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School Essay on Science Written When He Was 16 Years Old

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Item: 22467
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BERNSTEIN, LEONARD. (1918-1990). American conductor and composer. AMsS. (Signed twice: “Leonard Bernstein” and “L. Bernstein”). 3pp. Small 4to. (Boston), March 11, 1935. An essay written by Bernstein during his high school days at Boston Latin entitled “Science in the Home.”

Science now enhances more fields than it ever has. It does not merely connote the further removed studies, such as medicine and archeology, but also psychology and common sense. It is equally true that each of these fields of science may go, to some degree, toward the making up of a harmonious home.

Science, first of all, has contributed a number of practical appliances which have removed the drudgery so common a century ago. Heating, cooking and laundering appliances have become essentials. The old ice-box has given way to the electric refrigerator. Radio has made possible many kinds of fine entertainment which were formerly enjoyed by only a certain class.

Electric lighting has made home life more liveable [sic]. The telephone has eased many an anxious heart.

But there is much more to this matter of science than material improvement. Parents are learning day by day the value of an intelligent use of every-day psychology. Children can be vitally affected by their treatment in the home. Sympathy and comradeship between parents and children are found in more and more homes. Sons and daughters, being given a greater amount of personal freedom, emerge wiser and more reliable men and women – providing only that they are sensible sons and daughters. Again, care must be exercised not to go to the other extreme. Fond parents – and I use the adjective in its Mietonic sense – sometime establish over-intimate contacts with their children, or allow them too much liberty. Children are apt to rebel under pressure of either extremity – actively in one case, subconsciously in the other. Home influence is a matter to which too much importance cannot be attached.

Thus we see that science can work wonders in a home, whether we consider the theoretical, concrete or the applied abstract side of it. I see no reason for its denunciation by those prejudiced against it. Men and women who do not appreciate the vastness of science and who claim that it goes against the grain of religion should think twice before speaking. Science and religion are both essentials of the home; why interfere with either of them?”

Bernstein conducting

Leonard Bernstein

A talented conductor and composer, Bernstein is remembered both for the music he created and the music he shared with the world through his leadership of the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein grew up in Massachusetts where his musical instruction began at age 10. After attending the prestigious Boston Latin school, where he authored the above essay, he graduated from Harvard University and then studied under conductors Fritz Reiner and Serge Koussevitzky. His talent led him to posts with several prominent metropolitan orchestras including the New York Philharmonic where he introduced his popular “Young People’s Concerts.” But Bernstein was also a successful composer, working in the disparate areas of classical, liturgical, jazz, and contemporary music. His works include West Side Story, the oratorio Kaddish and music for the film On the Waterfront.

Our essay, written at age 16, is penned on two sheets of lined notebook paper with file holes in the left margin. Bearing the teacher’s abbreviated comments including a series of question marks. Normal wear and in fine condition. Rare from this early date.

School Essay on Science Written When He Was 16 Years Old

$1050 net • item #22467

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