Ruth is heading off to Kearney, NE to go to summer school so she can teach in the fall. In Kearney there is a Normal School, a school just for teachers. She’s apparently rooming with her future sister-in-law, Lillian. She’s getting a taste for what lies ahead…
I was hoping you would be here yesterday. Chester’s girlie was here for dinner. Now don’t you wish you had been here? We have been getting along famously since the folks have been gone but there is so much to do all the time I hardly know which way to turn. I do hope you will come by Wednesday. I’ll be lonesome if you don’t and I doubt if I can take time to stop at Central on my way to Kearney unless Ralph takes me down in the car. I have to be at Kearney the twelfth to register. By the way dear, I’d advise you to cut your dreams down to half.
The folks got home last night. They had a lovely time. A day of shopping just about gets me. Now I must sew as fast as I can to get things ready for school. Do you suppose I can make two dresses a day? I’m going to have to try. I just ached for you Wednesday night. What a Fourth – the first one away from you since I’ve known you. It is decidedly different than any I’ve ever spent before. I fooled around with Bob Way because he didn’t have any date nor did I but he is so perfectly dumb. I was quite disgusted. The evening would have been a waste of time if it hadn’t been for the aeroplane ride. I did get a real thrill out of that as you can probably guess.
Ruth 7/18/28 Kearny
I just got through struggling with those sixth graders and I’m tired nearly to death. This teaching business is no snap. I enjoy the fifth grade very much and like to work with them even if there is twice as many of them but the sixth grade — I could shake the socks off them. They make me red hot with their smart, silly stuff. They can be good if they want to but that isn’t very often. How thankful I am I have nothing higher than the fifth grade next fall. They can talk all they want to about giving pupils plenty of freedom and ruling them with love, but I want orderliness and obedience and if the only way you can get it is by scaring it into them they’ll just have to be scared. Miss Evens has never given me any criticisms but she probably has written plenty.
I feel much encouraged about swimming. I really believe that by and by I shall learn. It is the most fun I have all day but it makes me so tired I can hardly drag home and down town to supper. It is almost impossible to try to study after supper. I get so sleepy after I come out of the pool. I’m glad now that I had to take swimming at 4 or I never would get a thing done in the afternoon.
Ruth 7/24/28 Kearney
I thought I was awfully busy down at NCC but it is worse here. Lesson plans should be in tomorrow evening, but all of mine won’t be. To bad for my grade. Sometimes I feel up and sometimes down about this teaching business, but this week has been mostly up. Evans has given quite a little encouragement. For two days now she has had her methods class in to observe my teaching. She let me read their criticisms and some of them made me feel worse than nothing. From their observations I marvel that Evans lets me continue teaching at all. What a life! I took another test in music today. Did I tell you the last one I took I made 100?
Lillian’s yelling to go to bed so must wait until morning for further conversation. She always makes me go to be at ten.
Ruth 7/31/28 Kearney, NE
My goodness it is hot this evening! The swim surely felt good this afternoon. I’m getting so I don’t mind the cold showers like I used to. Really, I believe I can get used to most anything. I also begin to have faint hopes that I will learn to swim. It is the most fun I have each day. Yesterday was perfectly terrible. I could have gladly shot everyone of those sixth graders and been happy in doing it. Miss Evens said if I had any weakness it was my discipline. She also said, however, that that is a thing which will probably come with practice. She said that at the end of the session will probably say, “If I could only do it over”. Her conference with me was quite encouraging. Today was much better.
Guy (Solt) and I talk some about what I should make of myself. He thinks I could either teach or preach, but because of the greater needs in the ministry, I should go to seminary. I have an aversion to just studying religions, so if I go I want to choose some place where I can take some other subjects as well. I can’t think of postponing our marriage until I finish school.
John 7/4/28 Central City
How different our relationship is since the first time I came to your farm for Independence Day four years ago. I’ll never forget that you told me you would have to love a man mightily before you would marry him, and now I know I am he who you are to marry. If you had heard Guy (Solt) yesterday all your “inferiority complex” would have gone away. His were beautiful words about you and said that I was extremely fortunate to have a girl like you. He also said, “Johnnie, if you go to take graduate work, don’t you go without Ruth”.
Economic conditions are improved and the crop prospects for this year are wonderful. Our freshman class will be large. Since only 25 of last year’s students will be back, we must have at least 75 new ones.
John 7/18/28 Burwell, NE
To reflect upon the happy moments spent with you last Sunday has been pleasant pastime. When I am with you I seem in such an ecstatic state that it seems almost like a dream when I go away. This week we’ve worked Spaulding, Bartlett, Erickson, and now Burnwell. My work of soliciting will end this Saturday.
Merl and I will drive to Kearney next Sunday. Perhaps we can frame some escapade in order to enjoy ourselves. If Merl & Lillian are like we are, much excitement isn’t necessary for enjoyment. You girls can think of some interesting things to do. Merl has offered me a job at in the harvest on the farm where he is working.
John 7/25/28 St. Libory, NE
I’m so sore and stiff this morning that I can scarcely move. I have shocked wheat since Sunday. It was almost one when we got home Sunday. This didn’t make me much the stronger for my ordeal on Monday. I’ve just got to get my sleep. I wish I had this shocking over. It is such hard work. I have about a day and a half yet. Can’t you imagine me a farmer boy? I’d like the farm work much better if I was used to it but – oh my! – its hard on student solicitors. I will have work here for at least two weeks, perhaps longer These people are fine to live with.
I got a letter from Edith and I was happy that she has decided to go to school next year. She will go one or two years and then teach. Since Edith has bcome a woman I have ahd very little contact with her. This will be an opportunity to get acquainted. I’m anxious for school to start.