Frank Overton.

The Business Educator (Volume 17) online

. (page 42 of 97)
Online LibraryFrank OvertonThe Business Educator (Volume 17) → online text (page 42 of 97)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

spirit among the teachers.

It does not seem to me that there is
call for Jeremiads of any kind over
the fact that the attendance at Kan-
sas City was a little below the usual
mark. This has happened at other
meetings before this one, and may
happen again, and there is nothing
in the circumstance that should
cause anyone to see blue. The mere
matter of attendance is not, by any
means, the most important thing
about a convention. The spirit of
the members and their enthusiasm,
the worth-whileness of what is said


or done, the bright things of sense
and truth which the members may
take back home with them— these are
all of vastly greater import than the
mere matter of whether the registra-
tion is a few names above or below
the normal.

Most of us are unreasoningly dis-
posed to estimate some things in this
world by mere size or quantity, in-
stead of by quality. We are likely to
conclude, off-hand, that a big conven-
tion is necessarily a successful one,
although we know better than to
adopt this standard in judging men,
or books, or even pumpkins.

Judged by size, the Kansas City
convention was not important, there
being, all told, but 126 names on its
muster roll. But after it is all over—
with the pulse of my enthusiasm back
to normal, and the ring of the ap-
plause out of my ears, and the spark-
ling champagney spirit no longer
tingling my mental palate, I write it
down judically and in cool blood,
that this convention was one of the
most entirely delightful teachers'
meetings that I have ever attended.
The Huff This was scheduled for
School 8:30, Thanksgiving evening,
Reception and promptly on the hour,
Miss Huff and a bevy of some two
dozen of her students were on hand
to do the honors, as the guests ar-
rived. The handsome reception hall
was profusely and tastefully decor-
ated with southern smilax and chrys-

anthemums, and a committee of pret
ty girls dispensed delicious grape
punch to all comers, throughout the
evening. Everything was delightful-
ly informal, and for an hour or more
folks chatted and laughed and got ac-
quainted in the warm western fash-
ion. Miss Huff's girls and boys wore
gay colored arm bands with the word
"HUFF" printed in big letters to
distinguish them from the mere
teachers. Of course, some one had
the hardihood to observe that it was
unusual to see so many pretty girls
"in a Huff." President Kirker with
his six-foot three of courtliness and
good looks, and the urbane Mr. Hoot-
man, Chairman of the Executive
Committee, aided Miss Huff and lent
an official touch to the occasion.
Scott Miner, the ebon-locked Adonis
of the book men, hovered ever near
the punch bowl, and bet his sesterces
on the dainty maids. The ambula-
tory Baker, of Cincinnati, with an
eye to the main chance, kept near the
school ma'ams and beamed like a
well-fed monk(the pious kind I mean,
not the sort that grinds the organ.)
Lloyd Goodyear's graceful figure,
forensic dome, and innocent smile,
also added a picturesque touch to
the scene, but Lloyd is too shy a bird
to trust himself too much with the la-
dies. The cynosure of all eyes, was
John R. Gregg, who was celebrating
his first appearance in Kansas City.
I overheard one of Miss Huff's buds
remark, "Say! don't that snuff color-
ed suit and red hair match to the
queen's taste? He's just too cute for
anything." Boyles, of Omaha, look-
ing like a trust magnate, after divi-
dends had been declared, accompan-
ied by the charming Mrs. B. was on
hand, both of them genial as a Ne-
braska October morning.

Cherubic Raymond Kelly, the cho-
sen knight of Miss Remington, Plage,
the Kansas City Underwood man,
and Simmons, of the Smith-Premier
commingled in brotherly spirit.

CH \s K. Smith, Pres. 1H12
K ansae City Mo

I. Kirker. Pres. 1911

Kansas City, Mo

I D, Long, V.-Pres. 1911
Emporia, Kans.

KMe^utintdV&tUuxi&r &


For two or three hours the good
time ran on with no signs of exhaus-
tion, in either the company, the jokes
or the punch bowl. Finally Presi-
dent Kirker called out Brother Gregg,
and got him to tell in modest and hu-
morous fashion how he came to take
up shorthand. It seems that John
was the dull boy in a family of schol-
istic prize-winners, and ardently em-
braced shorthand in a desperate ef-
fort to prove that he was not entirely
beyond the possibility of distinction.
John R. thoroughly delighted the
company with his little excursion in-
to reminiscence, and left with his
auditors several good things to think

Kirker's next victim was the pres-
ent scribe, who was compelled to tell
a story or suffer the consequences,
and then the Kansas City inquisitor
nailed Plage, and made him perform,
to the joy of all.


