Tuesday, June 1, 2010

31 May, 1911

The sky was overcast this morning, and the temperature -13.

Went out after lunch on ski, but the surface was sticky except for where drifts were deep. There was an oppressive feel in the air and I got very hot, coming in with head and hands bare. At 5pm, out of dead calm, a wind suddenly sprang up from the south blowing 40 mph, and since then it has been blowing a blizzard. I have never known a storm come on so suddenly, and it shows what possibility there is of individuals becoming lost even if they only go a short way from the hut.

Tonight Wilson gave us a very interesting lecture on sketching. He says every line must be from observation; nothing superfluous. He raised a smile or two by generalizing the failures in sketches by others of our party which had been brought to him for criticism. he pointed out how much had been put in from preconceived notion. It's not enough to draw what you think should be there based on what you have seen previously: only what you see before you in the here and now. He is very modest.

He stands very high in the scale of human beings—how high I scarcely knew till the experience of the past few months. There is no member of our party so universally esteemed; only tonight I realize how patiently and consistently he has given time and attention to help the efforts of the other sketchers, and so it is all through; he has had a hand in almost every lecture given, and has been consulted in almost every effort which has been made towards the solution of the practical or theoretical problems of our Polar world.

The achievement of a great result by patient work is the best possible object-lesson for struggling humanity, for the results of genius, however admirable, can rarely be instructive.

The chief of the Scientific Staff sets an example which is more potent than any other factor in maintaining that bond of good fellowship which is the marked and beneficent characteristic of our community.

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