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April 09, 1968 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-09
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Page Fourteen

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

Tuesday, April 9, 1968

Tuesday, April 9, 1968

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

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Professor

as

Authc

The Wolverine Muse often taps faculty to write te
Bring your book to class and
the writer may autograph it after his lecture.

The land is rich in gold and folk lore, more wild.
than the men who seek to tame it. And who is to say

whether the Yukon is any less "real" than

some

big city ?

By ERIC BURTON,
DAN SHARE
and ED ZIFKIN
The muggy Michigan summer of
1967 was all but unbearable - and
a summer of construction work ap-'
peared more in the nature of op-
pression than of vacation. We chose
to leave all this for a different world
-not a fantasy world-away from
city smoke and traffic jams. We
left in a Bronco, Ford's version of
the jeep, for the Canadian Yukon, a
part of North America where even
if it is 95 desgrees, there's a cool
breeze to sweep from a river valley
across a mountain ridge.

The Yukon is open and its air is
pure. Driving for tens of miles we
found only moose and sheep play-
ing along ridges whose tops cut the
clouds. The Yukon calls upon man's
sense of harmony with nature, even
. though it is a giant and rugged land
which challenges human capacities.
We drove to the Yukon through
the Black Hills, through Yellow-
stone Park and the Tetons, along
the continental divide through
Banff, past Calgary and the Alcan
Highway. We finally stopped in
Yukon, in a 'small valley five miles
from the Yukon Border.-
That's where Ole built his place,

a small log cabin surrounded by
dogtooth peaks. Ole Medby is a sour-
dough. He came from Norway at 19
and has made and spent several for-
tunes in gold taken from Yukon soil.
Last summer, he put us Up.
Ole is a Yukon man: his "national
poet" is Robert Service, who wrote,
There are strange things done in
the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold.
And the Northern Lights have seen
queer sights
That would make your blood run
cold.
Service, like Ole and the tens of thou-
sands of others who came to conquer
a last frontier, knew the Yukon's power
and mystery. Those who streamed into
the Klondike early in the century search-
ing for gold have left-the area un-
changed. To be sure, there are a few
rotting cabins by the side of the dirt
road which acts as a super-highway in
the Yukon, and an occasional sourdough
lives among the ruins of the long dead
mining camps. But the Yukon, and a
large part of Alaska, remain wilderness.
Most of the Yukon's citizens live in the
cities and in the southern portion of the
province: 90 per cent live south of Daw-
son City. The cities have modern con-
veniences like plumbing. But the out-
lying districts remain all but unchanged,
The territory, in fact, is the same as
it was 40 years ago, when one day, Mon-
treal Mike killed a Mountie and proceed-
ed to lead the famed Royal Canadian
Mounted Police on a fruitless chase
through the wilderness. Even though it,
was the dead of winter, when tracking in
the snow is easiest, Montreal Mike eluded
the Mounties - and is rumored to be at
large in the Northwest today.
Dawson City was once the largest pop-
ulation center west of the Missouri River.
Its atmosphere is still electric: An oc-
casional gold-bearing miner still rambles
into town, and one expects Klondike Kate
to come strolling out of the Flora Dora
Saloon to meet him.
Klondike Kate was typical of the op-
portunists who invaded the North after
the El Dorado strike of '96. In the first
years of the 20th century she built a
reputation as Queen of the North. She
was a beautiful woman and as such