The Prelim- The program opened
inaries with some delicious

music by a band of trained girl sing-
ers from the Kansas City Manual
Training High School. 1 did not get
the name of the gentleman who train-
ed these girls to sing but I will ven-
ture an unprofessional opinion that
he is onto his job.

The music was followed by an elo-
quent invocation by Dr. Ohnstead, of
the Grand Avenue M. E. Church.

The Association was then welcom-
ed'to Kansas City in a stirring ad-
dress by Frank A. Faxon, Vice-Presi-
dent of the School Board. Mr. Fax-
on is a type of the rugged, old time
pioneer business man, who has not
allowed himself to get moss-grown.
He had some mighty good things to
sav for commercial education, and he
said them in a way to make every-
body listen. He handled without
gloves, what hecalled "sloppy work"
in business teaching and told some
good stories about his experiences
with stenographers who only half
know their business. Then shifting
to the especial purpose of his ad-
dress, in felicitous terms he threw
open the gates of Kansas City to her
guests of the occasion, and made all
of us feel as welcome as he said we

Raymond P. Kelly, responded 1 o Mr.
Faxon, and of course, acquitted him-
self happily. When it comes to hand-
ling the bouquets that go with conven-
tion amenities, Raymond is the bright
particular boy for the job, because he
exudes joyousness from every pore of
his peachy skin. He is good to look
upon, too, if you want to know, and I
agree with the admiringschool ma'am
who exclaimed, "O, me, O, my! if his
hair was only curly, with just a shade
more of it, how he would make up for
Cupid!" If Raymond was anybody
else, I should be afraid to report such

things about him for fear of turning
his head.

President Kirker made an uncon-
scious bid for popularity by "cutting
out" the time honored, "President's
Address." I have no idea where he
found the precedent for chis depart-
ure, but I am sure his brief business-
like "Remarks" were a welcome sub-
stitute for the usual forty-page deliv-
erance, which most convention presi-
pents feel it their duty to inflict on
their fellow sufferers. His off-hand
talk indicated no midnight forays up-
on the dictionary, or any attempt to
nourish his audience with puddingy
platitudes, saturated with a sauce of
superhuman wisdom. Neither did he
take us on a long-winded excursion
around the educational field, after
the manner of the loquacious autocrat
of a rubberneck wagon. On the oth-
er hand Kirker was as direct and
business like as a street car conduct-
or, telling us just what we needed to
know and no more. Here's hoping
the path he has blazed in the way of
presidential pronouncement may be
followed by others.

MacCormac of I have a sneaking
Chicago suspicion that Presi-
dent Kirker side-stepped the presi-
dential address in favor of Morton
MacCormac. Maybe Kirker thought
that Morton needed the practice and
therefore gave him the chance. Any-
way, the Chicago man's address on
"Business Education — Its Future,"
would have worked in very well as a
presidential pronouncement, as in
fact it was, for "Mac" was the one
called and chosen last winter to pre-
side at the great meeting at Spokane
next July. Limitation of space
makes it inexpedient for me to at-
tempt anything in the way of even a
topical summary of Mr. MacCormac's
paper. He planted himself squarely
on the side of honesty and effective-
ness in business education, rapped
the knuckles of some common abuses
pretty sharply, and adorned the sky
of the future with enough rainbows
to prevent anybody's feeling too pes-
simistic as to the general outlook.

To some of us, his eulogium of use-
ful education as the supreme human
interest, seemed rather overtimed
with the rosy coloring of the enthusi-
ast. There was something of super-
optimism in the prediction that busi-
ness schools would in time cease to
turn out mere bookkeepers and sten-
ographers, but would send out young
men "to take the places of our retir-
ing business men." It seemed a lit-
tle hard on the other learned profes-
sions, when he exclaimed "some
Rockefeller or Carnegie may yet see
the need of training boys to do ?ieces-
.rarywork instead of being theologians,
lawyers and physicians." Maybe we
could get along without the preach-
ers, the doctors and the lawyers, but
somehow I could hardly want to see

them all go at once. Possibly, how-
ever, Brother MacCormac did not
mean just that. In fact, he closed
with the observation, that the work of
our schools "should be enlarged to
include non-vocational courses," I in-
fer from this that he is not totally
blind to the spiritual side of educa-

