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Page 5 of Mountain Life & Work vol. 08 no. 1 April, 1932

Part of Mountain Life and Work

MO UNI.IIN Li l 1'. ANU WORK Page 5 "I have been interested in geography and history, where I have learned how different people live in other countries than we do." On the whole it has proved most satisfactory to put the lecture and discussion work, the reading, writing, and arithmetic, and some of the agriculture, gymnasium, and music classes in tile morninb. They arc Introduced by a hallhour known as "morning song" which tends to bring us tog; they In spirit and arm. JLI)'n111S, favorite SOJ1gS, reading of Bible passages or selected poems, arc varied with brief tally of a widely differing but generally inspirational nature. The History of the growth of the Bible and its various translations and translators has been carried through the term in this way. I may add that in these morning hours those of us who arc teachers do not always find it easy to beep in mind the main purpose of the school-that which distinguishes it from the usual school with examinations and credit system. We are not here primarily to instruct, but to "enliven and enlighten," for acquiring knowledge without interest or desire is a barrels gain. So we arc not concerned first with the ilnportancc of students remcmbering certain details and information, but, if we meet dull eyes and restless bodies, we must again and again subject our methods to the severest scrutiny. There must b° a way of treating material so that it will interest, so that it will be the "living word" of Danish theory and go on fertilizing and stimulating. I do not say that we are always successful by any means. It is hard to outgrow th: idea of drill and detail, but we do feel that we arc beginning to learn. One generalization is safe to make, one to which I have already referred: the more close?y one can tie all unfamiliar material to the student's experience, the mere likely one is to arouse and hold interest. The same thing is true of course, in final analysis, of the afternoon classes-the wood-worli ing, carving, field surveying, and fercstry, the sew ing, weaving, nutrition, the home -nursing class; but these fill a need which most students arc quick to realize. It is not surprising that the majority of the young people, mentioning what has particularly interested them and what they feel will be of greatest benefit in the future, should put first such practical subjects. Singing games especially and gymnasium classes which are largely held in the evenings and which form a very important part of the educational as well as the recreational side of the school life, are quite generally recognized as beneficial as well as enjoyable. A band, in which we have used for the most part percussion instruments, has been a new interest this winter. Band and singing games together have helped to release the emotion and music which are in us all. They have also been so interesting to our neighbors that we have been asked to present programs at several of the near-by consolidated schools. I cannot leave a discussion of the winter term without referring to the school in its larger sense: all those in the community who are actively inter FOLK SCHOOL STUDENTS ested in its general aim and its twelve months' program for making a richer and fuller country life are both students and teachers. Men's and -Women's Clubs with separate and joint meetings are important social and educational factors. The school library is an increasingly valuable source of information and pleasure to both young and old. The cooperatives, Mountain Valley Creamery and Craft Guild, have been the backbone of the

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