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26 Works of Myra Kelly

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A Bent Twig

Story type: Literature

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In season and out of season Constance Bailey, that earnest young educator, preached of the value of honesty. And fifty little children of Israel who formed the First Reader class, and the one little son of Erin who led it, hearkened to her: always with politeness, and sometimes with surprise. To some of the boys […]

The Etiquette Of Yetta

Story type: Literature

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“Stands a girl by our block,” Eva Gonorowsky began, as she and her friend Yetta Aaronsohn wended their homeward way through the crowded purlieus of Gouverneur and Monroe Streets, “stands a girl by our block what don’t never goes on the school.” Yetta was obediently shocked. She had but recently been rescued from a like […]

"The Origin Of Species"

Story type: Literature

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“Say! What you think!” cried Rebecca Einstein to her friend and neighbor Esther Nolan. “What you think we got to our house?” Esther confessed ignorance. “A baby,” cried the triumphant Rebecca. “It’s mine,” said Esther promptly. “I writes such a letter on the Central Park Stork he shall bring me a baby. I tells him […]

"Bailey’s Babies"

Story type: Literature

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“Miss Bailey,” said Miss Blake, entering Room 18 during the lunch hour of a day in January, shortly after school had recovered from the Christmas holidays, “might I come in for a few moments this afternoon to observe your children? I suppose I shall be having them next term. Too bad you first-grade teachers never […]

The Magic Cape

Story type: Literature

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The heart of the janitor of an East Side school is not commonly supposed to be a tender organ. And yet to Miss Bailey, busy with roll-books and the average attendance of First Readers, there entered the janitor with an air half apologetic, half defiant. There was snow upon the janitor’s cap and little icicles […]

“Where did you get him?” said the Principal. “In the back yard of one of those double-deckers down by the river,” answered the Truant Officer. “Ain’t he the bird!” he added in professional enthusiasm. “I’ve been chasing him for two or three days. He’s just about as easy to handle as an eel, and to-day […]

"Games In Gardens"

Story type: Literature

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Isaac Borrachsohn, Room 18’s only example of the gilded youth, could never be described as a brilliant scholar, but on a morning in early April Miss Bailey found him more trying even than was his wont. He was plainly the centre of some sub-evident interest. First Readers nudged one another and whispered together, casting awed […]

"Every Goose A Swan"

Story type: Literature

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An ideal is like a golden pheasant. As soon as the hunter comes up with one he kills it in more or less bloody fashion, tears its feathers off, absorbs what he can of it, and then sets out, refreshed, in pursuit of another. Or if, being a tender-hearted hunter, he tries to keep it […]

The Touch Of Nature

Story type: Literature

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“There is,” wrote the authorities with a rare enthusiasm, “no greater power for the mental, moral and physical uplifting of the Child than a knowledge and an appreciation of the Beauties of Nature. It is the duty and the privilege of the teacher to bring this elevating influence into the lives of the children for […]

A Passport To Paradise

Story type: Literature

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School had been for some months in progress when the footsteps of Yetta Aaronsohn were turned, by a long-suffering Truant Officer, in the direction of Room 18. During her first few hours among its pictures, plants and children, she sadly realized the great and many barriers which separated her from Eva Gonorowsky, Morris Mogilewsky, Patrick […]

Isaac Borrachsohn, that son of potentates and of Assemblymen, had been taken to Central Park by a proud uncle. For weeks thereafter he was the favourite bard of the First Reader Class and an exceeding great trouble to its sovereign, Miss Bailey, who found him now as garrulous as he had once been silent. There […]

“It will be difficult,” said Miss Bailey, gently insubordinate, “very difficult. I have already a register of fifty-eight and seats for only fifty. It is late in the term, too; the children read and write quite easily. And you say this new boy has never been at school?” “Never,” admitted the Principal. “His people are […]

When A Man’s Widowed

Story type: Literature

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It was a quarter past nine and Miss Bailey was calling the roll, an undertaking which, after months of daily practice, was still formidable. Beginning with Abraham Abrahamowsky and continuing through the alphabet to Solomon Zaracheck, the roll-call of the First-Reader Class was full of stumbling blocks and pitfalls. Teacher insisted upon absolute silence during […]

