Difference between revisions of "Kate's 1909 letter from Marash"

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Latest revision as of 23:16, 22 February 2018

A letter from Marash signed by Kate, dated February 20, 1909 starts off as follows. It was 8 pages, but this is cut off:

¿Marash Turkey, February 20, 1909

Dear Helen,

Since I last wrote you I have been studying more Turkish. Our old semester has closed & our new one began too as my class I teach has turned from a Geometry into an Astronomy class. ¿ Oh yes I have visited schools some 7 made a call or too also. One day about two weeks ago Mrs. Lee asked me to go calling with her so I put on my things & we started. We went down just to the schools and visited the girls school that prepares girls to come to this College. It has three classes. The highest class told the story of the Golden hair & the three pears for us & told it very nicely indeed in English. Then as we left that school we looked in on some of the lower schools. My I don¿t see how those teachers get along at all. They have from sixty to seventy five or eighty children each. These children sit around on the floor & study when they have a book & just sit when they haven¿t. There aren¿t books to go around so the children have to sit, just sit a good deal. These schools are kept up by the native churches here & the people in these churches are very poor this winter ¿ some who used to have a good deal of money are this year sitting down to meals of dry bread, no butter, no milk, no meat, no vegetables, just bread & I suppose thankful for that. Crops have been a failure for two or three years & the suffering now before the Spring comes to relieve it is awful. I don¿t wonder they cannot buy books & things for their schools. After we had poked in our heads & smiled on one or two of these schools we went over to see the blind school. Here are a dozen or fifteen blind children who are taught to read & write the printed writing by a trained blind woman. They learn stories & verses from the Bible too and learn things to help them earn their livelihood afterwards such as knitting stockings and mittens caneing chairs, sewing etc. ¿ now they let us run and go to church & school & do not make us sit in a corner quiet all day. That is what their parents always did thinking the children could not get about by themselves. Indeed their teacher has had rather a hard time to make them really play since they have only lately learned to get about at all ¿ but now they have begun giving some of the older ones music lessons they say that ended all trouble with the little ones. They run & play as hard as they can and say they must so they will grow big & can have music lessons. One little girl has great big bright eyes and does not look at all blind only if you look close you will find she has no pupils in her eyes. After this we went to see a sick teacher. She is very sick, I guess, she may never get well. The worst of it is she has been poor and starved herself for so many years that when she was in the College they tried to feed her up & the Dr. said he thought it really improbable to give her a real good hearty meal. She had starved herself so long she did not know how to eat heartily. Now she has been working too hard & become sick & that has taken the rest of her appetite & the Dr. says he can do nothing for her if she wont eat. ¿ Then we went to see the wife of one of the Academy teachers. (Boys Academy). We had a very pleasant visit there, I was especially interested in the fine Geological collection he had. Do you know sea dollars & all sorts of sea things can be picked up almost anywhere here. ¿ The first of this week Mrs. Lee asked me to go with her and hear the examinations in one of her schools so I did. The little tots, they looked about the right size to take onto your lap ¿ had finished three books all at once & Mrs Lee thought we ought to celebrate by going down to hear their examination. They read in Armenian, Armeno-Turkish, and Osmanli-Turkish, words from one to seven or eight syllables long and went like a streak of lightning. I just sat an...