the act of submitting, usually surrendering power to another
For this report Miss Sullivan prepared, in reluctant
compliance with the request of Mr. Anagnos, an account of her work.
tendency to believe readily
Thus the story of Helen Keller, incredible when told with moderation, had the misfortune to be heralded by exaggerated announcements, and naturally met either an ignorant
credulity or an incredulous hostility.
the principles and methods of instruction
She was her own critic, and in spite of her later declaration, made with her modest carelessness, that she followed no particular method, she was very clearly learning from her task and phrasing at the time principles of education of unique value not only in the teaching of the deaf but in the teaching of all children. The extracts from her letters and reports form an important contribution to
the ability to understand and discriminate between relations
...only those who are familiar with the particulars of the grand achievement know that the credit is largely due to the intelligence, wisdom,
sagacity, unremitting perseverance and unbending will of the instructress, who rescued the child from the depths of everlasting night and stillness, and watched over the different phases of her mental and moral development with maternal solicitude and enthusiastic devotion.
a feeling of excessive concern
...only those who are familiar with the particulars of the grand achievement know that the credit is largely due to the intelligence, wisdom, sagacity, unremitting perseverance and unbending will of the instructress, who rescued the child from the depths of everlasting night and stillness, and watched over the different phases of her mental and moral development with maternal
solicitude and enthusiastic devotion.
not reacting to some influence or stimulus
unresponsive and even impatient of caresses from any one except her mother.
punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience
She is very quick-tempered and wilful, and nobody, except her brother James, has attempted to control her. The greatest problem I shall have to solve is how to
discipline and control her without breaking her spirit.
dutiful or submissive behavior toward another person
I shall not attempt to conquer her by force alone; but I shall insist on reasonable
obedience from the start.
She has tyrannized over everybody, her mother, her father, the servants...and nobody had ever seriously disputed her will, except occasionally her brother James, until I came; and like all tyrants she holds
tenaciously to her divine right to do as she pleases.
annoy continually or chronically
As I began to teach her, I was
beset by many difficulties.
official acceptance or agreement
She accepted everything I did for her as a matter of course, and refused to be caressed, and there was no way of appealing to her affection or sympathy or childish love of
having your attention held as though by a spell
As the cold water gushed forth, filling the mug, I spelled "w-a-t-e-r" in Helen's free hand. The word coming so close upon the sensation of cold water rushing over her hand seemed to startle her. She dropped the mug and stood as one
the property of showing inventiveness and skill
When we first played this game two or three days ago, she showed no
ingenuity at all in finding the object. She looked in places where it would have been impossible to put the ball or the spool.
the feeling of being bored by something tedious
She has a great many dolls, and every one of them has been broken in a fit of temper or
reveal its presence or make an appearance
My little pupil continues to
manifest the same eagerness to learn as at first.
Her every waking moment is spent in the endeavour to satisfy her innate desire for knowledge, and her mind works so
incessantly that we have feared for her health.
given to questioning
I remember how unbearable I used to find the
inquisitiveness of my friends' children; but I know now that these questions indicate the child's growing interest in the cause of things.
similar or equivalent in some respects
On the whole, her questions are
analogous to those that a bright three-year-old child asks; but her desire for knowledge is so earnest, the questions are never tedious, though they draw heavily upon my meager store of information, and tax my ingenuity to the utmost.
inactive but capable of becoming active
The subject was difficult, and my knowledge inadequate; but I am glad I didn't shirk my responsibility; for, stumbling, hesitating, and incomplete as my explanation was, it touched deep responsive chords in the soul of my little pupil, and the readiness with which she comprehended the great facts of physical life confirmed me in the opinion that the child has
dormant within him, when he comes into the world, all the experiences of the race.
based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
Sometimes her sentences are like Chinese puzzles; but they are the kind of puzzles children make when they try to express their half-formed ideas by means of
the appearance conveyed by a person's face
When she touched one with which she was familiar, a peculiarly sweet expression lighted her face, and we saw her
countenance growing sweeter and more earnest every day.
