EXPERIENCES AT GRAMMAR SCHOOL
ALTHOUGH the transfer from Providence to Hartford was in many ways so beneficial, much loss came through the change of schools; for no matter how much parents may gain by removing from one city to another, there is almost always a loss for the children. The rapid growth in positive learning that I had made in a few months at the University Grammar School in Providence was balanced by a loss of two years in Hartford. And indeed during the next three years, with the exception of some brilliant flashes, I was, for the first and last time in my life, rated among the dull, backward, incompetent schoolboys, receiving very low marks, and finally, having to drop back a year. This was a strange and unpleasant experience; and even now, as I look back upon it, not altogether explicable.
It is possible that puberty had something to do with it. For it was during the years from twelve to fourteen that I was at my worst so far as getting good marks in studies was concerned. Or it may be that poor teaching had something to do with it, for my brother Arthur, two years older than I, who was for a time in the same classes and with the same teachers, had a somewhat similar experience; from this he as suddenly emerged, went on to graduate from High School with honours, writing an original Greek poem, and to take Phi Beta Kappa at Yale.
Mathematics always helped to keep me back; they were the curse of my life at school and college, they had more to do with my unhappiness than any other one thing, and I
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography, with Letters. Contributors: William Lyon Phelps - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 91.
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