Essay #1: "College Youth"
The goal of education in our democracy is now being criticized. The reasons for the criticism cause the teaching profession to question the effectiveness of our present system of education. Education as defined by the Department of Secondary-School Principals in their publication, "The Issues of Secondary Education," in 1936, is "Every phase of the process by which society as a whole, or any of its agencies, consciously seeks to develop socially significant abilities and characteristics in its members."
The popularity of athletics on the campus has caused the teaching profession to question where the student is being "side-tracked" from the supreme goal as indicated in the above definition or whether the popularity of athletics merely represents a "level of aspiration" to the student as he progresses towards the fulfillment of the supreme goal. It is not possible to answer this problem in this paper. It is possible, however, to indicate some of the reasons why the goal of education in our democracy is being criticized. An issue immediately arises as to which is most important in education, athletic ability or subject matter intelligence.
The following points seem to indicate that athletic ability and popularity are desired above intellectual ability amongst college students; (1) the high salaries paid the coaches in institutions with popular athletic programs; (2) the close following of the journalism world in the world of sports; (3) the local popularity shown to the athletic teams; (4) the ease with which funds can be raised for athletic ventures; (5) the large attendance at athletic activities, and (6) the tremendous demands for athletic "heroes" in the professional world.
All of the above points are self-explanatory.
They have no equal in .... (Sorry! The rest of this paper is
missing, but this beginning says enough)
Essay #2: "How to Make Democracy
Our democracy represents the realization of man's fondest dreams. For centuries men has been sorted into classes, races and religious creeds. Politically, only a selected few have controlled the destinies of man. Our democracy was born for the perpetuation of individual freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pronouncement of "The individual rights" has led to the astounding fact that a democracy constitutes a body of "individuals" who seek and work for these basic desires of man. Democracy must continue to live and bear fruitful evidence to the entire world of its importance to the common man.
Having attend a degree of this life,
liberty, and happiness, man finds that democracy is lacking the
essentials which afford a "full" life, a "complete"
liberty, and an "abundant" happiness to every individual
regardless of his race, creed, or economic status. Democracy,
in order to completely fulfill these needs of men and, indeed,
in order to live, must instill into every one of its citizens
three additional concepts: one, faith, faith in God, the supreme
ruler over the earth, faith in man, God's handiwork, faith in
our nation and the United Nations; two, hope, hope for the present
to meet the trials of the day, hope for the future in realizing
a peaceful world; three, love, love for God, our father, love
for all men regardless of race, color or creed, love for our democracy
which allows these things to be. "Faith, Hope, and Love,
and the greatest of these is Love."
Essay #3 "As a Man Thinketh"
"You really can't be a happy man, can you?"
I did not realize until that very moment as we stood facing each other almost at the point of calling each other names, that I must be different from this man. As we stood there, the years of confinement on those carol rocks flashed through my mind. I searched quickly for a replay to that insulting remark. My nerves were on edge and I knew his were, too. Anything I might say without thinking clearly would only make things worse. And right at that moment I was defending myself. I knew it. There was no doubt that he knew it too, as he stood waiting for me to admit that I was unhappy.
I had no defense at the moment. I was caught completely off guard. His eyes were firing volley after volley straight into my eyes. My rank meant nothing to him. He was a private, and every second that passed added to his glory of putting the "sarg" in his place. Yes, sir, I had to think fast and straight.
It was not the first time that I had refused to drink with the boys. For most of them in that circle it was nothing new for me to "pass up the bottle".
"Mac's a teetotaler," they would say and that was the end of it. Figuring it meant more for themselves, I suppose. And it was the same about gambling, smoking, and going out with women. Something kept me from participating. What was it? I had to know why, now! I could see a flash of satisfaction in his eyes. He knew he had me in a spot.
