March 10, 1896 - Sarah Waters' Diary

Dear Diary,

Today may well have been the most important day in my life thus far. Father was late working a double shift at the coal mine trying to make some extra money in case the union goes on strike in the next few weeks. I think it is likely to be soon from the rumors I have heard about town. I heard him talking to mother about getting us work for Mr. Faulkner's laundry again. I do not mind the work but I know father feels guilty and ashamed for us to do it.

None of that was the important part of the day. It was the unexpected visit from my school teacher Mr. Stone which has my head spinning. He stopped by to see father this evening and waited for him to get home because he felt his business was of such importance. After mother served dinner and some polite conversations he revealed the most amazing things.

He had taken it upon himself to submit an application for entrance to Primrose College on my behalf. Further, he had applied to the National Women's Suffrage Association for a scholarship also on my behalf. This very afternoon he received a confirmation post from both stating my applications had been accepted and approved!

Mr. Stone went on to argue at length the merits for my attending college. I was excused from the room at that point but I listened as best I could from the kitchen while cleaning. It is clear to me neither of my parents are comfortable with sending me away to school. Even with the scholarship award father fears the extra cost of trying to support me away from home. Mother stated concerns about my safety being alone and far from family.

Mr. Stone sounded very annoyed when he left. I should be upset with him for his rudeness to my parents. Instead I am conflicted. I have dreamed for years of attending a college and getting a real education like my brother, Sam. I do not want to be a burden to my parents and my heart aches to think I might bring them hardship for the whims of my fancy. How I wish I could tell them I want to go and they would be happy to hear it. It is not to be and so I must put this fancy to rest.

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