Marcy S., age 16, Tennessee

Dear Diary — I have come very close to something today. Perhaps in telling you about it, I shall come even closer.

I awoke to a cold, darkened room about 5:00 and I could hear Daddy up lighting the fires and talking to Mother. The bed was very cozy and my cold was much better so I was very comfortable although wide awake. Even after Daddy went back to bed and the house quieted down, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I just lay there and dreamed: of Mary, Lester, and myself about four years hence. It was lots of fun. However, my first real waking thoughts were, “Four score and seven years ago, etc.” and at breakfast, Mother went over it with me. The dreaming put me in a very good mood and I determined I should love Mary today and try to be a better person.

It was desperately cold, though bright. I could talk, but decided it would be best if I didn’t so — I got out of answering questions in English and of reading in Latin. We handed our letters in in English. I just love Mrs. Bunch — she’s the bestest teacher ever — of course there’s Goody, too. In history we had an awful old test on the “ism” chapter. Dull as dull! Bunny wasn’t there. I’m sorta glad but it was awfully uninteresting. In Latin, as I said before, I didn’t have to read so had fun. Harold was absent, leaving an all-female class.

Before the lesson, however, Miss Goody gave us a personality test out of a magazine. I love to do things like that. First we had to choose 3 out of 12 colors on a page that we liked the most. We each wrote down the numbers and then Goody looked up the corresponding numbers in the answer chart. And, Diary, they all fitted perfectly! At least the main parts of them. Mine was the same as Miss G’s and Mrs. Bunch’s. Isn’t that funny? Nice, I mean. It accused me (rightly) of being too serious and too exacting; Mary of being exactly what she is — too slipshod, doesn’t do her best, etc.; Elise of being timid; and Margaret of being lovable. The faults, however, didn’t suit. The cure for my undesirable traits was to smile at and pay a sincere compliment to the first person whom I saw in the morning. Hmm, maybe I’ll try it, if I have the courage. I decided I would ask Goody to help me change. I’m sure she could.

In fifth period study hall, the fist part, most of the “kids” listened to President Roosevelt’s speech in different rooms. But Mary, Mary, and I, being more studious, studied. I was hearing Mary recite the Gettysburg Address, and she was naming the different articles of punctuation: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a comma.” It sounded so funny and we nearly died laughing — I coughed heartily.

I forgot my excuse and after a lot of telephoning (well, twice at least) Daddy brought out a very formal typewritten note which I had the teachers sign.

Walked home from school with Helen, who explained why she had not been to visit me while sick.

As soon as I got home Mother (who is suffering from the symptoms of the flu) put me right to bed, where I cozily dreamed and slept till 5:00 when I sat up in bed and studied. You’ve no idea how comfortable it was, Diary. Then a delectable dinner, which Mother consumed in bed. I studied till bedtime. My day would not be complete without at least mentioning transcendentalism, on which breath-taking word we have a report in English tomorrow. Life — just plain ordinary life — is suddenly so interesting and meaningful, Diary!

My good deed — When Marie Fink asked if I had a paper clip she could have this morning, I at first said no, but then, “Oh, yes, I don’t need two; you may have this other one.” It made me feel so nice.

I love today! Almost perfect!