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Unformatted text preview: I would seek to
broaden the conception of usevalue, so that a student would see that usefulness is a social value, but no matter
how abstract and remote the subject, its relationship to usefulness would be preliminary and continuously
emphasized in order to sustain interest.
Interest, like any other form of excitement, needs new stimuli and periods of relaxation. People under the
driving force of necessity continue at their work for longer periods of time and more constantly than is
psychologically possible for the maintaining of interest. So it disappears, and then fatigue sets in at once,--a
fatigue that is increased by the effort to work and the regret and rebellion at the change. The memory seems to
suffer and a fear is aroused that "I am losing my memory"; the threat to success brings anguish and often the
health becomes definitely impaired. Overconcentrated, too long maintenance of interest brings apathy,--an
apathy that cannot be dispelled except by change and rest. Here there is wide individual variation from those
who need frequent change and relaxation periods to those who can maintain interest in a task almost
A hobby, or a secondary object of interest, is therefore a real necessity to the man or woman battling for a
purpose, whose interest must be sustained. It acts to relax, to shift the excitement and to allow something of
the feeling of novelty as one reapproaches the task.
As a matter of fact, excitement and interest are not easily separated from their derivatives and elaborations.
Desire, purpose, ambition, imply a force; interest implies a direction for that force. Interest may be as casual
as curiosity aroused by the novel and strange, or as deep-seated and specialized as a talent. The born teacher is
he who knows how to arouse and maintain and direct interest; the born achiever is the man whose interest, CHAPTER VIII. 60 quickly aroused, is easily maintained and directs effort. To find the activity that is natively interesting and yet
suited to one's ability is the aim in vocational guidance....
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- Spring '11