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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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locked. I remember saying, “What shall I say? They won't open the door. They won't let me in. I can't get going.”

I remember Miss Goldmark saying, “Just say, ‘This is the lady from the school.’” I learned a new trick. It's an absolute open sesame. You'd say, “This is the lady from the school.” They'd say, “Oh, yes, just a minute,” and would let you in. I was really from the school. It wasn't a lie. I had come about a school matter with regard to a child who had been reported to us by the school. We would sit down and discuss why Johnny was truant.

What you got, of course, was out of the mouths of these women - mothers, grandmothers, sisters, brothers' wives - as well as from the father, the neighboring friend, the baker who had a shop down below, the saloon keeper over there - a picture of what life was like in that community and why Johnny was truant. Johnny was very rarely a truant because he was naturally bad. He was bored - often bored - but often he took the opportunity to earn a few pennies.

Anyway I wrote a thesis, which I think is still in the Columbia archives. I did the best I could with it. I tried to make it learned by getting in percentages of this, that and the other, padded it, and made it appear very scholarly. What I got out of it was, of course, a liberal

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