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Harvard UNIVERSITY, on Nov. 8, celebrated its 250th anniversary. Perhaps never before in this country was there such a gathering of distinguished scholars as on this occasion--most of them, of course, Harvard's own sons.
President Cleveland and most of the members of his cabinet were guests of the occasion. The chief oration was by James Russell Lowell, and a poem was read by Oliver Wendell Holmes. After dinner speeches were made by a goodly number, including Pres. Eliot and President Cleveland. In the evening the students marched in costume and had a good display of fire works.
There are at least thirty graduates of Harvard in this state. About half of these met in Indianapolis and celebrated the same occasion.
STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT.
J. W. Holcombe, Superintendent of Public Instruction, has received the proof sheets of his annual report, which will be issued soon. It will be a book of several hundred pages, and will make a very valuable volume for the use of teachers and educators in general. The school system of the state is very fully explained. The tuition revenue of the state is given as $3,426,219.25; the special revenue, $1,543,654.36, making the total resources of the schools $4,969,873.36. A very complete and comprehensive historical review of education in Indiana, prepared by H. M. Skinner, B. C. Hobbs, and Mary Humphreys, is given, and the proceedings of the State Educational Association are published in full. The advantages of the state institutions of higher education are set forth at length, and considerable space is devoted to the special schools of the state.
This issue closes Vol. XXXI of the INDIANA SCHOOL JOURNAL. For all these years it has been a prominent factor in the educational work of the state. It has helped to develop an educational sentiment that would demand better schools and be willing to pay for them. It has advocated longer terms and higher wages for teachers. It did its full share toward securing the State Normal School and County Superintendency. In short it has helped secure whatever advancement has been made in the cause of education, and it has opposed whatever opposed educational interests. It has tried to give to the teachers of Indiana as good professional reading as is furnished the teachers of any other state in the Union.
That it has been fairly successful in these efforts and is appreciated by those for whom it is intended, is evinced by the fact that its circulation has steadily increased, till to-day, with perhaps two exceptions, it leads in point of circulation all the education al monthlies of the United States.
No other paper in the land can boast so large a percent of the teai keis of its own state as regular subscribers.
This is highly complimentary to the teachers of Indiana, as it is indicative of enterprise, progress, and a healthy educational sentiment.
The JOURNAL wishes to return hearty thanks for the many kind words of commendation, and for the enthusiastic substantial support that comes from every quarter. It will strive to continue to desene this cordial support.
TO THE READERS OF THE NORMAL TEACHER.
THE NORMAL TEACHER has been consolidated with The INDIANA School JOURNAL, and the unexpired subscriptions to the former will be completed by sending this journal to all entitled to the same. We are glad to be able to announce so favorable a consummation. The old subscribers of THE NORMAL TEACHER will thus be furnished with one of the best school monthlies in the West, and a higher priced periodical than the TEACHER was. Furthermore, we had long been urged by the patrons of the TEACHER to print it in pamphlet form, as The SCHOOL JOURNAL is printed, and on that account also we are sure that our old readers will be pleased with the consolidation.
It should be explained that this consolidation was not effected until some 30 pages of THE JOURNAL had been run off the press, and hence THE TEACHER subscribers will this month receive so many pages less than the usual number. But hereafter the full complement will be found in each monthly number.
THE INDIANA SCHOOL JOURNAL in this consolidated form will not be changed in the management, nor in its excellent and most acceptable make-up. Thus greatly increased in its number of readers and in its circulation, one good, strong school journal in Indiana, liberally sustained, can be of more service to the cause of education than many not so fully equipped. In taking their leave of the old readers of THE TEACHER, the old management most heartily commend THE SCHOOL JOURNAL to their favor and support, as among the very best of its class.
THE NORMAL TEACHER Co.
THE NEW FEATURE IN EXAMINATIONS.
The State Board of Education more than six months ago made an order that “ After the first day of January, 1887, every applicant for a teacher's license shall present to the county superintendent at the time of examination, a review or composition on one of the following books: Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Ivanhoe, Heart of
Midlothian, Henry Esmond, The Spy, The Pilot, The Scarlet Letter, The Sketch Book, Knickerbocker's New York, The Happy Boy (by Bjorntjerne Bjornesen), Poems of Longfellow, Poems of Bryant, Poems of Whittier, Poems of Lowell. Said composition shall contain not less than 600 nor more than 1000 words; shall be in the applicant's own hand-writing, and shall be accompanied with a declaration that it is the applicant's original work. The county supcrintendent shall consider the merits of such composition in determining the applicant's fitness to teach."
The above action of the board was for the purpose of encouraging teachers to read general literature. The books named are standards from the masters in the realm of letters. It will be noticed that a teacher can select any one of the books at an examination and another is not required till the next examination. This certainly can work no hardship, as the books can be had in cheap form and can be procured as needed. An advertisement on another page will give light on this point.
THE STATE SUPERINTENDENCY.
Since our last issue the election has taken place and the result is known to all. The Republicans elected their state ticket, and Harvey M. La Follette is State Superintendent-elect.
Mr. Holcombe's term of office does not expire till March 15, 1887, so he will make another Report and will have the care of another Legislature. By the way, Mr. Holcombe is not feeling so much troubled as he was, over the fact that the conservative " element of his party defeated his nomination on the “third term "plea.
