Exams Are Over!!!

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Friday, May 3, 1912:  Well examinations are over. I can say that I am glad. But I’m not glad the we only have one more day of school. Besse was out this evening. I sort of miss my lessons tonight.

Recent view of the building that once housed the McEwensville Schools. The high school was on the 2nd floor. Grandma’s 6-year-old brother Jimmie attended the primary school on the first floor.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Yeah! I’m glad that Grandma’s exams are finished. She sure worried about them in the diary entries for the last week or so—

April 25—Worried that she’d fail

April 29—Thinking about the exams

May 1—Overcome with gloom, but had a glimmer of hope because had passed in the past

May 2—Doubtful about how well did on algebra exam

And, now –finally– it sounds like everything went okay (thank goodness!) —and that she’s already sad about the impending end of the school year.

Maybe Grandma was sort of like me. Sometimes I think that I worry about things to motivate myself to quit procrastinating and properly prepare for an upcoming event.  It probably was the same with Grandma and her studies.

Besse

Besse was Grandma’s older married sister. This mention of Besse is so matter of fact. I wish that it conveyed a little more about Besse’s emotional state. This is the first time that Besse has been mentioned in the diary since the death of her newborn child in early April.  Hopefully she was doing all right.

7 Responses

  1. I am so relieved for your grandmother that her exams are over. I’ve been reading the diary entries with rising panic on her behalf. Now we just have to wait for the results!

    • It’s been years since I was a student, but this series of entries evokes memories of how I felt during finals. And, I think that my children have similar feelings now. I guess some things don’t change over time. Students worry about exams!

  2. I knew she would do okay. I hope Besse was all right too.

    • I wonder about Besse, too. I know that it was more common to lose a baby a hundred years ago than than it is now–but it still had to have been really difficult to lose her first child.

  3. Excellent work :)

  4. Hi. I carry worry around like a stone. Once the event has passed, the stone drops away. Worry must be a survival instinct! Jane

  5. Now hopefully your grandma can enjoy her summer vacation and forget about her worries for a little while, at least. What a long school year with the death of her sister’s baby and her little brother down with whooping cough…

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