Gregg on Friday morning's pro-
Efficiency gram closed with a most
interesting and illuminating talk by
John K. Gregg, on the application of
the new doctrine of "Scientific Man-
agement" as applied to school room
work. After relating in a most en-
tertaining way some of the experi-
ments of Taylor and others in dou-
bling the efficiency of the workmen
emDloyed in the Bessemer Steel
Works, Mr. Gregg proceeded to show
that a similar increase in efficiency is
possible by improving the methods
employed in our school rooms. The
distinguished shorthand author did
not content himself with mere gener-
alities in presenting this idea, but
gave many interesting specific in-
stances where the students could be
trained to.greater efficiency. Heshow-
ed by means of a Goodyear loose-leaf
note book, how time can be saved in
turning pages, etc., and gave a hu-
morous illustration of the "false mo-
tions" that help to waste the time of
a nervous or improperly trained
stenographer. Mr. Gregg's talk could
not fail to be wonderfully helpful to
the teacher who wants to improve her
student output. In fact, he broke
ground in a big tract of practically
unexplored territory.


A Strong Talk After some de-
on Bookkeeping lightful music by
the High School Glee Club, Mr. C. C.
Carter, of the Joplin, Mo., High
School, handled the long standing
problem of bookkeeping for begin-
ners. Mr. Carter's talk had the all
too rare quality of being positive,
definite and full of well grounded
conviction, without being narrow or
opinionated. Moreover, his remarks
were seasoned throughout with win-
ning common sense. He led off by
saying that the values of well taught
bookkeeping are cultural, moral and
practical. It is cultural because it
develops thought; it is moral because
it cultivates the sense of equity and
truth; it is practical because a knowl-
edge of it can be marketed. Mr. Car-
ter believes that bookkeeping should
be studied in connection with the
principles and practice of commer-
cial law. He pointed out that most
bookkeeping entries are the records
of contracts, either executive or ex-
ecutory, of which they often supply
the sole evidence. He also argued
that the students should use the
requisite papers and vouchers that
go with the bookkeeping records, and


cMe38ud/n&W&&uxt&r &

upon which these records are based.
He said that the foundation principle
of bookkeeping is "telling the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth." The weakness of much book-
keeping instruction, Mr. Carter
thinks, is in failing to give the stu-
dent enough practice in openings and
closings. There is too much mere
routine without much thinking in it.
The method of starting the student,
or the form of books used, are of less
import than the study and manipula-
tion of the accounts themselves.
A Son of his At the conclusion of

Father Mr. Carter's talk, some-
one called for Mr. Virgil Musselman,
of the Gem City Business College,
and son of the famous pioneer of
business education, D. L. Mussel-
man. The young man quickly show-
ed that he was very much more than
a mere ornamental appendage to an
honored family tree. He began his
talk with charming grace, and at once
won his way to everybody's heart.
Although a trifle apart from the sub-
ject in hand, Mr. Musselman gave an
interesting account of the way book-
keeping is taught at the Ouincy
school, dwelling especially on the of-
fice training department. He'easily
avoided any appearance of "tooting
his own horn," however, and bright-
ened his talk with one or two capital

Bright Talk A rich and rare treat
from an was the address of F. N.

Expert Weaver, a Kansas City
public accountant, on the theme :
"Confidence." The particular brand
of confidence discussed by the speak-
er, was that which the public ought
to have in the business school. With
inimitable wit and vigor, he proceed-
ed to show why a certain class of
business schools lack this confidence
of the business public. Especially
he paid his respects to the type of
business school man who turns out
raw six-month students as "compe-
tent accountants," even decorating
them, in some instances, with the de-
gree-label, "Master of Accounts."
He said he himself was a phenome-
non of that sort having been at the age
of seventeen, a"Master of Accounts."
For several minutes Mr. Weaver
evoked shouts of laughter through
the delicious fun he poked at this sort
of thing.

The speaker made the significant
point that comparatively few busi-
ness college students make their liv-
ing at bookkeeping. The bulk of
them get into other channels of busi-
ness, and he urged the need of teach-
ing business as well as bookkeeping
to these boys. He drew a sharp dis-
tinction between mere bookkeeping
and accounting, The main work of
the latter, he said, consists in find-
ing the sources of profits and losses.
Nearly all business failures are
caused by lack of this information.

