interest me, brought me a copy of The Call, a Socialist
Publication. That paper gave a new turn to my thinking.
I sought other copies. I felt my heart beat with excitement
as I read the articles on social justice. For the first time
1 felt a call, a vocation. Unconsciously I enlisted, emotionally, in the army of those who said they would fight
During my four years at Evander Childs, I received
good marks in English history and science, and won a
state scholarship which helped me to go to college. In the
autumn I entered Hunter, the New York City college for
Women. I had decided to become a teacher. I started with
a determination to learn. There were many fields I wanted
to explore. I lived at home and traveled back and forth
e-'ch day on the new Pelham Bay Subway.
My religious training had been superficial. As a child I
•lad gone to church with Mamarella. I had been taught
to say my prayers. In our house hung various holy pictures
"nd the crucifix. But I knew nothing of the doctrines
°f faith. If I held any belief it was that we should dedicate
Ourselves to love of our fellow man.
* Hi: teacher who affected me most was Sarah Parks, who
|*Ught English. From her I first heard favorable talk about
jjie Russian Revolution. She compared it with the French
"evolution which she said had had a great liberalizing
''■bet on European culture, something which the Revolu-
•°n in Russia would also one day accomplish. She brought
0 class books on communism and lent them to us.
To us vvho loved her Sarah Parks brought fresh air into
•Sterile intellectual atmosphere when- scholarship some-
"11'-'s seemed pointless and where Phi Beta Kappa keys
*ere garnered by grinds. She led a busy life because so
V-any of us wanted to consult her. She was an important
actor in preparing us to accept a materialistic society. I
*"> sure she did help some students, but she did little for
nose who were already so emptied of convictions that
hey believed in nothing. They could only turn their steps
°Ward the great delusion of our time, toward the Socialist-
communist philosophy of Karl Marx.
In my junior year I was elected president of my class.
('V|'ial of my friends and 1 became involved in student
government. To Student Council meetings bright young
wis brought all sorts of dazzling proposals and I, ready
"support the experimental and the new, listened eagerly.
, e had, all of us, a strong will to goodness. We saw a
•eak present and wanted to turn it into a wonderful
''hire for the poor and the troubled. But we had no foitn-
•'hon In,- solid thinking. We had no real goals because
, e had no sound view of man's nature and destiny. We
a<i feelings and emotions, but no standards,
in my senior year I was elected president of Student
oiineil. That year I led the movement to establish the
,°nor system at Hunter. Also I brought politics into stu-
ent government by conducting the first straw vote in the
residential election. A little iater I upset the Dean by
'-'sting on a series of lectures on social hygiene. I was
jr-Ported by a group of school politicians and I learned
e value of a tightly organized group and was exhilarated
* the power it gave.
, '" June, 1925, I was graduated with honors. I obtained
Position as substitute teacher in the History Department
Raphael's "Sistinc Madonna," on altar piece of which Bella V. Dodd wrote,
"Il was worth Ihe long trip to see the lovely Virgin and Child and the
cherubs at their feet looking like gay little urchins." This priceless painting was removed from Dresden by thc USSR at the end of World War II.
Its fate was unknown until November, 1955, when it was placed on
exhibit in the Soviet sector of Berlin.
cal Science Department at Hunter College, called and
offered me a post at the college. 1 began teaching freshman
political science at Hunter College in February, 1926. I
enrolled in the graduate school at Columbia University
for graduate work in political science.
'' Seward Park High School. The school term was to end
'In- beginning of February. Some time after the turn of
e Hew year in 1926, Dr. Dawson, chairman of the Politi-
ACTs Forum News, September, 1956
vFnk of my courses at Columbia was a study of the
United States Senate and its treaty-making powers. Some
of tbe professors wondered why l.indscy Rogers, who
taught it, regarded this topic as important enough to
devote an entire course to it. It was then onlv a few years
after the Missouri i. Holland decision based on a treaty
relating to migratory birds - and the pattern of treaty law
had not yet become apparent to many. I was fascinated by
the subject and its implications.
There were other refreshingly new courses that year
and new professors, among them Raymond Moley. not
yet a Roosevelt brain truster. We young people were intrigued by the possibilities of participation in government
control and the various means of achieving this. In our
enthusiasm we passed on to our students at Hunter what
we had learned. We challenged the traditional thinking
they bad brought to college with them.
Before long we were saying that the radicals today are
the conservatives of tomorrow, that there could be no
progress if there were no radicals. I have since had many
occasions to see that this cataloguing of people as either
"right" or "left" has led to confusion. It sounds so simple