Figuring It Out

With a wilful toss of her head the child dropped her hands in her lap. "I don't know how to do it, and I can't do it!" she said. The teacher glanced at the measure which had proved the stumbling-block,—one not nearly so difficult as some that had preceded it,—and then at the child. "Why, my dear, you have not even tried!" she said reproachfully. After a period of waiting, in which the little girl stubbornly refused to make any effort to count out the measure, the lesson time was over and the teacher rose sadly from the piano.

Many things had been happening to make the teacher herself feel "unscientific," and the child's apparent perversity added to the feeling of depression. However, the loving little heart proved her repentance by bringing a correct lesson next time, and then the teacher gave her the Beethoven Sonata Pathetique. The child had never had anything so difficult to read, and the teacher said: "Now, I am not going to tell you anything about it, except what unit to count. I will see how you use your understanding."

The Refining Fire
February 10, 1917

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