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The measurements of many boys' arms showed an increase of circumference of one inch in three months, and an expansion of the chest of two inches in the same time. Some of my most pleasant memories of teaching are connected with my gymnastic classes of athletic boys, who could kick foot-ball, play base-ball, lift dumb-bells, swing clubs, climb ladders, vault the bar, walk the parallel, swing on the rings, foot it twenty miles on Saturday excursions, and box and wrestle with their teacher. I would not give those boys, who have since grown up to be rugged men, rejoicing in their health and strength, for all the arithmetical prodigies in the United States. As I feel the hearty grip of their hands, my only twinge of pain is, that when I went to school my teachers did not have a higher estimate of muscle, and a lower one of books.
One of those "big boys" of my class has been several years the leading gymnast of the Olympic Club Gymnasium of the young men of this city, and I am quite as proud of him as of another boy who has grown to be a scholar. Another strapping fellow, six feet two, straight as an arrow, and strong as Hercules, who has been two years in the army, fighting Indians, is a walking illustration of the benefits of gymnastic drill in a public school. I would not thus allude to my own experience, except that any reference to gymnastics is met by many teachers with one argument, condensed in a single word-impracticable.
How shall such exercises be conducted in a public school? The excellent books on the subject render it unnecessary to go into detail. All children have arms, and the will to use them. With or without music, any teacher in any school, graded or ungraded, can give ten minutes a day for free arm movements. A few dollars will buy a set of wands, and some wooden dumb-bells; and the girls can make two dozen "bean bags." With this simple apparatus alone, any teacher with an ordinary amount of ingenuity, tact, or skill, can, with the aid of a book, have a good light gymnastic class.
Half an hour a day can be taken out of the school hours, and the children be all the better for losing so much study time. A vast amount of training can be given, even in the short period of a year. The time for study and recitation ought to be reduced. In years to come, little children will not be confined in school more than three hours a day. Years ago, the good old-time clergymen preached sermons two hours long, and those who could not stand them patiently were held to be weak in the faith. Better sermons are now delivered in thirty minutes, with quite as good results. So it will be with schools. Better teachers than we, when the present six-hour system shall have become obsolete, will teach more in half the time. Not length of time in study, but the quality of thought, and the force of action, is the measure of mental progress.
The light gymnastics are good for the smaller boys and girls; but the "big boys" will generally prefer some out-of-door exercises. The movable horizontal bar is a great favorite with boys, and the exercises on it are among the best of the gymnasium. One can be set in any school-yard for twenty dollars. A few iron dumb bells will be useful. The Indian clubs are excellent for the arms and chest, but boys do not generally "take to them." The swinging
rings cost but little, and are liked very much. Leaping is a pleasant yard amusement, and requires only two sticks and a string. Football is a rough and tumble game; but it has the charm of intense excitement, and the more the boys get of it the better. Bruised ankles and sore legs are forgotten in the exultation of winning. Rugby ought not to monopolize it. Base ball is a fine old game, which ought always to be kept before the boys. An occasional Saturday pedestrian excursion of twenty miles is a fine thing if the teacher can stand it. I was reminded of one the other day by a strapping fellow, who exclaimed: "It made my legs ache, but how nice the beefsteaks were that we broiled on sticks over the fire." A set of boxing gloves will make fine fun for the older boys, and yet give them the most vigorous kind of exercise. "" Do you box any nowadays," was one of the first salutations of one of my boys," who has just returned from the army. He was thinking of the half hours after school with the boxing gloves, in the old schoolhouse, and how, with the aid of what he had learned there, he whipped the eyes out of a big bully" at the West Point Military Academy. Wrestling used to be a favorite amusement, and what New England boy does not remember many a hard tussle on the green sward round the "old schoolhouse."
Teachers who wish to succeed in physical training must study variety in their exercises. Boys are fond of novelty and change, and the same routine day after day will soon tire. Marbles, tops, kites, and ball follow after one another, changing quite as often as the moon. It requires more skill, tact, judgment, and knowledge of boy nature to succeed with a gymnastic class than to teach arithmetic or grammar; one requires a soul and sympathy with boy nature, the other does not. An owl should not mingle with singing birds; and a cold, formal, dignified, melancholy teacher has no business in the boys' playground. If he cannot kick a foot-ball well, the boys will laugh at him.
Every teacher needs gymnastic exercises and amusements. No Occupations so drains the nervous power; he must find the "fountain of youth' in the sports of boyhood. What matters it if examinations are a little less "brilliant," children less precocious, and "school phenomenons" less common? The object of school is to train up children to be sensible men and women, and to form tastes and habits which shall follow them through life.
