Page images
PDF
EPUB

how will he labor ? He will devote his three hours to labor on the farm. He will carry on the precise labor, during his entire course, that he will have to carry on in actual life, after he leaves the institution. So that, in addition to the liberal culture there acquired, there is something of professional training which a young man can hardly fail to acquire in pursuing this course.

It has been my pleasure to be connected with the college from its commencement. I know the objections that have been made to it; I know the discouragements through which we have been obliged to pass; I know what are our hopes for the future; and I am happy to say that we are greatly encouraged, and are looking confidently forward to the time when the claims, the wants and the necessities of the young men of our State shall be more fully recognized, and when this institution shall be able to do for the young men of the State that which they so imperatively need, -a want which I know the members of the Board of Agriculture fully recognize and which I believe the people of this State are fast coming to recognize.

MR. PARKHURST of Aroostook. Let me inquire the expense connected with attendance.

PROF. FERNALD. Tuition is free. The board has been three dollars a week, there has been no charge hitherto for room rent, and each room has been provided with a bedstead, a husk mattrass, a table, a sink, and four chairs, without charge to the student. Two students occupy a room. The charge for washing and fuel has been fifty cents a week, making the whole charge $3.50 a week. Besides this, the student has to furnish himself with books, usually ranging in cost from ten to fifteen dollars a year. The incidental expenses have been from fifty cents to a dollar and a half per term. These include all the expenses, so far as they occur to me at the present time. At any rate, the other expenses would depend upon the habits of the student himself. On the other hand, each student labors three hours a day, for which he receives compensation. When the institution went into operation, the proposition was to pay twenty-five cents for the three hours' labor. It was not designed that it should be precisely twenty-five cents for the three hours' labor, but that the compensation should depend upon the faithfulness and efficiency of the student, greater stress being placed upon the faithfulness than upon the efficiency. That is, the aim was to encourage faithfulness in the boys; so that, although the work is in charge of a

competent officer, when the work is assigned to the boys, if the officer chances to be absent, that work shall go on as well as in his presence. We recognize the necessity of developing that principle of faithfulness in labor. About a year ago, the rate was increased, so that they are now paid thirty cents for the three hours' labor. That is the maximum price, and the rate is graded according to faithfulness, and efficiency; so that a young man, working his three hours a day, five days in a week, if he attain the maximum price, and as my memory serves me now there was no one who fell below eight cents an hour the last season, and only one as low as that—it would yield him $1.50 a week toward cancelling his bills; or if he attained the minimum price, eight cents an hour, it would be $1.20 a week. There are, of course, some advantages occasionally furnished to students, by which they are able to cancel more, but in following the regular routine duties, they would cancel that amount of their weekly expenses.

MR. Perley of Naples. What opportunities do they have to teach during vacation ?

PROF. FERNALD. At first we allowed eight weeks vacation, but as most of the young men were wanted to teach, we have this winter allowed ten weeks. A large proportion of our students, perhaps from sixty to eighty per cent., are teaching this winter. By what they receive for teaching and the wages for their labor, they are enabled to meet nearly all the expenses at the institution, so that no energetic young man need fear falling behind much. I think no young man of energy need hesitate to enter the institution, and work his way through. If he was industrious and tem .. perate, (as all of our young men are) I should not be afraid to guarantee that he would fall in arrears but a very small amount.

But allow me to add, that in order for all these students to make this weekly reduction in their expenses, it is necessary that we be provided with what we have not. Farm labor can only be profitably carried on during certain seasons of the year. When the term opens, two weeks hence, what can be done upon the farm ? How can we employ those boys ? Now if we had a machine shop, as we ought to have, if we are to teach mechanics, there would be a place in which we could employ the boys during this time, before farming operations commenced; as it is we work along as best we can. I do not know how soon we may be able to supply this want; I do not know to what extent it can be supplied, but certainly there is need. We want the means of furnish

ing labor that shall not only be profitable to those boys, but, if possible remunerative to the institution. During a portion of the time when they can work upon the farm, their labor can be made remunerative, but there is at the close of the season, a time when it is difficult to find work enough for them to do. We do the best we can under the circumstances; but there may be times when we cannot furnish any work which the students can do, and then of course there will be a falling off in the weekly earnings.

MR. LUCAS. Do you depend upon them to do all the work upon the farm ?

Prof. FERNALD. Only so far as they can in three hours daily. We do not ask more than that. There is a disadvantage under which our farm labor suffers. . You are all aware that it is a great advantage to take men into the field and be able to control their labor through the day, when you have your teams and tools in the field. You can use them to much better advantage than you can a large force put on for three hours in the afternoon. We have all these things to consider. Our farm superintendent does as well as he can under the circumstances. There are necessarily some disadvantages in this method.

