A school girl assumed the task of looking after all the repairs in the way of plumbing in the home and, certainly, was none the worse for the experience. She is now a dentist and has achieved distinction both at home and abroad in her chosen profession. She gained the habit of meeting difficult situations without abatement of dignity or refinement. The school, at its best, is a favorable situation for self-education and the wise teacher will see to it that it does not decline from this high plane. Only so will its products be young men and women who need no leading strings, who can find their way about through the labyrinth of life and not be abashed. They are the ones to whom we must look for leadership in all the enterprises of life, for they have learned how to initiate work and carry it through to success. That school will win distinction which makes initiative one of its big goals and is diligent in causing the activities of the pupils to reach upward toward the achievement of this end.
We may well conclude with a quotation from Dr. Henry van Dyke: “The mere pursuit of knowledge is not necessarily an emancipating thing. There is a kind of reading which is as passive as massage. There is a kind of study which fattens the mind for examination like a prize pig for a county fair. No doubt the beginning of instruction must lie chiefly in exercises of perception and memory. But at a certain point the reason and the judgment must be awakened and brought into voluntary play. As a teacher I would far rather have a pupil give an incorrect answer in a way which showed that he had really been thinking about the subject, than a literally correct answer in a way which showed that he had merely swallowed what I had told him, and regurgitated it on the examination paper.”
In his very stimulating book, Learning and Doing, Professor Swift quotes from a business man as follows: “Modern business no longer waits for men to qualify after promotion. Through anticipation and prior preparation every growing man must be largely ready for his new job when it comes to him. I find very few individuals make any effort to think out better ways of doing things. They do not anticipate needs, do not keep themselves fresh at the growing point. If ever they had any imagination they seem to have lost it, and imagination is needed in a growing business, for it is through the imagination that one anticipates future changes and so prepares for them before they come. Accordingly, as a general proposition, the selection of a man for a vacancy within the organization is more or less a matter of guesswork. Now and then an ambitious, wide-awake young man works into the organization and in a very short time is spotted by various department managers for future promotion, but the number of such individuals is discouragingly small. The difficulty with which