By Carrie P. Walls
[Class of 1888]
Send us your questions and ideas, and in exchange Cousin Carrie (a Spelman
Student) will answer the questions and give items of interest from the field.
Miss Carrie P. Walls.
My Dear Little
Folks of the North and South: -
. I think you will like to hear about the summer school of a Spelman girl, and I always like to please the little folks. My school was in Rock Fence, one hundred and forty-two miles east from Atlanta, and fourteen miles in the country from Elberton, the shiretown of the county. I have taught there two terms. My schoolhouse, a rude log hut, fifteen by ten, also serves as the church of the district. It stands in a beautiful pine grove and has a very large pleasant playground. The school this year numbered forty-two, thirty of them being boys. The reason there are so few girls is, many of the parents think it useless to educate their daughters so do not send them. I opened school every morning at eight o'clock with the Lord's Prayer which the pupils repeated after me. In this way many of them learned it. We next repeated a passage of Scripture in the same way, after which I explained it as well as I could. This exercise was followed by singing; then came the recitations which continued until five o'clock in the afternoon.
While teaching in these log huts we were very much troubled when the summer storms came up, because when the rain poured, we could scarcely find a dry place in the house; but if the wind came with the rain we were much worse off. When it blew from the south I crowded my scholars into the north side of the room; if from the north, we went to the south side; thus we traveled till the rain was over. Sometimes the rain seemed to come in on all sides, then I raised my umbrella and did the best I could. In spite of these things I enjoyed teaching, and felt that I might be worse off, for one of the neighboring teachers had to raise his umbrella on clear days to protect him from the sun which poured its burning rays through the open roof.
During our vacation, when we are away from our pleasant home (Spelman) we not only teach but try to live by the text, "Freely ye have received, freely give." As our dear teachers give us from their store of knowledge so we try to give to those who have less advantages.
I hope the little friends who read this will all the more appreciate their pleasant homes and their opportunities for going to school, remembering that these children of whom I have written are taught but three months in the year.
My home is in Columbus, Ga. This is my fourth year in this school and Spelman is to me the happiest home in the South. I remain yours,
Much devoted to the little folks,
Exchange," Spelman Messenger 3.1 (November 1886): 6.
Courtesy of the Spelman College Archive
My Dear Little Folks of the North and South
How glad I was to hear from so many this month; your letters are a proof of your interest in the Children's Exchange. I have written nothing of the little folks in the Model School, and perhaps you would like to hear about them. There are in charge about one hundred and forty girls, and to look into so many happy little faces is a pleasure; to hear them recite is more than a pleasure. Connected with the school, is a Kitchen Garden, where they take the greatest delight, moving around so womanly with their tiny brooms and dustpans, or deftly placing dainty cups and saucers on the table, covered with a snowy cloth. Seeing them makes us wish for a peep into the future, and a look into the homes over which we sincerely trust they may some day preside. They are also taught vocal music so that they will be able to sing well. When I am with them I can but think, as the child, so is the woman. I hope every little one who reads this will remember that they have something to do besides play with dolls or marbles. I do not mean by this that you should not play at all (I was once a little girl you know.) I mean for you to be useful, and remember the texts, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, " "Love one another." Perhaps you have heard of the little boy who was so selfish that he tried to make no one happy. One day, he was working an example in division; when finished, the quotient was larger than the dividend, and of course he knew it was not right; so he asked his mother to work it; after having finished it, she said, "My son, there is a time when the quotient is larger than the dividend, and that is, when we try to make others happy, then our quotient of pleasure is greater than our dividend."
Exchange," Spelman Messenger (February 1886): 7.
Courtesy of the Spelman College Archive