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We had no radios, and for all practical purposes no automobiles, no movies, and no slick-paper magazines. We could not by turning a small knob or paying a small fee get somebody else to do it for us.
My formal education had given me no understanding of science, mathematics, or philosophy.It is the frightful monotony and boredom which is the lot of the private with nothing to think about.Since my education had given me nothing to think about, I devoted myself, as the alternative to suicide, to the mastery of all the arts implied in the verb "to soldier." I learned to protract the performance of any task so that I would not be asked to do another.And since I had had an unusual amount of German, I was permitted to study Faust. I took Greek, and have never seen a mathematics book since. Every Oberlin student had to take one course in science, because every Oberlin student had to take one course in everything--in everything, that is, except Greek and mathematics.My father once happened to remark to me that he had never liked mathematics. I have been permitted to glory in the possession of an unmathematical mind. After I had blown up all the retorts in the chemistry laboratory doing the Marsh test for arsenic, the chemistry teacher was glad to give me a passing grade and let me go.