Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/827

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MANUAL TRAINING.

measure of life too large to permit dying and too small to permit living. What we need for such an evolution is radiant boys, breathing the full breath of life and health, thinking clearly, feeling deeply, rich in the fine riches of the human spirit, the riches that come from the expanding and unfolding of the human faculties.

This is an ideal boy, but it is not an impossible boy. He is a boy of flesh and blood—firm flesh and pure blood—and he shall not be driven out by any cry of Utopian!

It is the sort of boy I have in mind when I pronounce that word which should be a magician's word, the Open Sesame to many a human wonder, the word Education. It is by this standard that I must try all methods of education, manual training among the, rest. It is not so much whether they produce this type of boy—we live in a world of the imperfect, one whose beauties are daily sung by the minor poets—but whether they have it in mind to produce them, and do actually tend that way.

Now, I have tried to show that manual training has its face turned toward this perfection, and that it does realize a first step toward its attainment. It is this feeling that urges upon us the necessity of other steps. I see very clearly where we should begin. We should begin with the naked boy. It is not enough to impress his head. It is not enough to impress his hands. Life is a question of the whole body. I am trying at the present moment to introduce physical examination into our own school, and to place our work upon a sound physiological basis. It is an innovation. I do not know whether I shall succeed. Society at present furnishes us with a supply of very imperfect boys, furnishes to us who are a set of very imperfect teachers. Between us, imperfect units on both sides, the process of education is to be realized. It is very evident that the remedy for all this is the generation of a more perfect race. And this dream should be the ever-present dream of education. By entertaining it, it will become less and less Utopian, and more and more American. There is no reason why we should not realize it. There is every reason why we should. We have only to believe more in men and less in things.

But, meanwhile, the imperfection is here, and the problem is how to deal with it.

It has struck me for some time past that the friends of darkness are more successful than we, the friends of light, because they so persistently address themselves to the means of accomplishing their purpose, and only gloat occasionally over the end; while we, with better purpose and nobler end, we, with education and the universe on our side, are so constantly failing because we set our eyes on the end, and its glories blind us to the means.