AUBURNDALE, January 12th, 1882.
The year 1882 finds Lasell Seminary busy and prosperous, rejoicing in the possession of a handsome new wing which almost doubles the size of the original building, yet, with all this additional room, the school is full to overflowing. The wing has long been needed, and as we enjoy its conveniences, we congratulate ourselves that it has come in our time. Among other things, one peculiarly "Lasellian" feature is the model kitchen, where our future housekeepers practise weekly the art and mystery of cooking. It is a pleasant sight to watch a group of enthusiastic girls at the work, with rolled-up sleeves and floury fingers, entering so ardently into what will become for so many of them, very soon, a serious part of their life's plan - in view of the inevitable recurrence, three times a day, of something to be cooked; the inevitable Biddy, with all her old-world ignorance thick about her, and the likewise inevitable "John," the state of whose affections, we are assured, is singularly dependent on the success of our culinary operations.
A neat little book has just appeared, for the use of the school, containing the recipes for the fifth year's course in cookery. The list of dishes is appetizing and varied, from the everyday fare of bread, roast beef and mutton cutlets, to such delicacies as orange soufflee, plum pudding with fairy butter, and frozen peaches. Certainly, after a few such courses, a girl ought to be thoroughly armed and equipped for the three-fold problem of feminine life, wherein the factors are John, Biddy and the contents of the market basket.
A vigorous crusade has been set on foot lately, against that outgrowth of young Americanism, "slang," which has crept even into busy Lasell, and, strange to say, has seemed to find congenial soil, for it has flourished, as ill weeds proverbially do. On a general confession, it has been discovered, that every member of the school, with but one exception, is guilty of the use of slang, in a greater or less degree; and that exception - oh, my country women, is from over the border, an English citizen. It is amusing to find also, that while some confess their delinquencies with contrition, there is a strong party which firmly defends slang on the ground of its wonderfully expressive qualities. One little word, of Lasell manufacture, consisting of but four letters, contains in its one short and suggestive syllable the entire idea of "being discovered and publicly and ignominiously reproved, by a member of the faculty, on the occasion of transgressing one of the regulations of the institution." Curiously enough, the adherents of slang find themselves supported, and on their own ground too, by the Atlantic monthly, that exponent of the best and freshest of New England's thought. Perhaps, there are two sides to the question, after all! However, the fiat has gone forth, at Lasell; that slang, excellently as it may serve our brothers desirous of expressing themselves with force and vigor, is out of place on feminine lips - a decision with which the writer heartily agrees.
Our winter term, the busiest of all, has fairly begun, after the pleasant rest of the holidays. We are looking forward to three months of steady work, to be enlivened, however, by readings from Shakspere, lectures on art, and other pleasant variations from the routine of study.