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From the Diary of Ruth Edith Newman
student of the Rockingham County Colored School System
Courtesy Ruth Toliver

Monday, March 11, 1912. 10 min. to two.
Dear Diary – We had a fairly good lesson in arithmetic to-day. In fact an excellent one — Oh! My. It is 2:20 now. We had to stop to put down our arithmetic. We are having Geography now. I have put down all my examples. I had the 1 and the 9th. In our written exercises on page 346. We had two visitors last night. I sold a reader Saturday. Yesterday I didn’t go to church in the morning but staid at home and read. “The White Moth,” Broadway Luck, “The Hon. Edward Wymss “Luncheon. They were all fine. Broadway Luck was best.

Friday, March 15, 1912 (1:15) (Red dress)
Dear Diary – . . . I wish I was at home eating and reading. One of the pupils said that a flood would swoop down upon Harrisonburg. Wonder if the schools will have to be closed for the fear of the scholars getting drowned. Number I hope not. (1:20)

Wednesday, March 20, 1912 (blue dress)
. . . Our arithmetic is over and I will work mine for the next day. Our lesson was very good. Mamie had a little disagreement today with one of her teachers she is not at school this evening. We are having happy times playing ball these days. I am so warm. Maggie got a scolding a while ago.

Tuesday night March 26, 1912 7:20
We had a good lesson in all studies to-day. We had a test in Sanitation today; five questions. We had a lovely game of ball this afternoon. Marian, Menlot, Myrtle, Jessie, and myself. I caught about 100 balls.

Monday, April 1, 1912
There are a whole lot of boys out on our play-ground playing and we can hear their shouts now. 1:05 I am at home . . . We have been in the parlor trying to decide which music to play Friday. I think I will play “Sextet from Lucia.” if not, “Remember Me.”

Tuesday, April 9, 1912
Dear Diary – . . . I have two lovely stories at home to read. I must hurry and put down my arithmetic. Mr. Johns wants us to graduate the second night of the closing. I will admit that I don’t want to. I wish I could restrain him and get the idea out of his head. I feel like I am a woman. Oh dear.

Friday, April 19, 1912
Dear Diary – . . . I went to Uncle Tom’s Cabin last night. It was exquisite. They had a packed house. We had a composition entitled The “Titanic Disaster” or An Informal letter to your mother. I wrote on The Titanic Disaster . . .

Wednesday, May 1, 1912
Diary dearest, – Well here is May at last. This is a beautiful day. We have been out jumping rope and Miss Fallin came out and rung an old rusty bell. The electric bells were in bad shape–wouldn’t ring. When she started it we gave a loud cheer and jested about “cow bell.” Mr. Blosser” and other jests . . .

Wednesday, May 22, 1912
Dearest, This is the long looked for last day of school that so many little ones have looked for and longed for. This is a dry sultry day and I don’t feel like having any foolishness. We came to school at nine o’clock and what do you think? Mr. Johns didn’t open the Chapel exercises until ten o’clock. Then, after a few instructions, we marched to the Hall. My partner was Helen. We had a very pleasant time. Though we were met by curious stares on all sides. At last we reached the Hall we went up the front stairs and took seats behind the scenes on the stage. We rehearsed the whole part and they did their worst at this the last rehearsal . . .

Thursday, May 23, 1912
Darling, – Ah, here dawns the day of destination! A day I have long wished was gone and buried with the past. Do you ask why? Well I will tell you. Do you not know that I am to be graduated tonight with salutatory honors? How I dread the ordeal! Although my mind and thoughts will be as cool and collected as when my most affectionate little girl friends and I used to sit at the east windows and sew, (when that day would come) and listen to the careless chatter of each other . . . Oh, trying ordeal!

Friday, May 24, 1912
Well it is passed don’t ask what please. It wasn’t so terrible after all. Mr. Hulvey’s family was there. I received the most flowers. How could I? My friends were divine. So likewise was the ice cream. I never was so inclined to weep before when a friend asked me was I going to school any more. How absurd!

a lesson...
March 1912
I. Who was King after the reign of Cambeyses?
II. What did this King resolve to do.
3. When did the end of the Persian Empire come?
4. How did it manage its governmental affairs?
5. What is meant by “satrapal”?
6. What advantage did this form give over the old system?
7. Of what did the literature of Persia consist?
8. What was meant by goroustrianism?
9. How did it compare with our present religious opinion?
10. Tell what you know of architecture.

Answers, from another page
1. Darius I 4. He built splendid structures at Persepolis; reformed the government making wise changes
2. He resolved to carry out the execution of his father’s plans of conquest in Europe
3. The end came in 334 B.C.
5. A kind of governor among the Persians, ruled by a Satrap
7. The lit was mostly religious
8. Goroust. Was a system of belief opposed to the “good spirit”
9. There was also a “dark spirit” who was constantly striving to destroy the good creations of the good spirit by creating all kinds of evil things
10. The Pers. Kings raised their palaces upon lofty terraces. They used stone on the table lands.