He classified modern accountants
under three heads. (1) Auditors, or
testers of accounting accuracy, (2)
Systemizers, or those who point out
better ways of doing things. (3) Bus-
iness doctors, whose work it is to
find out what is wrong with an un-
successful business. Mr. Weaver in-
sisted that a higher grade of knowl
edge was necessary among commer-
cial students, and he assured the as-
sembled school men they were on the
wrong track, whenever they cater to
a low grade of scholarship. There
was not one dull moment while this
man of hard sense and keen humor
was talking, and it is to be hoped
that the makers of future convention
programs will keep an eye on him.
C. T. Smith The spelling contest
—he Spells conducted by Principal
Down the Bainter of the Central
School High School was a wel-
come interlude of fun. The "cap-
tains" were C. T. Smith, of Kansas
City Business College, and C. C. Car-
ter, of the Joplin, Mo., High School.
The line-up included about half of
those present, many declining to
serve when drafted for the fray. The
battle of letters was fierce from the
start, and the slaughter of the heroes
was swift and appalling. Two of
Bro. Smith's warriors went down at
once with an attack of "asthma," and
the Carter forces were stunned when
their redoubtable leader succumbed
to "dyspepsia," and his main re-
liance, the stalwart Rusmisel, was
laid low by "protege." This loss was
as nothing, however, to the carnage
wrought among the Smith warriors
by "collodion." This insidious word
put seven of them out of business at
one fell swoop, probably because of
the ether in it. "Appendicitis" laid
out several of the Carterites before
they could be operated on, and that
deadly French explosive "recherche"
blew up several more of them. By
this time White, the St. Louis spell-
ing reformer, Talmadge, of Kansas
City, and Captain Smith were all that
remained of the Smith forces. For a
while these three parried every deadly
thrust, but at last the St. Louis man's
armor was pierced. The word, if I
remember rightly, was "neuralgia."
White essayed this word by the or-
thodox method, but it was evident he
had received a mortal wound, "n-u-e"
—he began— "hold on — n-e-u" — then,
seeing the case was hopeless he in-
voked the gods of reform spelling,
shouted "p-n-e-u-r-a-h-1-g-i-e" and ex-
pired. After that, it was soon all
over. Bainter dug up new amunition
in the form of some partially angli-
cized French, which proved fearfully
destructive, and in less time than it
takes to write it, all the lesser war-
riors had bitten the dust and the
field was vacant save for the waving
gonfalon of Captain Smith's Socra-
tic whiskers, and his uncrowned
philosophic thought dome which

gleamed in triumph like the white
plume of Henry at Navarre.

The spoils of the fray consisted of
a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary,
contributed for the occasion by J. W.
Baker of the Southwestern Publish-
ing Company. But the question
naturally arises, why give Smith a
dictionary ? What earthly use is it to
a man who can spell every word in
either the English or the French
tongue both forward and backward ?
There would have been something
appropriate in rewarding him with a
safety razor or a wig— but a diction-
ary! It is simply another case of,
"them as has gits."
A Forensic Thos. J. Caton, an ora

Treat torical school man from
Minneapolis, concluded the day's
program with an oration on the well-
worn theme, "The Ideal Teacher "
Mr. Caton has a remarkable flow of
language and other characteristics of
the old-time orator. He held the at-
tention of his audience throughout,
and his address was heartily re-

The Thanksgiving This was served
Banquet in the refectory of

the Grand Avenue M. E. Church
by the ladies of the congregation.
The menu consisted of roast turkey,
and the usual "fixens," and was a
distinct culinary success. Chas. T.
Smith of the Kansas City Business
College, was the clever and enter-
taining toastmaster. There was a
grateful absence of the usual set
speeches on prescribed topics. The
talk was started by Lobaugh of Ginn
& Co., who told a good string of
stories, and he was followed in a
similar stunt by Scott Miner of the
American Book Co. Mrs. Marcella
Lang of the Joplin Business College,
made a decided "hit" with the witti-
est speech of the evening. G. W.
Hootman, of the H. M. Rowe Co., re-
cited some very clever original po-
ems, which were enthusiastically re-
ceived. T. J. Caton was called on,
and recited Longfellow's "Psalm of
Life" commenting on the lines as he
went along.

Charming vocal solos were ren-
dered by a Mrs. Calhoun, also by a
Kansas City gentleman whose name
I failed to get.

The banquet was attended by
about one hundred and forty guests,
and it was complimentary to mem-
beis of the Association.


