The Souvenir of Western Women/Domestic Science

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Domestic Science


THREE years ago the University of Idaho began an organized course of instruction in Domestic Science. This step was the result of investigation prompted by the belief that the present standard of living can be raised only by a practical application of physics, chemistry, botany, and kindred sciences to the home. That this experiment—for such it was—should begin in a college seemed fitting, as it is there that the possibilities of a healthy physical and mental life may be exemplified. As soon as the preservation of health is made the aim and test of study, a new light is thrown on the subject of home-making, and the need of an adequate system of preparation is apparent. From the beginning a keen interest was shown in this department of collegiate work. The course, which began with cookery, has been gradually extended to include sewing in its various branches and housekeeping in general. Laundry work, care of linens, furniture, marketing, keeping of accounts, sanitary science in its simplest phases, the chemical and dietetic value of foods—all enter the curriculum.

The educational value of cooking is more often questioned, perhaps, than any other branch of manual training, yet it is a study of vital importance. Generations ago any connection of schools and kitchens would have been thought absurd, but public sentiment has been undergoing a change, until it demands of schools, both public and private, that the education of young women shall include a liberal as well as a technical training in the arts and industries. A young woman may have mastered higher mathematics and be able to trace a comet's orbit—and a stronger woman will she be thereby; she may have studied the philosophy of Plato and of Kant, but if she is not able to calculate the dietetic value of the food upon the table, the hygienic condition of the home, she is educated only in the abstract, and is not prepared for the specific duties of her natural calling. It is not expected that "skilled cooks" will be turned out of this school, but it is believed that a careful study of this science will bring about an increased respect for the home, and teach young women that the best equipment for them in this industrial age is a well-founded knowledge of the practical duties of every-day life. Herbert Spencer puts it tersely: "The function which education has to perform is to prepare us for complete living."

In a general sense the result of this experiment has been to stimulate public opinion to such an extent that the state legislature at its last session made an especial appropriation to the university for the department of Domestic Science. Coming nearer, labor has been dignified and housekeeping raised to a higher plane by the working out of this new college ideal.

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THE CRYSTAL SPRINGS SANITARIUM, formerly known as Mt. Tabor Sanitarium, is located on the top of Mt. Tabor, 300 feet above the City of Portland. It is an ideal spot for the ease of those suffering from any nervous disease.

While the buildings of the sanitarium are but a few minutes' walk from the Mt. Tabor street-ear line, yet the utmost quiet prevails in the Crystal Springs Park, thus giving the patient with tired nerves just the conditions needed for a speedy cure. There is a delightful tonic in the air, which aids greatly in producing recuperation of body and mind. The necessities of a discriminating public have been anticipated in the construction of moderne buildings and outlying cottages on extensive and picturesque grounds. No expense has been spared to secure the greatest amount of comfort possible, and the very best sanitary conditions. The water for the institution is pumped from a spring on our own grounds, the analysis of which is almost identical with the renowned Bethesda water.

The soil is gravelly and well drained, and the grounds, comprising a park of seventeen acres, command a beautiful view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens.

There are three departments at this sanitarium, each entirely separate from the others. One is devoted to nervous diseases, another to mental disorders, and the third to alcohol and drug addiction. The cottage system enables the management to easily keep the various departments separate from each other. The office is at 603-606 Marquam building, Portland, Or, and R. M. Tuttle is business manager.