How Indians Graduate from Carlisle
AGAYLY decorated platform on0 which are seated the graduates, faculty, speaker and other invited guests; a lengthy program of music, orations and addresses, probably all cut to order and sugar-coated for the occasion; an award of sheepskins and a benediction—this, in brief, constitutes the stereotyped graduation ceremony of most colleges and schools.
But there is one school which has a different commencement. It is the United States Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Its twelve hundred students are children of America’s original people, and the institution is the largest industrial school in the country. Until recently commencement activities followed closely the lines of the average college exercises, with orations and addresses scheduled by instructors in close keeping with the academic part of the school’s work.
Today commencement at the Carlisle school is unlike any other. Graduation day is a day of proof as well as showing, for the Indian girl or boy not only tells
what she or he has done, but actually shows how each has succeeded. This event is held in the school’s immense gymnasium and audiences of ten thousand people and more from all parts of the United States attend. At the door you are met by a polite Indian usher, spick and span in a school uniform of blue and gold. He finds you a comfortable seat and a program. You look about but see no person in charge of the activities. Over in one end of the gymnasium you hear whispers. Sitting there are several hundred little Indian girls and boys of the short dress and knee-breeches age. The school band of fifty pieces is on a low platform at one end of the room. When the hall is full, a low whistle is heard at the entrance, and then the band breaks into a martial air and into the room troop the upper classes, each headed by its banner carrier. The rear is brought up by the graduates. Presently all have found their places. The platform is yet unoccupied, and there is apparently no leader for the afternoon’s event. From the front row of the audience a clergyman arises, signals the multitude to its feet and a prayer is offered. The band then renders a lively selection, the school superintendent extends a cordial welcome to all, and graduation is on at the Indian’s greatest school.
The platform is overhung with a canopy from the carpenter shop, made from lumber and resembling the roof of a porch of a residence. A girl steps to the platform, and curtains near the back of the stage are suddenly drawn. If she is a graduate
in nursing, other nurses step out with two patients and illustrate her talk. If she speaks on housekeeping, such a scene as is pictured is presented to the audience. If she tells how washing in the home should be done, other girls are there to help her illustrate it. If it is dressmaking or millinery, the Indian maiden gives you the theoretical knowledge while assistants supply the practical.
An Indian lad graduates in agriculture. He has his charts of farm lands with plots to illustrate the methods of scientific farming. Another boy is a plumber, and while he is telling of his trade helpers are putting together bathroom fixtures and sections of heating plants.
Dairying from beginning to end is described by another boy while pretty Indian milkmaids churn real butter and place it in molds for marketing. How to furnish a home is explained by another lad, while girls help him arrange various pieces of furniture in sectional rooms. Here is a splendid house model and here is a boy telling how it is erected. Helping him are other carpenters and the house shown is completed on the stage so far as the woodwork is concerned, even to placing lath for plastering and erecting the inner staircases.
Blacksmithing is another trade taught at the Carlisle school, and the trade has graduates. Accordingly, a blacksmith shop is placed on the platform. Several pieces of curved iron and wood are
bolted together and wheels fastened to the ends. Running-gears of a carriage are thus made. Another lad grasps the bellows-lever of a forge and soon flames spurt upward. A smithy thrusts real irons into the fire and presently two boys are pounding out red-hot horseshoes on a real anvil. Sparks fly into the air and the ring of the anvil sounds throughout the building. Another lad finishes the shoes at a bench vise.
Government officials are always in attendance at these Carlisle commencements. With school officials they occupy seats until the Indian girl and boy have had their say. Then come the addresses of visitors, presentation of diplomas and the remainder of the program. Such is the way Indians graduate, displaying the academic and vocational education afforded by their training in such manner as to mark the Indian graduation as the most unique and interesting of all commencements the country over.
Chickens Feed Themselves On The Run
AN ingenious citizen of Illinois has invented a contrivance by means of which his chickens feed themselves, thus saving him the trouble of early rising and feeding them himself. As the man remains in bed his chickens walk around the contrivance in the barnyard and inadvertently step on the ends of a projecting board.
The weight of each chicken is sufficient to tilt the board, so that the grain placed in the receptacle at the top of the apparatus the evening before is thrown to the ground. As fast as
the grain falis it is picked up by the chickens and the more chickens there are operating the automatic feeder the faster the grain falls, to the ground.
When the first chicken walked on the projecting board and discovered that the faster it walked the faster the grain fell in front of it, other chickens fell in line and it wasn’t long before the whole barnyard flock was marathoning around the contrivance, eating up the grain as it fell and working up appetites for the next meal at the same time.
Those of us interested in science, engineering, invention form a kind of guild. We should help one another. The editor of The POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY is willing to answer questions.
Housekeeping Made Easy