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HOW AND WHY HE WORKED HIS WAY THROUGH COLLEGE.

Mr. French says: “As one of the older children in a large family, the responsibilities that rested upon my father and mother at the time I was ready to take up educational work preparatory to entering college, and as well later, to carry through a course in college, were such that I was thrown upon my own resources.

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“Two of the chief circumstances that attended my early life were:—

“1. That of being required as a boy to perform under the direction of my father and mother, a reasonable amount of wholesome manual labor, largely the kind that is required of the ordinary farmer’s boy.

“2. That at the age of sixteen, I was thrown upon my own resources in the matter of continuing my educational work.

“My parents, aside from teaching me respect for manual labor and in a large degree helping me to be proficient in the same, inspired me with the ambition to complete a college course. I did not regard the fact that I would need to work my way through college as in any way an embarrassment, and I do not recall ever having had the wish that my people could send me through college.

“Before reaching my eighteenth year, I had been able to attend the preparatory department of the 44 University of Idaho for six months and had earned the money to carry me through this period by serving as clerk in a general merchandise store and by working in hotels as a waiter.

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“Following the close of the term of school, I found work as a waiter during the summer months, and in September following my eighteenth birthday I began teaching in a country school. During the succeeding eight years I completed the work in the preparatory school and a college course in the University of Idaho, leading to the degree of A.B., earning most of the money that I required to pay my expenses by teaching school and at periods when there was no employment in this field, by working upon a farm.

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“My circumstances required that I take my college course by doing part of a year’s work at a time and I was able to attend college from the opening of the college year in the fall until the close of the college year in the spring, only once during my college course and that was during my junior year. During the period, too, I was away from college two years in succession, serving during this time as principal of the public schools at Juliaetta, Idaho.

“During the latter portion of my undergraduate years, I was able to do a small amount of tutoring in the preparatory department of the University, and as well, at one time earned my board by managing a boarding club that accommodated from twenty-five to sixty students and faculty members. In order to 45 remain in college and complete my senior year with my class, it was necessary for me to borrow a small amount of money, which I was able to do, without imposing upon anyone else the responsibility of standing as my security.

“Prior to completing my senior year in the University of Idaho, I had been elected a Fellow in the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago. My fellowship, supplemented by a small amount of money which I borrowed, enabled me to do postgraduate work in that institution, leading to the degree of Ph.M., which I received in 1903.

“It is proper to say that during my undergraduate days I was able to do certain classes of work while engaged in teaching that helped me materially in carrying my college work upon returning to the University. For instance, one spring I made my herbarium, collecting, mounting and classifying the plants required to be assembled by each student in botany.

“Not only was this work of benefit to me, but it was of intense interest to every boy and girl in the country surrounding my school. Many were the children making herbariums of their own, who would assume an air of superior importance in comparing themselves with their fellows who did not accept the names anemone-nemorosa in lieu of wind flower, ranunculus ranunculace? in place of buttercup, and the common variety of the saxifrage family as philadelphus-grandiflorus instead of mock orange. 46 This was the most clear-cut piece of work that I probably did outside of the classroom, though in history, mathematics, and the languages, I was able to do a large amount of work that made it possible for me to carry with less difficulty the classroom work upon returning to the University.

“Another thing that is quite as important as the manner in which I earned the money to carry me through college, is the manner in which I spent it. The high cost of living was a serious problem, and having obtained my money in serious manner, I necessarily measured its value with much care, and during more than half of my years in the preparatory and undergraduate school, I found it necessary to be a member of a bachelors’ club made up of students, who, like myself, were working their way through college. In this way we were able to lower the expenses of living considerably.

“In the letter from the author of ‘College Men without Money,’ Mr. Riddle in referring to me as one who had worked his way through college, spoke of me as among that fortunate class, and I regard his phrase as a very happy one. Probably the brief recital of my experiences and the way in which I earned money to complete my college course, may mean little or nothing to anyone other than myself. To me, however, the working my way through college is a positive asset, and as I said in the beginning of this sketch, I regard it as one of the most fortunate circumstances of my life.”

Moscow, Idaho.

FINDING ONE’S PLACE

IRWIN W. GERNERT, A.B.