On the first day of school, after the Christmas holidays, Teacher found herself surrounded by a howling mob of little savages in which she had much difficulty in recognizing her cherished First-Reader Class. Isidore Belchatosky’s face was so wreathed in smiles and foreign matter as to be beyond identification; Nathan Spiderwitz had placed all his […]

An organized government requires a cabinet, and, during the first weeks of her reign over Room 18, Miss Bailey set about providing herself with aides and advisors. She made, naturally, some fatal and expensive mistakes, as when she entrusted the class pencils to the care of one of the Yonowsky twins who, promptly falling ill […]

It was the week before Christmas, and the First-Reader Class had, almost to a man, decided on the gifts to be lavished on “Teacher.” She was quite unprepared for any such observance on the part of her small adherents, for her first study of the roll-book had shown her that its numerous Jacobs, Isidores, and […]

The Uses Of Adversity

Story type: Literature

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“I guess I don’t need I should go on the school,” announced Algernon Yonowsky. “I guess you do,” said his sister. “I guess I don’t need I should go on the school, neither,” remarked Percival. “You got to go,” Leah informed her mutinous brothers. “I got a permit for you from off the Principal; he’s […]

Four weeks of teaching in a lower East Side school had deprived Constance Bailey of many of the “Ideals in Education” which, during four years at college, she had trustingly acquired. But, despite many discouragements, despite an unintelligible dialect and an autocratic “Course of Study,” she clung to an ambition to establish harmony in her […]

Among the influences which, in America, promote harmony between alien races, the public school plays a most important part. The children, the teachers, the parents–whether of emigrant or native origin–the relatives and friends in distant countries, are all brought more or less under its amalgamating influences. In the schoolroom the child finds friends and playmates […]

Theodora, Gift Of God

Story type: Literature

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“And then,” cried Mary breathlessly, “what did they do then?” “And then,” her father obediently continued, “the two doughty knights smote lustily with their swords. And each smote the other on the helmet and clove him to the middle. It was a fair battle and sightly.” But Mary’s interest was unabated. “And then,” she urged, […]

“And all the rest and residue of my estate,” read the lawyer, his voice growing more impressive as he reached this most impressive clause, “I give and bequeath to my beloved granddaughter and godchild Cecelia Anne Hawtry for her own use and benefit forever.” The black-clothed relations whose faces had been turned toward the front […]

"Who Is Sylvia?"

Story type: Literature

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“Lemon, I think,” said Miss Knowles, in defiance of the knowledge, born of many afternoons, that he preferred cream. She took a keen and mischievous pleasure in annoying this hot-tempered young man, and she generally succeeded. But to-day he was not to be diverted from the purpose which, at the very moment of his entrance, […]

The Christmas Guest

Story type: Literature

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On the day before Christmas eve John Sedyard closed his desk, dismissed his two clerks and his stenographer two hours earlier than usual, and set out in quest of adventure and a present for his sister Edith. John Sedyard had a habit of succeeding in all he set forth to do but the complete and […]

Misery Loves Company

Story type: Literature

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“But, Win,” remonstrated the bride-elect, “I really don’t think we could. Wouldn’t it look awfully strange? I don’t think I ever heard of its being done.” “Neither did I,” he agreed. “And yet I want you to do it. Look at it from my point of view. I persuade John Mead to stop wandering around […]

The Pennsylvania Limited was approaching Jersey City and the afternoon was approaching three o’clock when Mr. John Blake turned to Mrs. John Blake, nee Marjorie Underwood, a bride of about three hours, and precipitated the first discussion of their hitherto happy married life. “Your Uncle Richard Underwood,” said he–the earlier discussions in the wedded state […]

A business meeting of the Lady Hyacinths Shirt-Waist Club was in progress. The roll had been called. The twenty members were all present and the Secretary had read the minutes of the last meeting. These formalities had consumed only a few moments and the club was ready to fall upon its shirt waists. The sewing-machines […]