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narrow stairway, we found ourselves in front of the audience. About six hundred persons were present, all seated upon the floor in their peculiar fashion, and listening quietly and attentively to the address which was being made when we entered. It was strange to see scattered all over the house small trays containing teacups and a teapot full of hot Japan tea, which, by the way, I find a most agreeable drink. A great many were smoking, using their very diminutive pipes, the bowl of which will hold a small pinch of tobacco. This, of course, requires that they should have the means of frequently lighting the pipes, and with every teapot is found the answer to this demand in the shape of a small box containing an earthenware jar filled with ashes covering a few live coals. The “hibachi," as it is called, is one of the commonest sights in Japan.

We were escorted across the hall in the rear of the speaker to a somewhat more exclusive place, on one side where the matting was covered with carpet, and there were actually a couple of chairs, which were offered to us, but we sternly resolved to have none of them, and seated ourselves upon the floor, among some of the Japanese officials who were present.

When we arrived, the audience was being addressed by Prof. Kikuchi, a native who fills the chair of Mathematics in Imperial University.

Thus far the addresses were all in the Japanese language, but it was now my turn and of course an interpreter became a necessity. The Chairman arose and began talking to the audience, and hearing my name prononnced, I advanced and stepped upon the platform. After a somewhat lengthy introduction in which I could now and then detect the word “America " and once the word “Ohio," and which I would have given something to understood, I began. I confess the situation was sufficiently embarrassing. I was standing in my stocking feet before an audience of five or six hundred men, all sitting upon the floor, and not one able to understand a single word in the language I was obliged to use. I was greeted by hearty round of applause which went far toward" taking the edge off.” To one not accustomed to it, speaking through an interpreter is no child's play. There is no opportunity of getting warmed up to your work. No No sooner do you begin than you must stop. When you say a thing which you fondly imagine a good thing, you cannot detect the slightest recognition of the fact in the face of your auditors. You must quietly wait and try to enjoy seeing them applaud the wrong man.

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My interpreter was Mr. Agi, one of the native professors in the University, and I have every reason to believe that my words lost nothing of their value in the transformation which they had to undergo. My lecture on tnis occasion was only a short introductory address, in which I outlined briefly the subjects of which I should speak during the course. — DR. T. C. MENDENHALL, in Ohio Ed. Monthly.

OFFICIAL DEPARTMENT.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

ORDERS.

Q. Is it the duty of the district treasurer to pay all orders, out of the funds in his hands, in the order presented ?

A. Yes, if there is money in the appropriate fund. All orders should be drawn on the proper fund, in the form given in the code (No. 24, p. 138). The treasurer should govern himself accordingly, and not pay orders for repairs, wood, etc., out of the “school money," or money raised or received from the state for teachers' wages.

Q. Suppose the clerk issues orders on the treasurer, payable to such and such persons, or their order, can the town treasurer pay such orders out of the district funds in his hands, and turn over the same to the district treasurer, with remaining funds, having been forbidden to pay such orders by the district treasurer?

A. In the first place, the revised statutes (section 1675) provide that no school district orders “ shall be, or shall be deemed to be, negotiable, according to the custom of merchants, in whatever form they may be drawn or made." The town treasurer, therefore, has nothing to do with district orders. Whether forbidden or not, he pays them at his risk. If properly drawn, they would not be offered to him, probably.

TAXES. Q. By mistake, the amount of tax returned and collected was $100 short of that voted. What can be done?

A. A special meeting can vote a tax, and to borrow the money, under section 474, following also section 427.

Q. By mistake, the clerk returned a tax for $185 for repairs, instead

of $85. What shall be done with the extra hundred dollars? Who shall hold it? Is the clerk liable for the mistake?

A. The money will remain in the hands of the treasurer, and, if not wanted for repairs, may, by vote of the district, be applied to any other lawful purpose. The clerk is not liable to any penalty for the mistake.

LETTING TO LOWEST BIDDER.

Q. Has the district a right to let the job of furnishing the wood to the lowest bidder, at the annual meeting?

A. No such power is given to a district, in section 430. They vote such a tax as may be deemed sufficient to secure a school house, and to keep in repair and furnish the same with the necessary fuel and appendages. The board is expected to carry out the vote or votes of the district, under sections 434 and 435. The district can make bargains or contracts only through its board. If the district instruct the board to let the job of furnishing the wood to the lowest bidder, they may feel at liberty to do so.