Mr. Lucas. Do you ever employ them all day during the busy season?

Prof. FERNALD. Their primary object in going there is to obtain an education. Nothing should be permitted to interfere with that. Mental labor occupies the time until noon, then they have an hour for dinner. From one to four o'clock is occupied with physical labor, after which there are two hours for recreation, or other use if they prefer. At seven o'clock the bell for study is struck and the students repair to their rooms and pursue their studies during the evening.

Mr. Pierce. If I understand it, there is an opportunity for a young man, if he has a fair education and wishes to be a bookkeeper, to go there and study book-keeping alone, if he does not wish to study anything else.

Prof. FERNALD. We do not deem it best to receive students who wish merely to pursue for a term or two such studies as he could pursue equally well at an academy or a so called commercial college. In such case I would advise him to go to the academy rather than to our college. If he wishes to prepare himself more fully for the work of life we should he happy to receive him.

QUESTION. How far advanced must a boy be before he can enter the college ?

PROF. FERNALD. He must be able to pass a satisfactory examination in arithmetic, grammar, comparison and analysis, and especially we examine in false syntax and punctuation and the use of capitals, in geography, the history of the United States, and algebra to quadratic equations. Young men meeting these requirements are generally admitted.

PRESIDENT ALLEN. In relation to the question of expense I may say that thirty-eight weeks board at $3 per week amounts to $114, to which about a dollar a week should be added for fuel, lights, washing and incidentals. To offset this we furnish work when we can, up to three hours a day, for which eight to ten cents per hour is paid. But at some seasons, as we are now situated, without workshops, we have no work to be done which would be remunerative. And there is a class of work for which we do not pay. For instance, the junior class goes out to take levels or to survey a railroad from the college to the village. They come back with their figures, and estimate how much excavation and how much filling up are needed—to a yard-and so of other details of the work, but we do not pay them for it. They get what is better than money in the instruction which they receive. Labor which is solely educational we do not pay for.

Sec. GOODALE. The question was asked how long a time was necessary for a boy to be at college to obtain the necessary information to prepare him for the business of life. Perhaps the question has been sufficiently answered, but it may not be uninstructive to draw attention to it. Unless I am much mistaken, it is a very small part of the business of an educational institution like the college we are discussing to impart information. Its purpose is rather to educate; and what is education, and how does it differ from the imparting of knowledge ? Look at the derivation of the word educere—to draw out, to lead forth; education means more than obtaining knowledge; it includes the development and training of the faculties, so that they may be able to accomplish fully all which they are capable of doing. To be sure, a boy goes to college and comes home better informed than when he went, but the information obtained is mainly incidental and not the prime object for which he went. If he has gained nothing by going except knowledge, if he comes home no more of a man than he went, if his mental powers have not grown,

if they have not been developed and strengthened by means of the studies pursued, if his faculties have not been trained and disciplined, his college course is a failure.

The old colleges educated young men, and educated them well. All honor to them and to their work. I would not detract one iota from their merit. Their failing is not that they did their work badly, but that-necessarily-in the use of their methods, they could only do it for so few. It was formerly thought that only the men destined for the so called liberal professions needed a liberal education, but we find that all men need it. It was formerly thought that the pursuit of agriculture required less study than any other, and that a boy fit for nothing else would make a good enough farmer; but we have since begun to open our eyes to the fact that he is all the while called upon to deal with problems which require, and will demand the largest amount of scientific acquisition and ability, and the noblest efforts of the human intellect. It is a long stride toward the accomplishment of “the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes,” to recognize and to feel the need of it; and this we have, at least, begun to do.

The practical question now is, by what method, by means of what studies shall education be sought? The old colleges adopted the method of devoting four years to the studies mainly preparatory to the study of what was to be the calling or occupation or profession in life. After the collegiate course was finished the student begun his professional studies. The study of Latin and Greek, mathematics, rhetoric and philosophy was mainly for the purpose of laying broad and liberal and deep foundations for subsequent study.--consequently, the time and cost involved in such a preparation for the business of life was so great as to prevent great numbers from enjoying its benefits who would have gladly entered upon it if they could.

Now what does the new method propose to do? Wherein do the Industrial Colleges differ from the Classical Colleges ? Chiefly in this ; that while they attempt to bestow a liberal culture and a thorough training, discipline and development of the man's natural powers, they propose to do it by more direct methods, by the pursuit of studies which shall be, so far as possible, exactly in the direction of his future pursuits. The effect of this is greatly to reduce the expenditures of time and money; and if we can

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »