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Publication information
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Source: Iowa Normal Monthly
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “Random Thoughts”
Author(s): Richards, S. G.
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 25
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 197-98

 
Citation
Richards, S. G. “Random Thoughts.” Iowa Normal Monthly Nov. 1901 v25n4: pp. 197-98.
 
Transcription
full text
 
Keywords
education; McKinley assassination (personal response); patriotism (fostering); anarchism (personal response); patriotism.
 
Named persons
William McKinley.
 
Notes
“By S. G. Richards, Prairie City, Iowa” (p. 197).
 
Document

 

Random Thoughts

     The teacher’s day does not begin at nine o’clock, neither does it close at four. His time is not his own. Should he not spend sufficient time on his work to be always in advance of his classes he can expect nothing but failure, for there can be no school without the previous conception of some idea to be realized.

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     The true teacher exerts every possible influence upon the minds and hearts of those under his charge that will tend to develop in them the stern principles of manhood and womanhood, without which life, in its truest sense, is an utter failure. He must ever bear in mind that example is more than precept, and that it speaks much louder.

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     The teacher must be aggressive. His knowledge, influence, and power, always on the side of right, morality and Christianity if he be a true teacher, are ever needed in the community, which never becomes so noble and pure, but that it can be made nobler and purer.

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     The highest state of morality is dependent, in large measure, upon intelligence. Every study in the school curriculum contributes its mite [sic] to the development of moral character. From the lowest to the highest there is a constant influx of moral sentiment, yet some studies furnish more than others. The stories of “Damon and Pythias,” “Snowbound,” “Excelsior,” and a host of others, exert an influence upon the children that will last for time and for eternity. They bring the soul into direct contact with the spiritual universe, and draw it farther and farther from things that are earthly, nearer and nearer to things that are Godly.

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     It is the spirit of inquiry into the cause and action of phenomena that moves the world. Deaden the voice of honest research and the retrogression of humanity is inevitable. The gaining of thought power—power to see and express—is the primary idea of a true education.

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     The commission of the heinous crime, which removed President McKinley from the land of the living, has a peculiar significance to all laborers in the cause of education. It impresses upon us, very forcefully, the necessity of training for intelligent, patriotic, Christian citizenship. Are the public schools doing all within their power to produce loyal, patriotic citizens? This is a question of supreme importance. [197][198] Love for our government, which makes it possible for us to enjoy the blessings and privileges of to-day, should be taught the child upon the mother’s knee. It should be cultivated persistently through the whole school course. It should pervade all fields of life. Youth should early be enthused with the highest possible conception of patriotism.

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     If there is that implanted within our borders, which would, by force or otherwise, undermine and destroy the government of these states, it is the duty of the American people to rise up in the dignity of their manhood and womanhood and, asserting the rights of Eternal Providence, banish it from our shores forever.

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     Patriotism means—not necessarily the stirring bugle’s blast, the screaming of the fife and the beating of the drum; the tramp, tramp, tramp of armies; the glitter of brass, the clashing of steel on steel, the rasping of iron on iron; the thundering of cannon and the flash of artillery—no, not these alone; patriotism means unflinching loyalty to the stern principles of manhood; it means unwavering devotion to the advancement of high ideals; it means unfaltering integrity in the discharge of all of life’s duties; it means a life consecrated to the establishment of right principles and doctrines in government; it means a life pledged to eradicate the evils of society, to keep the government and its offices free from corrupt men and corrupt practices.

 

 


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