The indirect lessons of the play-ground are often more valuable than the formal teachings of the class-room, and the kind words. there spoken will soften the necessary severity of discipline in a public school. In the hours of play, when “ off duty," the teacher with a great heart can win the souls of children while training their bodies. What teacher would not be remembered by his pupils as a sharer of their sports, a sympathizer with their boyish amusements, as a living man who had a heart, and moulded their character, and formed their tastes, rather than as a mere schoolmaster who only expounded text-books!
III. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
IN 1866, Hon. Wm. Holden introduced a bill to organize a State Agricultural School, in order to secure the 150,000 acres of land granted by Congress for that purpose. The bill became a law, but no action was taken under it; and in 1868, Hon. John W. Dwinelle drafted and introduced a bill, which was passed, providing for a State University with an Agricultural College.
The University of California was opened in Oakland, in the College of California buildings, Sept. 23, 1869, with an attendance of about 50 students.
The University was made free, and opened for the admission of young men and women.
The first Board of Regents was composed as follows:
Isaac Friedlander.... 2 years. | Edward Tompkins..
S. F. Butterworth.
A. J. Bowie.
John B. Felton..
F. F. Low..
Andrew J. Moulder, having been elected Secretary, resigned his position as Regent.
The College of California, incorporated in 1855, disincorporated, and conveyed its grounds at Berkeley, 5 miles from Oakland, as a site for the State University.
The men chiefly instrumental in this consolidation, were Henry Durant, Gov. F. F. Low, and Horatio Stebbins.
The College of California had its germ in a private school, established in Oakland in 1853, by Henry Durant.
FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY.
On the 10th of November, 1868, the Regents elected General Geo. B. McClellan, President, with a salary of $6000. He declined, and Prof. John LeConte was made "Acting President." In 1869, the following Professors were appointed:
Joseph LeConte....Prof. of Geology, Natural History, and Botany.
R. C. Fisher..
W. T. Welcker.
Ezra S. Carr..
Prof. of Chemistry, Mining, and Metallurgy.
Prof. of Mathematics.
.Ass't Prof. of Mathematics.
Prof. of Modern Languages.
Prof. of Agriculture, Agricultural Chemistry, and
.....Prof. of English Language and Literature,
Henry Durant was elected President in 1870. In 1872, he resigned, and D. C. Gilman was elected, Sept. 1st. President Gilman resigned in March, 1875, and was succeeded by Prof. John LeConte, as "Acting President." In June, 1876, Prof. John LeConte was elected President.
The Legislature of 1870 appropriated $300,000 for building purposes, and in the Autumn of 1873, the buildings being completed, the University was removed from Oakland to the permanent site at Berkeley.
The resignation of Prof. Fisher was requested by the Regents in '71, and the chair of Chemistry was filled by Prof. Rising. In 1874, the resignation of Prof. Carr was requested by the Regents. He demanded an investigation, which was refused, and his chair was declared vacant. He was nominated and elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, in 1876.
In 1874, Prof. Swinton resigned his professorship to go East, and E. R. Sill was elected to his place.
During the same year, Fred. G. Hesse was elected to the Chair of Industrial Mechanics; John D. Hoffman, Prof. of Industrial Drawing; Wm. Ashburner, Prof. of Mining Engineering; E. W. Hilgard, Prof. of Agriculture; George F. Becker, Instructor in Metallurgy.
A. J. Moulder resigned, and R. E. C. Stearns was elected Secretary.
The Regents and the Faculty, 1876, are as follows:
Rev. H. Stebbins, San Francisco. | D. O. Mills..
San Jose. William Meek.... San Leandro.
Hon. Samuel B. McKee, Oakland.
John LeConte, M.D....Pres. and Prof. of Physics and Mechanics.
Frederick G. Hesse.
E. W. Hilgard, Ph.D. . Prof. Agriculture and Agricultural Chemistry.
William T. Welcker.
W. A. Barbour, A.B.
Geo. F. Becker, A.B., Ph.D
Samuel R. Christy, Ph.D.
Prof. of Mathematics. Instructor in Chemistry.
Lecturer on Metallurgy. .Instructor in Chemistry.
G. C. Edwards, Ph.B..Inst'r in Mathematics, and Com. of Cadets. Carlos F. Gompertz
Instructor in Spanish.
L. L. Hawkins, Ph.B....Instructor in Mathematics and Surveying.
John D. Hoffman.
Henry B. Jones.
G. de Kersaint-Gily
Robert E. Ogilby.
Edward A. Parker, Ph.B...
Instructor in Mechanical Drawing.
Instructor in French.
Instructor in Free-hand Drawing. Instructor in Physics and Mechanics.
Jas. M. Phillips, A.B...Instructor in Hebrew and Ancient History.
Ambrose C. Richardson, A.B.
Joseph C. Rowell, A.B.
E. H. Sears, A.B.......
F. Slate, Jr., S.B.
Instructor in German.
Instructor in Latin and Greek.
Instructor in Latin and Greek.
Instructor in Chemistry.