Blogger Note: I love this letter! It is probably one of my favorites. I’ll let you read it before I comment on it after the letter. If you are a teacher or love teachers, this is a wonderful little letter on the life of a teacher….and as an extra bonus, I scanned the actual letters for this one as a thank you for your patience. Happy reading!
December 11, 1908
My dearest John,
It is only nine o’clock and I am tired of doing work so I am going to write to my Sweetheart. I wonder if it is raining where he is. It began snowing at noon and now it is raining just as hard as possible. I am sitting in my room so I can hear the patter on the roof. How I do enjoy it.
I just finished embroidering some dainty little ties. I do love to embroider.
I worked at school today until it grew so dark that the janitor came in and asked me whether I wanted the gas lighted. I said no for I was ready to stop work. I was trying to teach two girls how to subtract when the number in the subtrahend is larger than the corresponding number in the minuend. Well, I know I wasn’t successful but will try again Monday. How they ever got into the Intermediate grade without knowing that is more than I can understand. I feel sure that none of my pupils wold have been taken in the grade above without know it.
Then when I got downstairs to go home there was that little girl that would not leave my room. I asked why she did not go home long ago but she said she was waiting for me. She never has gone yet before I go. It was too late or dark to let her go home alone so I had to take her home thru all the snow and rain. When I got home I had about ten minutes before supper and I spent those lying down.
On the whole this has been a better day at school, and while my back aches from standing my head is much better than it has been the rest of the week. I know I am going to like every one of the children that came this week. One boy particularly. He is twelve years old and all week I have not seen him with a clean face. I know he leaves home with one but never gets to school with one. He is a dear youngster and I believe his dirty face is more becoming than a clean one.
I received a lovely letter from Bertha today. She is very busy, too. I always enjoy her letters so much.
I received one from Miss Porter. I think I told you about her; the girl I met while at Devil’s Lake and who shared our tent. She told me Nora invited her to spend Christmas with her and that she was going if the roads are open. I know they will have a lovely time. Any one who visits Nora must have a good time. Miss Porter will enjoy the visit so much. She lives at Sharlow, ND.
Sunday Afternoon – I got so far Friday evening when I got so sleepy I could not write anymore and since then I have had a busy time. Yesterday morning it was a quarter of eight when I got downstairs. I had the furnace fire to attend to and get breakfast for Mother and myself. After breakfast my three little cousins came and Mother and I made five underskirts and made over two for them. That took all morning. After dinner I sewed until half past two then I had to do some shopping.
Mother sent for the large carriage and we took the children to see Santa and attend to our errands. I prepared supper and made an apron by seven o’clock when my other cousins (two) came for their German lesson. They are doing very well. I am surprised at the interest and progress.
We worked over German until then o’clock. After they went home I remembered I had a lot of stockings to darn and some other mending which I did not finish until ten minutes of twelve. I concluded it was about time to stop and went to bed. Wasn’t that a full day?
I did not get up until a quarter after eight this morning and found it snowing just as fast as the flakes could come down. It was very cold yesterday and the pavements were frozen in many places. The snow covered these places so when I started for church I could not see them and when I arrived at the end of our square I had a “delightful” fall. I felt like a goose but did not mind the fall.
When I arrived within about a square of the church I fell again and hurt myself. I was cross for being so stupid as to fall. But I was careful.
When I got to church my feet were wet and my skirts but I heard a good sermon. I wore rubbers and my raincoat. I did not go back to Sunday School but spent most the afternoon in bed. I certainly am disgusted with myself for not being able to walk without falling. But with it all it was amusing to see so many people fall. The first ten I had to laugh in spite of myself. I should never had started out if I had known the sidewalks were in such a condition.
I wonder whether my Sweetheart is back on his run or helping on other runs. I hope he will not be so terribly rushed but I know you will be very busy. Do you get home often?
Mother is sitting beside me reading. I am going to read a little while then eat some fruit and go back to bed. I do not think I shall wait for supper. I wanted to be rested before I begin the work of the coming week.
I love my Sweetheart more every day and think of him constantly when I am free to think.
Blogger Note: The life of a teacher! I can picture her there, in the schoolhouse, nearing dark with gaslamps all around patiently trying to explain the complexities of elementary school math. And then seeing another child in need and walking him home and just having this adoration for her students and their quirks (can anyone else picture the little school boy with this dirty face??). This letter I feel is a little homage to teachers everywhere. Hope you enjoyed!
P.S. I had no clue what the words subtrahend and minuend meant. I had to look them up to spell them correctly. Perhaps I am the only one who had math taught to me a little differently but in case I am not, here are the official definitions:
Subtrahend – A quantity or number to be subtracted from another.
Minuend – A quantity or number from which another is subtracted.
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