She is able not only to distinguish with great accuracy the different
undulations of the air and the vibrations of the floor made by various sounds and motions, and to recognize her friends and acquaintances the instant she touches their hands or clothing, but she also perceives the state of mind of those around her.
skillfulness in speaking or writing
While these were few and elementary, her vocabulary was necessarily limited; but, as she learns more of the world about her, her judgment grows more accurate, her reasoning powers grow stronger, more active and subtle, and the language by which she expresses this intellectual activity gains in
fluency and logic.
to an unnecessary degree
Owing to the nervousness of Helen's temperament, every precaution has been taken to avoid
unduly exciting her already very active brain.
relevant relation or interconnection
Therefore it has always seemed best to me to teach anything whenever my pupil needed to know it, whether it had any
bearing on the projected lesson or not, her inquiries have often led us far away from the subject under immediate consideration.
capable of being apprehended or understood
Whenever any one asks me if she will understand this or that word I always reply: "Never mind whether she understands each separate word of a sentence or not. She will guess the meanings of the new words from their connection with others which are already
intelligible to her."
a quality belonging to or characteristic of an entity
She has not as yet been allowed to read the Bible, because I do not see how she can do so at present without getting a very erroneous conception of the
attributes of God.
education that results in the spread of knowledge
Surrounded by loving friends and the gentlest influences, as Helen had always been, she has, from the earliest stage of her intellectual
enlightenment, willingly done right.
incapable of being broken up
LANGUAGE and KNOWLEDGE are
indissolubly connected; they are interdependent.
a system of words used to name things in a discipline
Grammar with its puzzling array of classifications,
nomenclatures, and paradigms, was wholly discarded in her education.
the elementary stage of any subject
I believe every child has hidden away somewhere in his being noble capacities which may be quickened and developed if we go about it in the right way; but we shall never properly develop the higher natures of our little ones while we continue to fill their minds with the so-called
omission or suppression of parts of words or sentences
And though Miss Sullivan did not force grammatical completeness upon the first finger-lispings of her pupil, yet when she herself repeated Helen's sentence, "mamma milk," she filled out the construction, completed the child's
ellipsis and said, "Mamma will bring Helen some milk."
a healthy capacity for vigorous activity
Miss Sullivan's vigorous, original mind has lent much of its
vitality to her pupil. If Miss Keller is fond of language and not interested especially in mathematics, it is not surprising to find Miss Sullivan's interests very similar.
uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
The two persons who have written authoritatively about Miss Keller's speech and the way she learned it are Miss Sarah Fuller, of the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston, Massachusetts, who gave her the first lessons, and Miss Sullivan, who, by her
unremitting discipline, carried on the success of these first lessons.
rise and fall of the voice pitch
Her speech lacks variety and
modulation; it runs in a sing-song when she is reading aloud; and when she speaks with fair degree of loudness, it hovers about two or three middle tones.
causing harm or injury
Too much stress, it seems to me, is often laid upon the importance of teaching a deaf child to articulate—a process which may be
detrimental to the pupil's intellectual development.
speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
The great difficulty in the pronunciation of the r made it one of the last elements which she mastered. The ch, sh and soft g also gave her much trouble, and she does not yet
enunciate them clearly.
not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
That is her tireless and
unrelenting discipline, which is evident in all her work. She never allowed her pupil to send off letters which contained offenses against taste, but made her write them over until they were not only correct, but charming and well phrased.
a written work that has been recast in a new form
In the early part of her education I had full knowledge of all the books she read and of nearly all the stories which were read to her, and could without difficulty trace the source of any
adaptations noted in her writing or conversation; and I have always been much pleased to observe how appropriately she applies the expressions of a favourite author in her own compositions.
good at remembering
What a wonderfully active and
retentive mind that gifted child must have! If she had remembered and written down accurately, a short story, and that soon after hearing it, it would have been a marvel; but to have heard the story once, three years ago, and in such a way that neither her parents nor teacher could ever allude to it or refresh her memory about it, and then to have been able to reproduce it so vividly...
unwillingness to tell lies
She is absolutely truthful.
Veracity is the strongest element of her character.
lacking nothing essential, not damaged
In this case Helen Keller held almost
intact in her mind, unmixed with other ideas, the words of a story which at the time it was read to her she did not fully understand.
instructive, especially excessively
It has the imaginative credulity of a primitive folktale; whereas Miss Canby's story is evidently told for children by an older person, who adopts the manner of a fairy tale and cannot conceal the mature mood which allows such
didactic phrases as "Jack Frost as he is sometimes called," "Noon, at which time Mr. Sun is strongest."
a deliberate pretense or exaggerated display
It was in these early days that Dr. Holmes wrote to her: "I am delighted with the style of your letters. There is no
affectation about them, and as they come straight from your heart, so they go straight to mine."
restrict or limit
So long as she uses words correctly, she should be granted the privilege of using them freely, and not be expected to
confine herself to a vocabulary true to her lack of sight and hearing.