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At the close of school in June, 1906, I returned to my work in the real estate loan office in my home town. I was not satisfied with the extent of the schooling received. I kept under my ambition, however, and laid aside my earnings again until September, 1907. I then returned to the University and again enrolled as a special student. I started to earn my board by washing dishes, but after six weeks’ trial I found that it took so much time that I 22 quit outside work and gave myself wholly to study.

The spell of the college was now strong upon me and I wanted to continue until I could secure a bachelor’s degree. To so shape my course during the next three years as to correct the irregularities of my “special” course was a task, especially since I was now vitally in newspaper work and desired more courses in history and English than the schedule permitted for a regular student.

Though I yet had money to my credit, I wanted to be able to aid my sister who started this year. Therefore, to earn my board, I served as table waiter at a club from September, 1908, to June, 1909. Meanwhile, my outside duties on the student newspaper and in Y. M. C. A. work increased in addition to the larger opportunities for profitable recreation. Thus my life was growing strenuous.

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In an effort to keep down expenses, I started the fall of 1909 as associate steward of a club. Ill success attended me, and before Christmas I was paying board. My work for the student newspaper brought me some slight return financially, but not commensurate with the time it took. I was also a member of the Y. M. C. A. cabinet this year.

From September, 1910, to my graduation in June, 1911, I gave a very considerable amount of time to my newspaper work and had more pay therefore; but at the end of my course I had borrowed several hundred dollars from a brother. I was on the Y. M. C. A. cabinet during this last year also. 23

My university training has not prepared me for any get-rich-quick career. Efforts since graduation to push ahead into a newspaper life have added to, rather than taken from, my debt. Nevertheless, I do not regret the plan of action which I followed to get a college education. I cannot estimate in dollars the satisfaction I have in the retrospect. I was not penurious with myself when in school, and so enjoyed life, even though always economical. The friendships formed and the larger vision of life which I now have compensate me for past difficulties and those yet to be overcome ere I can obtain such financial stability as I might have acquired six or more years ago if I had been content to continue in the real estate loan office of my home town.

Oklahoma City, Okla.

THE COLLEGE INSPIRATION

FRANK R. DYER, A.B.

My first inspiration toward college came from a public school teacher by the name of Homer C. Campbell, now a successful business man of Portland, Oregon. Mr. Campbell was a gifted teacher, brimful of inspiration and helpful suggestions.

My impression while I was a boy was that the rich only could get through college. My estimated amount of money needed was far beyond what I ever had seen together and was beyond my fondest hopes.

During the seven months of Mr. Campbell’s stay with us, he taught us much not in the books. He made us realize that there were higher fields inviting us and the means to the end were within our reach. Before he left us he exacted a promise from me that I would go to college. I was very willing to promise, due to my confidence and admiration for the man; but, at this late date, I realized that far, far away was my hope to realize the goal. My old teacher did not let me forget my early ambitions, but took numerous opportunities to remind me of my promise. 25

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After teaching a short term in the country and then serving as clerk more than a year in a country store, I quit the job with many misgivings and started for the Ohio Normal University, located at Ada, Ohio,—the school founded, and many years directed by that prince of educators, President Henry S. Lehr. I had all the queer sensations of a new boy in a strange school, but the experience is common to all who will read these letters; so it will be unnecessary to repeat it here.

I had one hundred and forty dollars as a nucleus that I had saved from two years’ work. Three terms made up my first year. There were five terms in the year. I was able to get through three of them, and have a small amount of my capital left. I may add that the Ohio Normal was run for the benefit of the student body and a vacation was a very rare occurrence, and when it did occur, there was what was known as a “vacation term” for the students who did not have time to quit. In the town was my old teacher, who often had a kind word for me and always pointed to the day of graduation, a day which seemed too far away for me to consider.

I taught school that winter. As soon as school closed I went back to the Normal, took a new start, and worked all summer till time for school to begin in the fall. So, by the plan of the Normal school, I was able to teach each winter and go to school from early in the spring till late in the fall, and 26 still make the purse hold out. The high cost of living was not in evidence. I paid $1.40 a week for table board, and fifty cents for my room. This continued till the purse came in a little stronger, and I went up to $1.60 a week. I may add that in my later years I got into the plutocrat class and paid $2.00 a week, but the room rent was the same. Two dollars per week was a regular Rockefeller rate for the Normal boys, but we lived well. Our wants increased as the years went by, but we were able to have some surplus left over each year, which was a very gratifying condition. Thus, by half year work and half year study, I was able to complete the classical course when the long hoped for day of graduation came. This is now history. My ambition had been thoroughly aroused and I felt that I must now finish college. My surplus with a little that my brother lent me during the last few months in college was enough to take me through. As I look back over the road, I find only pleasant recollections of the college work, even though there were times when we bought our coal oil by the half gallon because it avoided a large investment at one time in one commodity.

We did not ride in automobiles then as many do now. Our only expense aside from lodging, board, and fuel, was to spend a few dollars for a good book now and then, and a few dollars more for lecture tickets. The lectures were of the best, by Joseph Cook, George Wendling, Sam Jones and men of that 27 type. We must admit at this late date that our best girl beside us made the lectures more interesting and instructive than they could have otherwise been.