Q. Can the county board let out the job of furnishing stationery for the county superintendent?

A. The county board has nothing to do with the matter, except to allow the sum, within the limits of the law, certified to be necessary by the superintendent. The case is different as to other county offices.

THE TEACHER.

Q. The teacher was requested to keep the ashes in a barrel in the entry. The board and all others knew of it. The school house burned down, and it is thought the fire originated from the barrel. Is the teacher responsible?

A. No. He should have known better, to be sure, and the board also; but upon them rests the responsibility.

Q. May a teacher forbid pupils, speaking a foreign language, to use it at noon and recess?

A. No, that would be arbitrary. The pupils must have reasonable and enjoyable recess. They may be encouraged to use English, as much as may be, but not forbidden to use the language with which they are more familiar. It cannot be considered wrong, and is not forbidden by law.

Q. I contracted to teach four months, at $1.25 a day. The board now claims that I must make up Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, because I did not teach on those days. Is this just? I have taught 80 days, including those three?

A. Unless your contract otherwise provided, the 80 days, including the legal holidays, make the four months, whether you were paid by the day or the month.

Q. If a teacher is hired at so much "a month," and nothing further is said, is a calendar month to be understood ? A. No. The law interprets the teacher's month (code, section 459).

CERTIFICATES. Q. When a new county is formed from another, are the certificates held by the teachers in the same valid any longer?

A. They must be considered good for the whole territory for which they were given, until they expire by their own limitation, but subject to the provisions of section 451.

Q. A certificate having been annulled, on proof of lack of knowledge of arithmetic, may the decision be recalled, on request of all the district but one man, in order that the teacher may finish the school?

A. That would not be proper. It might be possible for the teacher, by diligent study, to become able to get a limited certificate in a short time, and then resume and finish the school. Of that the examiner would judge.

CONSTITUTIONS AND MENTAL ARITHMETIC. Q. Are teachers to be examined hereafter in the “Constitutions" and in mental arithmetic; I see the law is changed ?

A. Yes; the revision of the statutes omitted " Constitutions" from section 450, probably by inadvertence, but the legislature has restored them. Teachers are to be examined in " arithmetic." The examiner will still test them in mental arithmetic, if he understands his duty. The one word covers the whole ground. The examiner will judge for himself whether it is necessary to have two sets of questions. The law intends no relaxation in severity of examination.

WRITING LETTERS IN SCHOOL TIME. Q. May the teacher suppress private letter-writing in school time, even if parents approve of it?

A. Yes; that there may be order, pupils should spend school time in school work. If one may write letters, another may read novels, a third embroider, and so on. Of course letter writing, at proper times, as an exercise in composition, directed by the teacher, is very commendable.

POWER OF TEACHER.

Q. Can a teacher require a pupil to study a given branch, if one named in the law, if the parent is opposed to it?

A. The supreme court of this State, as has been repeatedly announced, has decided that he can not; that if a parent directs that a child shall not study a certain branch, the teacher can use no compulsion in the matter.

Q. Can a teacher use compulsion, in any case, in regard to branches not required by law?

A. Such branches are to be introduced into a common school, if at all, by the action of the board. It would be quite proper that the teacher examine as to the fitness of any pupils to take up such additional branches. He would perhaps have done this already, and recommended to the board the formation of classes in such branch or branches. It would not be his province in any case to compel any pupil to join such classes. Compulsion is always to be a thing of last resort, and in this matter especially, is not to be used by the teacher.

TEXT-BOOK ADOPTIONS.

Q. Are adoptions made under the former laws still binding after the three years expire, under the provisions of section 440, and until the State Superintendent consents to a change?

A. Such adoptions are binding, as provided in said section. This is the proper construction to be put upon the last period of the section. Consent to make a change would ordinarily be granted without any difficulty, it may be presumed.

INTRUDING PUPIL.

Q. If a pupil, not having any right to attend the school, persists in coming, can such pupil be excluded from the school-house by force?

A. This would be lawful. If circumstances are such that the teacher does not care to resort to force, then recourse may be had to the remedy provided in section 4572 of the revised statutes.

ABOLITION OF A FREE HIGH SCHOOL.

Q. Can a town which has established a free high school, vote to abolish it?

A. No provision is made in the law for such action. Failure to vote the means to carry it on would have much the same effect.

3- VOL. IX. - 3

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