First Hour.—Evening Lessons.
The first hour of the day, as you will see by the schedule, is marked evening lessons, because most, though not all, of the studies assigned to it are intended to be prepared out of school. These studies are miscellaneous in their character, comprising Geography, History, Natural and Intellectual Philosophy, and Natural History. This hour, like all the other hours for study, is divided into two equal parts, some classes reciting in the first part, and others in the second. A bell is always rung five minutes before the time for closing the recitation, to give the teachers notice that their time is nearly expired, and then again at the time, to give notice to new classes to take their places. Thus you will observe that five minutes before the half hour expires the bell will ring, soon after which the classes in recitation will take their seats. Precisely at the end of the half hour it will ring again, when new classes will take their places. In the same manner, notice is given five minutes before the second half of the hour expires, and so in all the other three hours.
At the end of the first hour the Study Card will be let half down five minutes, and you will perceive that the sound of its bell will immediately produce a decided change in the whole aspect of the room. It is the signal, as has been before explained, for universal permission to whisper and to leave seats, though not for loud talking or play, so that those who wish to continue their studies may do so without interruption. When the five-minute period has expired the card goes up again, and its sound immediately restores silence and order.
Second Hour.—Languages. We then commence the second hour of the school. This is devoted to the study of the languages. The Latin, French, and English classes recite at this time. By English classes I mean those studying the English as a language, that is, classes in Grammar, Rhetoric, and Composition. The hour is divided as the first hour is, and the bell is rung in the same way, that is, at the close of each half hour, and also five minutes before the close, to give the classes notice that the time for recitation is about to expire.
First General Exercise.
You will observe, then, that there follows upon the schedule a quarter of an hour marked G. That initial stands for General Exercise, and when it arrives each pupil is to lay aside her work, and attend to any exercise which may be proposed. This quarter of an hour is appropriated to a great variety of purposes. Sometimes I give a short and familiar lecture on some useful subject connected with science or art, or the principles of duty. Sometimes we have a general reading lesson. Sometimes we turn the school into a Bible class. Again, the time is occupied in attending to some general business of the school. The bell is rung one minute before the close of the time, and when the period appropriated to this purpose has actually expired, the Study Card, for the first time in the morning, is let entirely down, and the room is at once suddenly transformed into a scene of life, and motion, and gayety.