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Title: Our Among the Schools
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December thirty-first, I had the pleasure of visiting the school taught by Mr. Benson in the vicinity of what is called "Free Hall." Judging from the tasteful sign placed upon this building, one would inquire, whether or not, the freedom thus indicated, is not such as his Satanic Majesty is "wont to give?" But the school alluded to. Mr. Benson is an old teacher in the public schools, and takes pleasure in contradicting the statement-"that this school is hard to govern." He thinks it is quite manageable, and he is much at home in the channel of government. The building in which he teaches by no means strikes one so favorably as the school taught in it.- Think of a school house (in a neighborhood so famour for free thought,) with cracks in the floor thereof, from four to thirty-six inches in length, and somewhat less in breadth. Certainly ventilation from a lower source is not wanting in such. Nor need one ask the usual question-Have you properly arranged for ventilation? For such an evidence is one of ample ventilation. Though very improperly given; and antagonistic to hygeian and philosophy. When will people learn, that poisonous air must escape from above-as well as that ample cold air comes in from the lower part of a room? All things considered Mr. B., is succeeding, and his scholars exhibit intelligence and some progress. But boys! don't pony through school! I mean go thro' school with the aid of "keys" in your studies. Such is called, "ponying through school."- Do your won thinking now, or you will always have others do it for you.

My next visit is at Crow's Grove. Here I find Miss Minnie Swisher with a little school of busy bodies numbering but eighteen on roll and six present. The remaining twelve appear to have been absent on account of bad roads and inclement weather. Could I speak to such, I would say: no excellence without great labor in trudgeing through mud to school in your country. A little more method on the part of patrons would secure advancement of the school interests in said section. The building is not creditable to a neighborhood of such moral worth, wealth and intelligence. Like Williamsport they live in hopes of a creditable building soon. May neither place be disappointed.

On return homeward I find Trustee Burch, surrounded with a full school in a building, "barely possible to pass." The scholars thereof grade from little urchins of precocious movements, to tall lads and interesting lassies. Mr. Burch has the faculty of drawing out the intelligence of his scholars that they may in turn instruct and criticise each other. His school having had the advantage of one teacher for several terms in succession, has become more advanced, than the majority of the country schools thus far visited. An argument against the custom of changeing teachers so often; the result of which is: the chain of studies is not constantly lengthened and strengthened, but weakened and broken. More anon.

[Page 25 of scrapbook.]

Date: 2/11/1869
Origin: Warren Republican
Record ID: 00002067
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Clippings scrapbooks
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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