Characteristics of Inspiring
"First, these teachers noticed the student, believed in his or her abilities, and cared. Second, the teacher showed the care by giving the child extra work to do, greater challenges than the rest of the class received. Wigner describes Rátz as a friendly man who loaned his science books to interested students and gave them tutorial and special tests to challenge their superior abilities.
"The future Nobel Prize physicists at the Lutheran High School of Budapest were excited by the monthly competition that Rátz made up for his students. Every month, a new set of problems was published in the intramural math journal, and the students discussed and debated them at length in their free time. Whoever solved the problems most elegantly by the end of the month won a great deal of recognition from his peers as well as from the teacher."
--pgs. 174, 176, "Creativity" by Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi
It would have been no easy matter to publish an intramural math journal in the early 1900's. There were no Xerox machines. It would have to have been done using hectographs, mimeographs, or a print shop.
My Fanciful Reconstruction
of Lutheran High School
Edward Teller would have graduated from the Lutheran High School three years before I was born, and only 8 years before I started kindergarten in Mrs. Greene's class at the Cuyahoga Falls Community Church. I can picture how the Lutheran High School would probably have looked (since everything I saw had been constructed in the 'teens or the twenties). It might well have been a red-brick building with wooden floors. The stairs might have been made of wood but they might also have been constructed of concrete. Inside the classrooms, there would have been japanned, cast-iron supports for the wooden desk-tops, with ink-wells in the upper right-hand corner. Blackboards, with chalk trays, would have lined the front and the inner wall of the rooms. The teacher's wooden desk would have sat in the front of each room, with a waste basket beside it. There would have been milk-glass light globes hanging on short chains from the ceiling. There might have been a cloak-room in the back of the room. The walls would have been painted beige. There would have been a boys' bathroom, perhaps with water closets, and a girls' bathroom, if girls or women were involved in the educational program. Mr. Rátz would probably have had a chemistry, physics, and biology lab behind his desk, with a door with a glass window leading into the lab. There might have been a mechanical or electric clock on the wall. There would probably have been radiators along the outer wall. The windows might have looked out upon the schoolyard, or perhaps upon the trucks and electric streetcars of Budapest.