To write on this subject is a greatness that has been thrust upon me at the 'leventh hour. A good friend of mine had the task and she asked: "How would you describe the room, Miss Kellogg? Would you - would you say there were tables?" And now my new friend, Rose Moss or Moss Rose, has given me the honor.
Yes, I would say there are tables, two big ones, almost ensquaring the room. The tops are of white tile, and underneath are cupboards where each girl has a set of pots and pans to work with; most of the dishes are doll-house size, little frying pans that could fry only one chop, sauce pans that hold no more than a cupfull or so. Every girl has her own gas stove at her place at the table. Twenty-six can work in the room at one time, but no class has been larger than twenty-four.
The aim is to have each girl do her own work, so she will learn every part of it and be self-reliant. This deal causes the thermometer to run up to 94 degrees when twenty-four gas stoves are going, and also makes it necessary for the recipes to be divided down to a bewilderingly small size. However, the girls have developed a great amount of skill, and it does not worry them any more to divide an egg up into eighths or even sixteenths. Some of the work, though, is done in groups; for example, the baking is done all at one time in the big range, and dishwashing is, of course, a partnership business.
Oh, yes, Moss Rose suggested that I state where the department is situated. It's up in the southwest corner of the building, way, way up on the third floor. It's nice and cool and breezy up there and odors from cooking are not supposed to find their way down into the rooms where Latin or algebra are being explained. There are four large rooms, one small one and two pantries. Only the pantries and two big rooms are in use. One of the empty big rooms is to be fitted up as a dining room. At present there is no equipment for sewing, except that tables are used instead of desks. It is to be hoped that next year there will be sewing machines, and the sound of their wheels will rise above the whizzing of the twenty-four egg beaters.
Each seventh grade in the city comes to the High School once a week for sewing and the eighth grades come that often to cook, and there is one High School class that cooks three times a week. Domestic science in the High School is a regular course, on a par with the Latin or English course for credit.
A question that no visitor ever fails to ask, and a question that the reader is probably revolving in his mind now is, "What do the girls do with the stuff they cook?" Well, they eat it themselves, a reward or punishment for their work, as the case may be.