Why don't you make a fee online?

Why don't you make a fee online?

March 16, 1914.


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Before the close of my high school course I faced two proposals, acceptance of one of which would cause me to go to college; the other would set me to work. The first was this: provided I would live at home in Bangor and go back and forth daily to the University of Maine in Orono (a ride of about fifty minutes on the electric car) I was offered about half of the expenses of my entire college course. The second was—work.

Thanks to my mother’s influence and the fact that I wanted a college education, I had no hesitation in accepting the first proposal. Thus I came to belong, not to a class of “college men with no money,” but rather to that of “college men with little money.” The essential difference is one of degree only, provided there is present a true determination to secure a college education.

Why did I go to college? To a great extent because of my mother’s influence; because of her who could not conceive of her sons as non-college men. She thus constantly encouraged us to go to college 2 regardless of whether we had to earn all or part of our way. In addition to this ever-present influence I was a somewhat imaginative and philosophical lad. It seemed to me that just as a hill was made not merely for climbing, but that the climber should be rewarded for his attempt by the beautiful view of broader countries seen from the summit; even so a college education was designed, not to be a stumbling block to the youth of our country, but rather to serve as a means of intellectual elevation from which should open up visions of greater things in life. These two things made me become a “college man with little money,” who was ready to do any honest work to make up the financial deficiency.

How did I earn my way through college? In an account book, which I have preserved for many years, I find this statement, written when I was a sophomore in high school: “School closed (for the summer vacation) Friday. On Saturday I helped Roy cut grass and received twenty-five cents. From that regular employment followed and I earned and spent money as follows:”

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There follows, then, a record of fifteen cents from someone for cutting grass, or fifty cents from another for a bit of carpenter work such as a boy could do. Very consistently during the remainder of my high school course I worked, caring for lawns and gardens in the summer, and running one furnace and sometimes two and shoveling snow in the winter. I also pumped a church organ. By these 3 means I earned and saved $200.00 in the two years before I was ready to go to college. This sum I placed in the bank.

For two years of my college course I lived at home and went to and from the University each day. To earn money I tended a furnace and shoveled snow, pumped a church organ, and occasionally sold tickets at various entertainments in the Bangor City Hall. In the fall of the sophomore year I won a first prize of fifteen dollars in the annual sophomore declamations. During the summer between my first and second years in college I worked as an amateur landscape gardener, caring for lawns and gardens and doing odd jobs of all kinds. For the greater part of the summer following the second year I worked as a carpenter. I also tried the work of book agent, but made little headway at that.

Beginning with my junior year at college my plans were considerably changed. No longer did I travel to and from college daily, but, thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was permitted to live at the fraternity which I had joined in my freshman year. Thus I was given an opportunity to enter into the larger life and activity of the University, and so to share some of the college honors and profit by them.

But still there was the necessity of earning money. I still lacked many dollars, even many hundred dollars, necessary to secure my college education. During that junior year I worked at every opportunity 4 and earned money by selling tickets at various places, giving readings at a church entertainment, winning another first prize in the junior declamations, taking school census in my home ward in Bangor, and by doing odd jobs whenever any presented themselves. During the summer I secured work at a seashore resort and because of the somewhat isolated nature of the place saved nearly all my earnings.

In amount of money earned in all ways, my senior year was the best of my entire college course. During the Christmas recess I worked as floor-walker in a store, and during the spring vacation again took school census, this time in a larger ward which returned me more money. I won fifty dollars in an intercollegiate speaking contest, and earned nearly sixty-five dollars as substitute teacher in Bangor high school. These amounts, combined with my previous savings, or what was left of them, and an advance from the same friend, enabled me to graduate from the University of Maine in 1913 with all bills paid, but burdened with a great debt of gratitude that I can never properly pay.

As I look back over my college course, I feel that it was worth all the work that I was obliged to do.

Orono, Maine.