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Page 14 text:
Which Way Do You Tumi?
It is generally conceded that a person will seldom lay down a book by Hamlin
Garland once he has started read'ng it, so effectively do these books hold the
reader's attention by their extremely interesting style. llaving lived with the
pioneers and been a pioneer himself, Mr. Garland relates from actual experience
the joys and hardships of the early settlers.
Histories do not give all of the history of the settlement of the Middle YVest
and however complete they may bc, they fail to leave in the mind of the average
reader a clear knowledge of the period. Novels written with historical back-
ground impress one with the history of a pa1'tieular period in American history
since the facts are interwoven with the characters and plot of the novel.
Today Mr. Garland's works arc to be found in all public libraries and schools
throughout the United States and as a result, students in the East or elsewhere
may know as much about the carly Middle YVest as we who live in its center.
From all appearances, at least, the golden corn is responsible for the prosperity
of Iowa and not her industries. Those who know Iowa say, that east, west,
north or south, nowhere in the world is there a better land for the industrious,
and that is the reason it did not take two or three hundred years to settle it and
to develop its farms which reap such golden harvest. There were no trees to
cut d0XV11 or rocks to remove from the soil before the hardy men and women
who made the Middle Nvest guided their plowshares through the virgin sod
which nourished the waving prairie grass.
Hamlin Garland was only a boy during the period that the Middle WR-st was
being settled, yet he made the decision then to be an author when he should.
grow to manhood. No living author has so well portrayed the people who
struggled to conquer the prairics as Hamlin Garland has done. As we know
him today, he is a man of imposing stature, friendly character, and a kindly
countenance. Members of the Quill staff who acted as ushers when Mr. Garland
gave a lecture at the Hoyt Sherman Place in June, 1927, found that he had a
Because the experiences of a boy and girl are told in his books, "A Son of
the Middle Border," and "A Daughter of the Middle Border," girl and boy alike
enjoy to read them.
Not every student intends to be a writer, for the simple reason that he does
not have that inclination, but he may be able to excel in something else. YVhat-
ever one may do best, that work counts for nothing if it is 11ot gone into with
the idea of putting one's all into it. Hamlin Garland had a definite mission in
mind, that of preserving to young Americans the traditions and customs of the
early middle west. He saw in himself a literary trend and with self confidence,
which is needed by all who would succeed, he strove to educate and prepare him-
self for the task of writing stories which would keep for Iowa the history of its
VVhen today we see his works widely read, we see a challenge to the stu-
dents of Iowa high schools, that of producing literature which will distinguish
this period. The Middle West needs participants in business and trade, but she
also needs writers.
VVhicl1 way do you turn?
Page 13 text:
1:11 L.JI.' I 'CDI-8 18.104.22.168
A 'uzatzon of Another Sort
"Chirp! Chirp! Chirp I" and Birdie Young soliloquizes on the possible dan-
gers of his falling from the nest and the marvelous feats of his older brothers
who have accomplished the most diflicult task in the world-learning to fly.
Soon he, too, will have accomplished that task, but, of course, the knowledge
and strength with which to attain this end will not just drop from a clear sky,
so Mother Bird takes great pains to teach Birdie Young first the primary then
the elementary and advanced steps of that great art which even men-until
recently-were not able to acquire, namely flying.
Have you seen any Birdie Youngs at East High School? Surely, you must
have, for all our students are nothing, more or less, than Birdie Youngs. Dear
East High is the soft, cozy nest, and the entire faculty is combined into one
loving creature-one of God's noblest creations-the Mother' Bird. Learning
to fly, however, is not the lesson our Mother Bird holds in store for us, because
East High is not a school of aviation. Here our chief, lessons consist of learn-
ing to climb gradually. .lust as Birdie Young contemplates the height of his
nest and the consequent danger of his falling, so the students of E. H. S. are
contemplating the loads of responsibility they will soon be shouldering when
they enter college or the business world. East High students may also marvel
at the wondrous feats of their elder brothers, for large is the number of Lee
Township "grads" who have made good.
Sometimes Birdie Young thinks that Mother Bird is really giving him far
too many lessons in the art of flying: how easy it seems to be able to fly, after
all! Only one unsuccessful attempt proves to Birdie Young that he was mis-
taken. In like manner, our overwisc students feel that our Mother Bird is just
stuffing them full of all kinds of useless knowledge which can not possibly
benefit anyone. Why waste so much time? Couldn't the course beeasily short-
cned to three years? There is no need for all these unnecessary bits of polish.
