THE HARTFORD PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL
I ENTERED the Hartford Public High School in April 1878, and found it difficult to keep up with my studies. There was a printed monthly report, which gave the exact standing of every pupil in the school. This report was public, was sent to all the parents, so that the precise position in scholarship of every boy and girl in the school was known. If one's average fell below Five for three months, one was dropped into the lower classes; and if one was in the lowest class, one was dropped from the school. In the next Spring my average fell below Five. The Principal, Joseph Hall, sent for me, and told me I should have to go. I suggested we were nearly at the end of the school year, when everyone had to take the final examination; that I be allowed to try this. He immediately granted my request and to his amazement I successfully survived this ordeal and entered the next class.
But in the Autumn of the following year ( 1879) I fell so low in my studies that my case was hopeless. There seemed to be a cloud over my mind, so that I could not properly learn anything, though I tried hard. I became discouraged; and I had bad luck with one of my teachers who was anything but sympathetic. She thought I was a shirker and a loafer. I withdrew from the school in November, feeling my disgrace keenly. My parents must have been terribly disappointed, but they were unbelievably kind. Not a word of reproach; perhaps they saw how disconsolate I was.
In January I re-entered the High School, and in the