Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, April 01, 1877, Page 112, Image 22

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    -i rflNMl
NonMMi Locals.
u..l.u j.mm
will excite iulmh-iition; in fine, who can
quicken the henrt and load men to think
of something high and noble. Such be
ing the case, it stands tho teacher in linud
to cultivate a taste for oratory in tho
American youth.
There is nothing except music, perhap?,
that gives more tone to a school than rhc
torical exercises. There is something sol
emn and earnest about it It gives variety
to school exercises, and seems to bind tho
teacher and pupil in closer friendship.
The little spcoehes committed while in
childhood strengthen the memory and
store the mind with useful knowledge.
Well do 1 remember my llrst speech in
school. "Thousands of men breathe,
move, live and pass oil' the stage of life
and arc never heard of any more. Why?
Because they did not a particle of good in
the world."
The question is, How conduct rhetori
cal exercises? How make them interest
ing and instructive? The reason that the
pupil becomes discouraged and does not
take an interest in this work, is because,
the teacher has violated the law of grad
ual development. In this exercise, as in
all others, he must proceed from the
known to the unknown. In this truth
lies the secret. There is perhaps no great
er scope for improvement thuu is found
in those exercises. The teacher often as.
signs work far in advance of the pupils
education. Ho will announce that on a
named day a certain little girl must have
an essay, when the child has had no train
ing in essay writing, or assign ti speech
to a little boy, which he cannot compre
hend. This should not be: it discourages
the child. Upon entering a school, 1
tvould say nothing about this feature of
die school work until everything else was
fixed, and Iliad ascertained the advance
ment of each pupil. I would begin by
having the general exercises consist of
language lessons. Lessons upon tho art
of essay writing. Hove tho pupils write
letters of various kinds; beginning with
the business letter. I llud there arc very
few who know how to begin and close a
Utter properly. Give them drill in vocal
culture and gesture, tiiis can be carried to
any length. After conducting these exer
cises eery day foi two or time weeks you
are then ready to commence rhetoricals
on Friday afternoons. Once in three
weeks is often enough for beginners. The
more advanced pupils can come on every
two weeks. A word in regard to ossay
writing. Let the essays bo upon subjects
with which tho student is perfectly fmnil-
lar. .Let llio best production m tno inn
guago class bo read on rhetorical day.
As thoughts suggest themselves in classes
in history, geography, reading, physiolo
gy, or any other brnnuh, assign tlum to
different membeis of the class to investi
gate and write upon. Again, select some
subject to talk about and analyze; after
the school has analyzed the subject, give
it to some one to till out. By so doing,
essay writing becomes easy and natural.
I can think of nothing that will develop
the power of thought more than writing
essays. The great object of every school
should be to teach the students how to
think. All declamations and select read
ings should be of a proper character;
should bo adapted to the ability of the
child. 1 have given but a general outline
of this work and what I have said upplics
more to the common school. Tho com
mon school is the starting point and
should be well guarded for the destiny of
every individual dopouds largely upon
his education in youth.
" Samson."
Socinblo to night.
"I want my mitten."
The Board met. on the nth inst.
"The river is up unci the channel is
If you want a square meal, call at the
dormitory. If you want a good dish of
I oysters cnll tit Lellon's.