CHAPTER IV
EARLY EDUCATION

AFTER our early and rather irregular hours of study at home with Mother, she seriously carried us through Colburn's Mental Arithmetic. It was a severe discipline but a useful one, and gave us the habit of thinking quickly and clearly without depending upon the use of pencil and paper and those awful unsanitary slates. We thus early acquired a habit of forming a mental picture of the whole problem straight through to its solution.

Thank Heaven that we learned to spell by syllables, and not by whole words as is the practice today. It is difficult to believe that the new method leads to the accuracy of the old way. A young fellow in reading aloud today often struggles over comparatively simple words because he doesn't know how to break them up into syllables.

Before entering high school I attended for a few weeks a parish school established by the Episcopal Church. This was my first experience in any schoolroom. We had an excellent teacher and a thorough training in the use of the Prayer Book. I always accounted to Mother for the wearing out of my pants and stockings at the knees by the fact that I had to get up and down so often at prayers.

Lewis Parkhurst, of the class of '78, was the principal of the high school during the first season after the building was erected, and was thus my first teacher in the public school. He was a powerful man and could keep order even among some of the larger boys, practically men, who came to receive a belated education. I was a timid, slender lad, and took refuge by sitting under the wing of Dave McNally, a big fellow who had already served in the United States Navy. In geography, Dave couldn't very accurately visualize on the map the ports which he had visited as a sailor. We had new and interesting books, or so it seemed to me whose home studies had been chiefly with books of the previous generation. I have never forgotten those excellent maps showing three red dots in the vast spaces of Siberia where were the towns of Omsk, Tomsk, and Tobolsk. I was thoroughly scared at first when called upon to recite, and so made

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