18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, March 26, 1913: Teacher gave the school a lecture, but it was really meant for me. I don’t think what I did was so bad, but I guess I won’t do it again. I might catch it right there.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Hmm—what the heck did Grandma do? The previous day she wrote that she got home from play practice at 11:30 and didn’t have time to do her studies.
In the past, Grandma had some issues with cheating. Might she possibly have reverted to that old habit?
Two years prior to this diary entry, on February 7, 1911, she wrote:
Some of the boys at school found the teacher’s Latin questions in examination, and we all expect to make a good mark. I do at least, but I might be fooled as some cheats are.
And, she got away with it that time. The next day (February 8, 1911) she wrote:
Had some of our exams today. Came out all right in Latin. Our arithmetic wasn’t so easy though. My fingers feel rather tired.
The next year, things didn’t go so well. On January 25, 1912 Grandma wrote:
Gave my ear to a free-for-all lecture this afternoon. It was delivered by Mr. Teacher, the chief part of which was about cheating on examinations. I’ve been so worked up at this, although Conscience tells me not to. Anyway I believe it is time to stop, and do better in the future. So now, I will try to bid adieu to all ways of crookedness and get the things in my head instead of having them on paper.
But, Grandma did reform her ways—at least temporarily. A few days later, on February 9, 1912 she wrote:
I am disgusted with the marks I made in my examination, but although my marks are low I am not losing faith for I can truthfully say, “I didn’t cheat.” I had not much of a desire to cheat after that awful lecture and what desire I had left I managed to trample down. I intend to improve for next month and make my next teacher happy.