward support. So far from hindering intellectual labor, it assists; certainly in a great majority of cases more study can be accomplished during the four years of college life in connection with a fair amount of physical labor than can be without it. Another thing, this method avoids the probable disinclination to hand labor which is the natural result of its discontinuance for four years. How many graduates of the older colleges ever returned to active occupation in the industrial pursuits which they left on entering? A small proportion only, as all admit. Now, as these new colleges were expressly designed for the “liberal and practical education of the industrial classes," (such is the exact language of the congressional act endowing them) it is highly important that the students should not be exposed to an incidental course of weaning from industrial pursuits which would defeat the express object of these institutions so far as they differ from other colleges.
A third and very strong reason is that, by practicing the various operations the science of which they study in books or by lectures, they come to understand them better. To neglect this is somewhat as if a tailor or a shoemaker should content himself with explaining to an apprentice the principles upon which he cut out and made up his work and the ways in which he applied the measurements taken, without setting him to do it, also. This is, in fact, the grand object, for labor with study, properly directed, helps progress in the studies, makes them more useful, more practical than they can be without it.
Again, as has already been said, labor furnishes a safety valve for the escape of the exuberant spirits of youth. Those young men need work, they need study, they need play, and one just as much the other; and if you let them have all these in due proportions there will be small need of corrective, disciplinary measures.
And with all the direct benefits there is the incidental one of assisting in a pecuniary point of view. This is really of very great importance, for with very many it will be the pivot on which the question whether they can or cannot obtain such an education, will turn. I would not detract in the least degree from its value; nevertheless I would have it looked upon as an incidental benefit
rather than as the principal reason for its introduction into the college course. I dislike to have it occupy, in the minds of any, a wrong position, just as I dislike to see a man practice honesty merely because it is good policy. We have only to follow truth and do what is right because of truth and righteousness' sake, to secure all the incidental benefits which flow from such a course. These follow necessarily, and as surely as the character of a crop is determined by the seed which is sown. It is true enough that honesty is good policy, it is true enough that labor with study helps meet the cost of education ; and a good deal more is just as true, and more important to be rightly understood.
T. S. Gold of Connecticut. Having been a teacher with twentyfive years' experience in training boys, partly in the school-room, and partly on the farm, perhaps I may be allowed to say a word at this time. In the institution with which I was connected, our object in teaching the boys work was their benefit; we never allowed any compensation for their work. Tools were provided and ample opportunity given them to engage in the labors of the farm and of the garden adapted to their age and ability, and the result was in the highest degree satisfactory. Boys unused to labor of any kind, learned, in connection with their studies, and without interfering in the least with their studies in the schoolroom, to become quite expert in the use of the tools connected with the farm, in all its varied operations. The only point I question with regard to your practice relates to compensation. I think you have fixed it higher than you can afford, in consideration of the fact that you give instruction in connection with it, which will interfere very much with practical utility of the labor. If the labor is designed to instruct the boys, many hours must be spent in getting out the tools and returning them to their places, and in doing many things merely for instruction and it will be exceedingly difficult for you to show as great returns for the hours of labor expended as if they were farm laborers under your control for the whole of their time. You farmers must grant a great deal of latitude in that respect. You must pardon them for not doing as much in those three hours labor as you think you could do on your own farms. If you have one boy upon a farm; or one young man partially trained, you make him very useful, but if you have a great deal of that kind of labor, you cannot make it very remunerative. I have had twenty boys ready to work for me, two, three, or four hours a day, just as I called upon them and all for
nothing; still, I could not make that labor very profitable. I could do some operations rapidly and very successfully; but if the control of twenty boys in the field does not occupy much of the time of the superintendent and render his labors not very effective, I am quite mistaken. He must work pretty hard to make that labor useful and you must grant him much forbearance in respect to money results.
· I would say, with regard to the relative merits of the two kinds education, that the object of the ordinary collegiate course has been to make men of thought and of language. That is accomplished by classical and mathematical studies. The business of life developes and makes men of action. The idea of these new colleges is to unite the two, and make them men of thought and men of action. I lay that down as the object you have in view,to work out that problem which the present age is urging upon us—How best to produce men of thought and of action ?
Prof. Fernald. I hope the idea which President Allen advanced will be fully understood, that when the boys work at levelling or any other work that appertains especially to their own instruction, they receive no pay. Our line of division is this : when a boy works for the institution, pay bim ; when he works solely for his own advantage let him be paid in the advantage which he derives.
MR. PIERCE. Our Farmers' Clubs discuss the college, and in many places they discuss it in ignorance. I would suggest that the sentiments expressed by President Allen and by the Secretary of this Board be published in pamphlet form, and circulated among our Farmers' Clubs. If they could be read by the members of our Clubs, they would do away with a great deal of prejudice that now exists.
Adjourned to 7 o'clock.
EVENING SESSION. The Evening Session was occupied by an interesting and instructive lecture by Prof. Fernald on “ Protection from Light
LIGHTNING AND THE MEANS OF AVERTING ITS DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS.
In a single hour, it will not be possible to consider with minuteness, and in its varied relations, the subject which is to engage us to-night. However important might be an elaborate discussion of the nature and effects of that subtle fluid, which as our agent may speed our messages swift-winged across a continent, or as our master may bring instantly terror and disaster to ourselves and our households, we can only attempt on the present occasion to offer a few thoughts in regard to "Lightning and the Means of Averting its Destructive Effects," which we hope may not be unworthy of your thoughtful attention.
If it be desirable to rear homes for ourselves and our children, it is equally desirable to protect those homes, whatever may be the form in which the threatened danger may present itself.
If it be desirable to engage in commercial pursuits,-to fit out vessels and send them upon boisterous seas, it is equally desirable that they go prepared, not only to buffet successfully wind and wave, but to avert the shafts of the storm-cloud, which unaverted might prove their destruction.
If liability to accident and harm attend our every footstep, does it not become us as rational beings to consider, whether by any possibility any of the forces of nature which threaten us may be rendered powerless, and be made to play harmlessly at our feet?
Your attention is solicited to considerations upon
1st. The nature of lightning as indicated by its manifestations, and effects.
2nd. The extent of danger from its stroke. 3d. Means of protection from it.
Meteorologists ordinarily recognize four forms of lightning, viz: zigzag lightning, ball lightning, sheet lightning, and heat lightning.
As regards the third and fourth forms we must content ourselves with simply a definition. Sheet lightning is a diffuse glare of light, sometimes illuminating only the edges of a cloud, and sometimes pervading the entire surface of the clouds from which