Another second was slipping past and still we stood there! Who is this meddling impostor, I thought? What right has he to be questioning my happiness? My kind of happiness! Would not he defend his right to happiness also? Certain! That's it! He was merely defending has own type of happiness by condemning mine. Of all the nerve. I ought to bust-- no, that wouldn't do. That would only make him think I really was unhappy. But my answer, where was it? I had spent months in Australia. Months piled into years in New Guinea jungles! There were air raids, slit trenches, more air raids, bomb shelters, horrible food, malaria, dysentery, flies and filth! Why didn't I admit it? I was very unhappy. A fellow certainly has a right to be just as unhappy as he wants in a place like New Guinea. These white collars back in the states were actually getting wealthy and having a grand time while we were fighting their battles for them.
My mouth started to drop open to admit my unhappiness before this man. He was still looking straight into my eyes. He knew what was coming next. I was going to admit defeat.
"A war either makes 'em or breaks'em," they say. It isn't really that, say others. "It just speeds up the process of proving what you are before life gets a hand at it." Some may even say that wars break those men who can not rise above their physical discomforts. Also, those men who lose sight of God and his presence in their everyday life are more apt to succumb to the perils of war than others.
I had not spoken as yet, but the word was beginning to form upon my lips. It seemed that my mind was a mist of hazy, unshapen words. I was going to have to say something now. I was going to have to speak.
That walk I took the other day was really something wonderful. I saw the wild jungle flowers reaching their petals out into my path that I might notice them. I wondered if Burbank had a hand in them! The grass, the trees, the vines that spread over my head all told me that if I would look close enough, I could have peace. That even as God created the peace in nature, so did he create a peace in me. I had found peace and opened the way for happiness. God was not new to me. Mother, father, and my Sunday School teachers had successfully implanted God within me. The reality of God had been developed further by my study and prayer. So far I had felt no trouble rising above he difficulties of life. What was the matter with me now?
Then, like a bolt of lightning I could see a change in his face. It was losing that stare. Was he seeing something within my eyes that was softening that crust of his? Perhaps he could see that happiness and unhappiness had an entirely different meaning to me.
"Yes," I said.
It was just as easy as that. It seemed that I did not have to force it at all. My voice was firm, yet not commanding. He had not expected that at all. His eyes shifted uneasily.
"What's this?" he seemed to say. "You can't do this to me! Just agreeing with me leaves me in a tough spot. You should have disagreed with me."
But that one little word had done the job. It was backed by a sincere thought and an earnest prayer that man can rise above the hardships of life.
Now the look in his eyes was changed completely. I could see that through one word he had come to understand me. Life can be beautiful to those who have found the right spot from which to view it. Happiness comes to those people who view their life beautiful from that spot.
I had given him my answer.
"Oh," he said.
Essay #4 "Second Place"
"Perhaps I did play my piano solo pretty well, the first time. I don't know. What I do know is that I let someone contest the judge's decision. I was only ten years old and did not realize what "contesting the judge's decision" meant. I suppose I thought it meant talking the judge into changing his mind or something like. Anyway, I had forgotten about the incident until one day abut a week after the contest my teacher told me I was to play my number gain. I had not practiced for a week and the thought of not refreshing my memory rather worried me. But my teacher, bless her, had great confidence in my ability to "kick- up" a breeze through "Apple Blossom," my piano solo, and suggested that we settle the question immediately.
There is a gap in my memory that undoubtedly was taken up with a few of the brighter things of a boy's life, and probably it's just as well. But all too well do I remember how I did not remember the notes in the third measure on the second page of "Apple Blossom." Things all went well until I got to that third measure and then something happened. In an instant my hands became heavy as though two buckets of well-set cement were dangling from my wrists. My heart, which was normally located well below my shoulders, had now found its way into my ears, beating triple time against the gentle rhythm of "Apple Blossom." My stomach had deserted me. It stayed at the seat where I was sitting. My brain would not work either. My gears had jammed, I guess. There were no cracks in the floor to slip through. I looked!
Desperately I flung my weighted hands at those tiny keys. What horrible sounds filled the room for the next few seconds. The cracks in the floor had become quite large by now so that I felt I might possibly slip through unnoticed. Then, that's all I remember except that I got second place for forgetting something. Oh me, I wish now I could forget that I forgot.