18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, October 14, 1913:
10/13 – 10/17: Nothing worth writing about for these days. Don’t go any place or do anything of much importance.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Since this is the second of five days that Grandma combined into one diary entry, I’m going to pick up where I left off yesterday.
Yesterday, I told you a little about a 1913 math textbook called Rural Arithmetic by John E. Calfee that included a section titled “Educated Labor.” That section included word problems apparently designed to motivate students to continue their education.
Here’s a couple problems from the book:
1. Two classmates leave the country school, one for work for 75¢ a day with board; the other borrows $250 and goes away for 3 years to a trade school and learns a trade which pays him $1.75 a day with board. Counting each able to average 285 days a year, at the end of 10 years from the time they leave the country school which will have earned more money?
2. The average salary of the man who has completed a college course is about $1000 a year, and the average wages of the man who has completed the common-school studies [an 8th grade education] are almost $450. If it takes 1440 days to complete a high-school and college course, what is the average value of each day spent in taking such a course? (The college-trained man spends 8 years of the work period in school, and has an annual expense of $450 for college.)
Rural Arithmetic (1913)