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PROBLEMS AND EXERCISES
1. Before reading this chapter re-read Chapters I and II and have these in mind when studying this present chapter.
2. In reading and discussing this chapter keep in mind that "finding work for others” is as important as "finding work for oneself.” In your loose-leaf civics notebook start a page headed, "Finding Work for Myself” and one "Providing Work for Others.”
3. For your own and your teacher's guidance write out a brief statement of what kind of work you think you will take up and what plans for it you have already made. Include this in your notebook and indicate any changes in plans that you make and all suggestions that come to you as a result of the study of this and succeeding chapters.
4. In order to add to the interest and benefit of the study of occupations also start a page in your notebook headed, "Helping find Work for —,” inserting in the blank the name of a younger brother or sister or some handicapped person whom you would like to help. Set down all the ideas and information that you get which would be helpful to this person.
5. Set aside all thought of the occupation you would like to choose and consider only the kinds of work that the nation today most needs. Could you undertake any of these if you found that you possessed the necessary qualifications ? What reason would you give yourself for choosing a kind of work that is not of special help to the nation when you have the ability to undertake it?
6. Re-read what was said in Chapter XI about work leaders. What kind of work leaders does your community have ?
7. In studying Chapter XII you made out a list of the ways in which the various studies of your present school work would help you prepare for your future occupation. Take this list and add to it the kinds of outside study and activity that would be helpful.
8. Look around your community to find how many ways there are of helping you succeed once you are already at work.
9. In Chapter XII it was stated that college graduates have special opportunities to change "bottom” positions into "top” positions. This is true not only of college graduates but of everyone who understands that studying days are never over. Take some kind of humble work and show how this could be transformed by the right kind of worker (shoe repairing, selling newspapers, taking care of furnaces, etc.).
10. There have been many instances of men and women whose work life has been hindered by home-life difficulties. Charles Lamb was one of these, President McKinley was another. Probably you can think of others. Show how deferring to the home added to the character of these men.
11. Re-read Chapter III. Suppose that in your work life you come in contact with the different kinds of workers who have the wrong feeling about their work. What would be your attitude toward them?
12. In Chapter XIII you learned how useful older friends and acquaintances could be. In your work life it will be especially helpful to have an older friend who has already succeeded in the kind of work you hope to take up. If you cannot form a friendship with such a person, learn all that you can about him : how he succeeded, what school training he had, what helps other than school he has had, to what clubs and associations he belongs, how he spends his vacations, what kind of home he has.
13. Select several of the most important forms of work in your state and community and find out how these have been built up through (1) ideas, (2) organization, (3) hard work. Learn enough details about one or several of these to convince yourself that hard work alone never could have made them possible.
14. Are there any handicapped persons in your community who are employed ? If so, find out how they fitted themselves for their work. Learn as much as possible about the opportunities open to blind and crippled persons in your state. Does the government provide schools and other helps ? If so, where are they, how does one enter, and for what is one fitted when he leaves ? What private organizations help the handicapped?
15. What kinds of workers does your community lack —-skilled carpenters, doctors, hotel keepers, or what? What is the reason for this lack? How could it be remedied ?
16. Some rural communities have no clergyman, no trained nurse, no doctor. Why do so many young people refuse to settle down in small communities to work? What do you think should be done about this?
17. Show the steps by which one can fit himself for a given profession and for a certain trade. Let different members of the class investigate different occupations.
MAKING AMERICA PROSPEROUS
1. Our Nation's Wealth. In one of the government army reports this statement occurs: "The open waters of the Gulf of Alaska and southeastern Alaska are virtually Alaska's richest possession. After these come the easily navigable, although open but five months of the year, rivers of the Yukon, Tanana, Kuskokwim, and Koyukuk.” In other words, according to the government report the open harbors and navigable rivers of the territory of Alaska, not its gold mines, are its chief wealth. But what is wealth? What do we mean by a person's or a nation's richest possession? If this government official was right in saying that Alaska's open waters are its most valuable possession, we need to study a little into what is our nation's wealth and how it can be added to or preserved in future years.
2. Our Natural Resources are our Greatest Wealth. The soil, our forests, coal, iron, gold and other precious metals, rivers and harbors, are a part of what we call wealth. All these are intimately connected with our everyday life. Not only what we have to eat and wear and what we have for conveniences, like the telephone, furnace heat, and electricity, but how much these cost are dependent on our natural wealth.
3. Our Soil one of our Most Precious Possessions. Few understand how precious is the soil that covers so much of the surface of the United States. Only the rare things which, once spoiled and squandered, can never be regained are really precious. Our soil is such a thing. "It took more centuries than you have hairs on your head to make a good soil.” A hundred years is longer than most of us will live, and in that time whole cities will be built; yet in these years not more than a teaspoonful of good soil will have been added to each square foot of the earth's surface. Soil is a rich blanket of fertility that covers certain parts of the earth. In some places our soil is two or three feet deep, but in many places it is even less than eight inches. Where there is no such blanket, there one finds deserts and desolation. Many people have supposed that any and every desert area,
whether in our United States or in northern Africa, could be transformed into fields of grain and corn if only rivers could be turned from their courses to carry water to them. But while this is true of certain deserts, it is not true of others. It is because the burning sands of many of the great deserts of the earth have no covering of fertile soil that they are, as their name implies, deserted places.
4. We waste our soil. We have wasted our soil in two ways: (1) by letting it be washed or blown away and (2) by wrong methods in growing crops. In both cases the waste has been almost unbelievable. Think what a wagon load is and then imagine 610,000,000 of these carts loaded with soil. This is the amount that is blown or washed into the rivers of the United States every year. "In the Piedmont section of North Carolina ... the plant food and humus contained in the 4,000,000 tons of soil washed away every year are valued at $2,000,000. A single week of heavy rain is estimated to have impoverished the soils to the extent of more than $500,000.” One heavy rain will sometimes carry away from a plowed field more soil than a man with a team and wagon could restore in a week. The oceans are vast and deep and can swallow all the earth's soil and still be little changed. But the United States cannot keep losing these 610,000,000 loads of soil and remain unchanged.
Each owner of hillside or mountain land can do his part to prevent this waste by cutting timber wisely, by planting shrubs and trees where they will break the force of prevailing winds and hold back the soil, by proper plowing and cultivation. All the people of each state can do most by making laws to preserve forests, to build dams to hold back flood waters, and to find adequate means of preventing sand from drifting over fertile areas.
5. How Soil is wasted by Wrong Use. Expensive and difficult as it will prove to prevent this washing and blowing away of fertile soil, it will be easier to accomplish than making good the waste due to wrong use of the soil. To understand how soil can be injured by wrong use one needs to know what makes soil fertile.
Ten substances are necessary to every fertile soil: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potash, nitrogen, sulphur, calcium, iron, and magnesium. When any one of these is absent the land is practically a desert. Outside of deserts, however, all but three of these substances are plentiful; these three-potash, phosphorus, and nitrogencause the statesmen of nations great concern. Today the greatest potash beds of the world lie in Germany, but our Department of Agriculture is constantly searching for new supplies. It has discovered that many rocks contain from 6 to 8 per cent of potash and that by grinding these a large supply can be secured. It has also found that a water