My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ITHACA, N.Y.Friday— The girls in the Home Economics Course always give us a tea after the speeches are all over and one can enjoy talking to one's friends. These informal chats seem to me frequently more valuable to both young and old than any other contacts during our stay at Cornell.

The same bright looking young girl who typed my column last year was on hand this year. When we parted she said she was sorry she wouldn't be there to help me next year. I asked what she was going to do and she answered, "Teach Home Economics, unless I can find a journalistic job. That's what I really want to do but I must earn a living so I may have to teach for a while." That is one good thing about a Home Economics course. It is a definite training and leads to a number of skilled jobs. The Liberal Arts Course may turn a girl out into the world with her mind still at sea as to what she wants to do and no definite skill to sell. She has more interests often and is better equipped from the cultural standpoint to enjoy a variety of things but it requires more ingenuity and initiative to find the place where her education may become of practical use in earning her living.

We all attended the Master Farmers' Dinner last night and the high point of the evening as usual was the presentation of awards by Governor Lehman. The Master Farmers have to be outstanding not only as farmers but as citizens in their communities. Farm life requires teamwork to a greater degree than any other way of life, I imagine. The wife is entitled to her share of the honors on these occasions and the husbands always make very graceful acknowledgment of their debt. My greatest thrill, however, came with the reading of the 4-A awards. Two girls and six boys stood before the Governor and heard him read the reasons why they had been honored. They must be proposed, as are the Master Farmers, by their neighbors and then the judges make a thorough investigation. I think a full grown man or woman might well be proud of the achievements of these youngsters ranging in age from thirteen to seventeen. They are starting life with a great advantage, they know how to work and they are willing to work both for themselves and for others.

We left at nine this morning, had lunch and a nice visit with a friend, and are now in Utica.

TMsd 19 February 1937, AERP, FDRL