The election returns show that the head of the Republican ticket (and this shows fairly the relative strength of the parties) had a plurality of 3,319. Mr. La Follette's plurality was 9,047. This great difference can not be accounted for on account of the difference between the two leading candidates. The Journal has heretofore given its estimate of each of them. They are both leading county superintendents and good men, and considering only education and ability, there is no perceptible reason why each should not have carried the average strength of his party.
Mr. La Follette is an indefatigable worker. He traveled hundreds of miles and wrote hundreds of letters in various languages. A member of the State Central Committee said that he made the most efficient canvas of any man on the ticket. The fact that he can readily speak and write German, French and Italian gave him not less than 2,000 of his majority over his associates. The most of the remainder can only be accounted for from the fact that Mr. Sweeny is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Sweeney since he has been Co. Supt.
has faithfully executed the law, even in the face of strong pressure to induce him to favor his own church schools. He believes in the public school system and certainly would have faithfully discharged his duty had he been elected State Superintendent, Whether right or wrong the fact remains that there is a strong feeeling against the Catholic Church because of its supposed antagonism to the publib schools, and this feeling will explain a large part of Mr. La Follette's vote abore the general average.
The Journal is neither partizan nor sectarian, and so gives facts and leaves others to do the commenting. It extends its sympathy to Mr. Sweeney and wishes him the highest success in his future work.
Mr. La Follette will make an efficient and worthy Superintendent, and as such will have the hearty support of the Journal.
VENTILATE, VENTILATE, VENTILATE.
READER, what pains are you taking to keep the air in your schoolroom pure? Are you giving the matter any special attention? Are you aware of the fact that the health of a child, next to its moral character, is of most importance, and that you for the time being are the guardian of its health? Are you aware that thousands of innocent children in Indiana are each winter, having their constitutions undermined by being shut up in over-crowded, over-heated, illy-ventilated schoolhouses by careless or indifferent teachers? Are you aware that the air in a well filled, unventilated room, very soon becomes absolutely poison and unfit to breathe? Are you aware of the fact that if you through your own willful ignorance or indifference subject these children to influences that undermine their health and shorten their lives you are morally guilty of “ murder ''?
In the light of these fearful facts will you not see to it that your school-rooms are ventilated ? Raise the windows, lower the windows, break out the glass-anything to secure plenty of God's fresh air. Always raise the windows and flush” the room at recess, and if necessary between recesses. To avoid taking cold at such times have the children stand and go through some light calisthenic exercise. It will only take a minute or two, and it will be time saved. VENTILATE.
THE LECTURE COURSE AND POPULAR EDUCATION. The Lecture Course and Lyceum has had an important place in the education of the people. Forty years ago Emerson made it his pulpit; Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, William Lloyd Garrison made it a powerful influence. Most of the great questions which have now passed into history were mooted and discussed
here. Of late years it has fallen into disuse. Most of the great voices have gone silent. The questions are now discussed by press and pulpit. The demand has changed, too, for entertainment rather than instruction or inspiration.
And yet, is it not a pity to let fall such a mighty lever? And can it not take its old place? Can it not be rescued from the function of merely entertaining, and while not neglecting this, add to it the higher one of instruction and inspiration?
Every city, town and village has a large number who might be reached by this means. Washington Gladden claims that Christianity has a duty in the direction of popular amusements. Mr. Sleazy, the circus rider in Hard Times, says to Mr. Gradgrind, “ The people mutht be amuthed; make the best of us." What shall we do for and with the large number of young men and women in our midst? In cities, life and thought are active in church philanthropy and other fields. In towns and villages life is often dormant for lack of that which quickens and calls forth thought. And yet there are many bright minds which could be interested and helped. What can be done for them? The revival of the Lecture Course, placing it abreast of modern thought, might aid in settling the question: How shall we interest our young people and keep them from the amusements that degrade and the stagnation that is death?
A few instances may help to suggest what might be done. The Cleveland Educational Bureau, for three seasons, has gathered 4,000 persons each Saturday night to listen to a three-hour entertainment. This consists of music, a half-hour prelude on scientific thought, then a lecture by some one able to present a theme properly. Ten of these entertainments are furnished for $1.25. In Richmond is a dollar lecture course. In Elkhart is a very successful lecture course at low figures. In Denver the Glen Arm Reading Club, under direction of Rev. Myron W. Reed, spends Tuesday evenings of each week in the winter in the study of some historical or literary subject. Thus: “Our Teutonic Ancestors," Age of Pericles," “ France in the New World," etc. In Indianapolis a Young People's Historical Course, organized in connection with Plymouth Institute, draws together a thousand children weekly to listen to talks on American history presented by home talent. In the same Institute a Dollar Lecture Course--six lectures for one dollar—will be presented this winter--- Justin McCarthy, Kate Field, Will Carleton, and others.
As indicating what might be done in smaller towns the following is suggested: A series of eight evenings might be offered for one dollar. This could be weekly or on alternate weeks; a regular evening like Monday or Tuesday should be chosen. Of these eight evenings at least four should be entertainments presented by home people. One of the evenings could be a concert; another an evening with Dickens,