My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ROANOKE, Va., Wednesday—I was so busy with my mail on the train this morning that I hardly looked out the window. I was surprised to find the morning gone and that we were nearing Roanoke, Virginia.

Miss Thompson and I breakfasted this morning at 7:00 o'clock and after boarding the train we read the newspapers hurriedly. Then I immediately started to dictate and did not even give her time to get a pencil and notebook out of the bag. She looked at me firmly and said: "It is only 8:30 and I don't start work until nine." However, by 9:00 we had already finished a goodly pile of letters.

As you must know by now, the arrival of the "Connecticut Nutmeg" is always of interest to us. When I opened the copy for October 6th this morning, I was greeted by a new first page. I am a creature of habit. I have no doubt that this is much better, but I really miss not knowing what the editors thought were the most important events for the week. Sometimes I agreed with some of them, and sometimes I didn't, but it was amusing to see how true to form they ran in their choices.

However, on the front page, I did find an article by Stanley High on: "My Children Go to Public School." It makes a point which I think well worth considering. One sentence stands out: "I am inclined to believe that the surest way to make it hard for our children is to make it soft for them." That is certainly stated in a way which sticks in your mind. The author is right. I never thought that one reason for sending children to public school is that they shouldn't have the best of everything. They should have to make the best of whatever they can have.

In a little pamphlet which was sent me by Junior Hadassah; there are some pictures of a home where underpriviledged children and the children of refugees are being brought up. It is on a hillside in ancient Samaria near Mt. Ephraim. The children, with the guidance of a director and instructors, carry on the entire life of the village. They have to have their ups and downs, for we know that even in well regulated villages the unexpected will happen. They have to deal with the vagaries of the other children and the elders in the community; with the creatures of the animal world and with dame nature.

These children are certainly receiving a training and preparation for real life which is superior to that given by most schools. In fact, as I looked over this little report, I thought that the young Jewish people in this country who are contributing to this work, which embraces not only this village for children, but also assistance to young people of more mature age, must themselves gain a tremendous amount from the opportunity of being acquainted with conditions in this faraway land.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Roanoke (Va., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day. by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 13, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.