Kids Won’t Practice Their Dialogue

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

Wednesday, November 14, 1912:  We are having such an awful time at school a getting the kids to practice their dialogue. I didn’t think it would be so hard.

Building that once housed the McEwensville School.

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

I’m always excited when a diary entry has lots of information; but then sometimes , like today, I end up  being frustrated because I can’t put the pieces together.

Hmm—Obviously Grandma is having difficulty getting some group of students or children to memorize their parts for some sort of presentation.

Many recent diary entries have discussed the new Literary Society that was started at Grandma’s school in late October. She was very excited to be a committee member—and several recent entries have discussed how busy she’d  been reading books and preparing for the Literary Society meeting. I’m not really sure what the Literary Society did—and ,in past entries, I’ve leaned towards it being a book club. But, maybe the members really were supposed  orally present parts of famous works .

. . . or maybe I’m headed in totally the wrong direction. . .

Maybe Grandma was helping  downstairs in the primary school (the high school was on the second floor of the school building and the primary school was on the first)  and working with the younger children to prepare for some sort of show or presentation.

or. . .

In any case—I can empathize with Grandma. It’s frustrating when people won’t do what you want them to do.

8 Responses

  1. This kind of mystery reminds of how much of what we know of the past might be guesswork. I find that such a fascinating idea. History is a mystery!

    • It is a fascinating idea, We have incomplete data, so we have to just do the best we can with the information that we have–while being open to revising our findings if we get additional information.

  2. Behind my cool facade is a little girl that used to fear presentations…I can really relate. It’s one of those things, you just have to do it over and over b4 it feels good.

  3. A somewhat mysterious diary entry. Those can be intriguing, though, as you try to fill in the blanks… Wonder who the kids were.

  4. The fact that she referred to them as “the kids” makes me believe that you’re on the right track and they were younger students she was helping. It’s possible it was some sort of presentation for Thanksgiving coming up.

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