English in not such large doses, a little less of Math, and by all means a great
cut 011 history would absolutely strengthen the wings of all the Birdie Youngs.
Cunningly, Mother Bird smiles to herself and encouragingly adds, "Fly away,
foolish birdie. Fly away!" and many of the braver Birdie Youngs, taking
things entirely too much for granted, fly away, that is, attempt to fly away, but
with little success. After long periods of struggle those birdies, not too proud,
come back to Mother Bird beseeching her to begin all over again and teach
them to fly the right way. To this Mother Bird, being a mother, kindly con-
sentsg but alas! Those too proud to go back die with the knowledge that they
were unable to take pride in the greatest accomplishment of featllerdom-
flying. Boys and girls act much like the spoiled birdies. Believing that Life
holds more in store for them without an education, many students leave school.
Soon, however, they discover the mistake of a lifetime, and those quick to
realize it go back to school all the better students from that brief, telling ex-
perience. Not caring to acknowledge that undeniable fact, the rest continue in
their little game of "hide and seek" with Dame Fortune, few ever reaching the
piunacles-just as the birds-and none having the satisfaction derived from
It is queer that we are often rude and refuse to open the door when Op-
portunity knocks. Hark! She may be knocking now!
Page 15 text:
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The Charm of Words
Simultaneous with the rapid growth of unfversal education has been the de-
velopment of a wider l'LfilliZIllLl0ll of' till! power lllld beauty of words. Since
reading with intclligciice is an esscnt :1l off lllGLl,.Yll mducation, people are be-
Cllllllllg more illlll more impressed and moved by ingenious ability ill the art of
"word-craft". Hence the great expansion ill the field of literature. Ill the pres-
ent era of lcarliing, everybody can read Illld write with at least comparatively
mediocre ability. Modern invention, besides'ope11i11g 11cw fields for writing, has
provided more leisure time to be devoted to literature. Nowadays, if a scavenger
snatches a little girl fI'0lll thc path of an onrushing automobile, l1e formulates
"'l'l1c Story of My Life", or if a naturalist discovers a peculiar fossil new to
science, he writes a set of' bool-:s about it. 'l'hereforc, the 111odcr11 flood of lit-
erature has emanatcd from two extreme channels-the trashy a11d the refinede
which ll!lS sharpened tl1e faculties of the intelligent 1'eader to detect and appre-
ciate the genuine quality that really exists, but which appears not to exist to
many people who are blinded by the cnormity of cheap, degenerating stuff.
Thus, after a rather lengthy digression, we have reached thc true text of our
venture, which is th:1t fi11e literature is beautiful, exhilarating, consoling, enter-
taining, inspiring, educating, :111d as YVordsworth puts it "gives IIS nobler lives
lllld nobler cares".
'Many pcopleidclight i11 merely discovering fresh, fascinating words a11d
phrases that are powerful ill their beauty and Cl'.fCCtlVCl16SS. The aestheticism
of the literature lover is enkindlcd to CVXC'lt9llltiI'lt4lJy' the very sight of printing.
Nowadays, WVllCll he visits a public library his blood tingles with ardor, he is
literally overwhehned by the vast amount of books awaiting his perusal, a11d he
is swept by a great passion to dcvo11r their contents illld absorb the knowledge,
thrills, andg choice literary food therein.
And so all down through the ages, reading has been the very spice of manfs
existence. Through books lllf has been consoled, entertained, guided, and in-
gformed. In the middle ages, only tl1c scholars a11d principles of culture and
learning received till? blessings derived fro111 books, but i11 this great modern
day, cvcn the ditch-digger-the humblcst laborer-when he comes home to his
family after the day's toil, lllily bathe his weary brai11 ill as intricate a work
as that of Shakespeare. Yes, the ditch-digger is enchanted by "words" as well
as the professor.
. Each ,period of',literary development l1as produced its own idol of fiction, who
ll2lS.llVCf,l.l ever after to thrill succeeding generations. Just what would we- do
today without the friendship of such wonderful characters as faithful Hector,
tl1e intrepid Trojan, dauntless D'artagnan, the fighting Gascong orilovable Ton1
Sawyer, Wll0lll we all know so well? V ,
Now let ,us think for a moment. Can wc, the fast-moving, devil-may-care
youth of 1927-young America-continue the pace set by our illustrious prede-
cessors? Can we create another Hamlet? Our opportunities are almost ines-
tilllillllli, lllld they say we arc inventive. As far as present coliditioqushareicon-
cerncd, our posterity should not suffer from a lack of virile literature.
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