A Bright Talk After some inspiring
on English songs by the Centra!
High School Boys' Glee Club of
twenty voices, the convention was
treated to an exceptionally meaty
and interesting talk by Hubert A.
Hager, of the Gregg School, Chica-

Mr. Hager dealt mainly with the
matter of business letter-writing.
He said that the first and indispen-

<3^38uA/n^A / i&diuxifir' &

sable requisite, for writing a good
business letter, is to know the busi-
ness concerning which the letter
was to be written. The next essen-
tial was to have a good vocabulary
and a third, was to know the neces-
sary things of grammar. Mr. Hager
believes that a successful teacher
of English should be able to
speak and write well himself. He
should also be able to give a
reason, for all matters of language.
He should also read the profes-
sional journals, and keep up with
the times generally. The speaker
called attention to the fact, that in
many business schools, there are
high school and college graduates,
who know more about English than
the teachers who are employed to in-
struct them. He urged teachers to
take and read business and trade
journals, also, to visit business
offices, and get "pointers" as to how
business correspondence is handled.
He had found business men uniform-
ly willing to help teachers who ap-
proached them with this purpose in
view. Students should be taught
to read market reports and finan-
cial news understandingly and
this material should be used in
class. Pupils get more good out of
what they do in the English than from
what they merely learn. "They
must," said Mr. Hager, "learn to
write by writing.'" The foregoing
were but a few of the many good
points brought out by this bright
Chicago teacher.

MacCormac President MacCormac
Explains of the Federation was
again introduced to correct some
false impressions that had been dis-
seminated as to the purpose of his
visit to Kansas City. He wished to
make it clear that he was not here to
ask the Missouri Valley Association
to hold its next year's meeting at
Spokane. He felt on the other hand,
that, as no meeting of the Federation
was likely to be scheduled for the
winter of 1912, it was highly desirable
for the Western educators to hold
their Thanksgiving meeting as usual.
After making this point clear, Mr.
MacCormac eloquently urged all
teachers to combine to make the Spo-
kane meeting "the greatest assem-
blage of business teachers ever seen
on this planet." His appeal was
enthusiastically applauded.

A Note of Next on the program was
Sadness an address on "Commer-
cial Geography" by the well-known
expert on this subject, Mr. Hubert
Peters of the Manual Training High
School, Kansas City. A wave of
sympathetic sadness swept over the
convention when President Kirker
announced that Mr. Peters' mother
had died suddenly the night before.
It was suggested that appropriate
action be taken by the Association,
and, on motion, Mr. G. W. Hootman

was selected to draft a suitable letter
of condolence. Subsequently this
letter was read and approved by a
rising vote.

It had been intended that Mr.
Peters' paper would be illustrated by
the stereoptican but in his absence
this feature was omitted and the pa-
per was read by Mr. L. C. Rusmisel.
The paper dealt generally with prac-
tical methods of teaching commercial
geography. It was pointed out that
the subject was comparatively a new
one in the educational curriculum,
having been originated by the Ger-
mans only about a quarter of a cen-
tury ago. There was and still is a
notable lack of good texts on the sub-
ject. These are largely statistical,
and for the most part, insufferably
dull. The successful teacher must
originate his methods of teaching
rather than base them on the ar-
rangement of the books. There were
two general methods of procedure.
(1) The general study of all the pro-
ducts of the several different coun-
tries. (2) The study of one product
at a time, tracing the facts of its pro-
duction in the different countries.
Mr. Peters favors the "one product at
a time method." It is not practical
to study all products, but selections
should be made from the more im-
portant classes. He urged much at-
-tention to the facts and history of
transportation, and the movements
of commerce as indicated by the
growth of cities, railway and steam-
ship lines. He urged the importance of
collections and the employment of
stereoptican and laboratory methods.
Rarely has it been my privilege to
listen to a paper so replete with good
ideas, and it was keenly regretted by
all that it could not have been pre-
sented in person by its talented

Jessie Davidson I suppose it was a
on Type- mere happen-so that
writing but one number of
this fine program was presented by a
woman. But within a minute after
Miss Davidson, of the Huff School,
began talking on "How to Give the
Student of Typewriting the worth of
His Money," we were all truly glad
that she had been the one called and
chosen. The truth is, her paper so
sparkled with good points, and was
so compact of sane and sensible sug-
gestion, that I found it fairly im-
possible to get it down adequately in

Online LibraryFrank OvertonThe Business Educator (Volume 17) → online text (page 42 of 97)