“It is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.”
“The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned…”
“On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope. No doubt as years go by the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other people’s money . . . But the engineer himself looks back at the the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants.”
“Tis the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of the sun on the blue water.
It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week.
And it is discipline in the equality of men, for all men are equal before fish.”
“You can absolutely rely on a boy if you know what to expect.
A boy is Nature’s answer to false belief that there is no such thing as perpetual motion. A boy can run like a deer, swim like a fish, climb like a squirrel, balk like a mule, bellow like a bull, eat like a pig, or act like a jackass, according to climatic conditions.
The world is so full of boys that it’s impossible to touch off a fire cracker, strike up a band, or pitch a ball without collecting a thousand of them. Boys are no ornamental; they’re useful. If it were not for boys, the newspapers would go undelivered and unread and a hundred thousand picture shows would go bankrupt.
The boy is a natural spectator; he watches parades, fires, fights, football games, automobiles and planes with equal fervor. However, he will not watch a clock. A boy is a piece of skin stretched over an appetite. However, he eats only when he’s awake. Boys imitate their Dads in spite of all efforts to teach them good manners. Boys are very durable. A boy if not washed too often and if kept in a cool quiet place after each accident, will survive broken bones, hornets nests, swimming holes and five helpings of pie.
Boys love to trade things. They’ll trade fish hooks, marbles, broken knives and snakes for anything that is priceless or worthless.”
Note: Written by Lou Henry on January 31, 1890 when the future First Lady was 15-years-old.
“The independent girl is truly of quite modern origin, and usually is a most bewitching little piece of humanity.
Although this word may be taken in many different meanings, the one generally accepted in our day refers to the ambitious little personage who never asks for, and seldom receives advice of any kind; she will not receive aid from anyone, especially if she faintly imagines the offer to be prompted by a little feeling of sympathy for herself.
She perfers [prefers] fighting her own battles in this life, and sallies forth to each encounter with a martial spirit which is quite startling. If there are a number of pair of admiring or doubting eyes watching her course she delights to find many obstacles in her path, which she overcomes with the skill of a learned engineer, or flanks with tact worthy a great army strategist. The independent girl is a person before whose wrath only the most rash dare stand, and, they, it must be confessed, with much fear and trembling.
But sooner or later she is sure to meet a spirit equally as independent as her own, and then — there is a clash of arms ending in mortal combat, or they unite their forces and with combined strength go forth to meet the world.”