quickly became queen of Dawson Mtty
prostitutes. A
But Klondike Kate committed the
North's greatest crime: she swindled a
miner out of his poke. She married an
old miner up on Sixty Mile Creek. A few
months later, she took his gold and left
for Oregon,
The miners have known such exploita-
tion since the first gold strike -- and
those who have stayed on know it today.
Jimmy Carmacks, an Indian who was in
on the first strike in 1896, was totally
cut from the wealth by his partners; the
few miners working today are now being
edged out of wealth by large corpora-
tions. The corporations have been apply-
ing their vast resources to securing min-
eral rights in the Yukon, one of the
world's richest areas. When; in a few
years, -sources of valuable metals begin
to dry up and it becomes profitable to
lay rails in theNorth to provide an ac-
cessible market, the corporations will
have a "gold mine" in such minerals as
mercury. iron, asbestos, nickel and what
may, prove to be the world's largest oil
reserve.
But the corporations haven't been
dealing kindly with the miners. They are
content to wait for the miners to become
desperate for money and either pay them
a pittance for their mineral rights -
or just wait for them to leave. The cor-
porations then can file claims without
cost. An, unfortunate Indian who first
discovered oil in the Yukon, for example,
was unable to get the Tequired $100 to
work his claim - and lost it to a large
corporation which received the benefits
of his discovery for nothing.
Big business, then, is absorbing the
already-stagnating frontier empire of
the sourdough.
Commercialization in the service of the
tourist industry attempts vainly to re-
capture the fading romance of the gold
rush days. "Yukon Bud'' Fisher, a grizzly
looking old timer with a massive white
beard, seen on Yukon travel posters, is
actually paid by the provincial govern-
ment as a publicity asset - and with
the money he earns spends his winters
in California.
Real sourdoughs such . as Indian
George, Windy John, Jimmy Lynch, and
Ole Medby are holdovers from a dying
breed. Their lives are deeply interwoven
with the wilderness about them and

By SHARON FITZHHENRY
University professors often write
textbooks. Their efforts are often
very good and perhaps just as often
not so good. In this sense, the ef-
forts of University professors are
much like those of their students.
Textbook writing calls upon many
skills. Authors must first be able to
write well, for no matter how many
drawings, charts and mathematical
ratiocinations they niay include in
their work, authors are tradition-
ally required to add at least a few
pages of explanatory text.
Authors, furthermore, must know
what they are writing about. When
a professor writes a text he denies
himself the advantages of lectur-
ing: his Viennese p'ccent, his slap-
stick monologue, his sarcastic at-
tack on his colleagues, his soft blue
eyes may get him through a lecture
but will not protect him from fudg-
ing in his textbook.
The student reading a professor's
text, in fact, seeks facts and explan-
ations beyond the scope of his reg-
ular course lecture. Often he does
not want to read a text written and
forced on him by ,his professor or
some comparable prof. in another
multiversity. Thus, it is with some
hostility that the student opens his
text.
Moreover, the student finds-him-
self at a disadvantage in reading
a text. He cannot go up to the writer
as he would to a lecturer to ques-
tion points. Texts, then, must be
simple, or more specifically, self-
explanatory, if students are to prof-
itably use them. Not only must the
text cover the principles of a sub-
ject, it mhust also answer all pos-
sible questions and criticisms read-
ers might raise.
Textbook writing, then, is no
simple business. Texts must be lucid
and informative, neither too spe-
cialized or too general, neither ar-
-rogant nor mawkish and must an-
ticipate possible challenges and
refutations. Despite the demands,
University professors write and have
published a plethora of textbooks
each year. There are books about
India and about psychological sta-
tistics; books concerning linguistics,
and French and German. Some of
the texts written here are used
throughout the country: Newcomb's
book on social psychology, Organ-
ski's discussions of political science,
Claude's books of the same topic,
White's works on anthropology. And
some of the books written here are
used here, there perhaps being no
great demand for them elsewhere.
This is either because the subject
of the book is too complicated or
too exclusive for popular university
use, -or because the book is a bad
book, the latter reason being the
most plausible.
The following are reviews of by no
m e a n s representative University
texts. In commenting on them, I
hope to show some of the styles
and organizational- patterns which

may make or break any university
textbook.
Introduction to Logic; second edi-
tion; Irving M. Copi; Macmillan
Company; New York; 1961; 512
pages.
Professor Copi's book is divided into
-three sections, the first of which (on
language) lays ' the foundation for the
presentation of the other two (on de-
duction and on induction). The text is
enjoyable reading mainly because the
examples and logical problems the author
introduces as exercises are meaningful to
the average reader.
Disregarding the exercises, the text it-
self is a good introduction to logic and
the various complicated principles as-
sociated with it. The style is dry, with
the usual academic turns of phrase such
as: "if we focus our attention" ' or "the
preceding" - and of course, the old
teaching favorite "a treatment of this

Lackner Doyle; (Cornell); Addison-
Wesley Publishing Company Inc.:
Reading, Mass.; 1966; 703 pages.
McKeachie's book is a fairly compre-
hensive although somewhat -simplified
review of psychology. The writing has
the usual textbook dryness, and the or-
ganization is not particularly- imagin-
ative. The book is illustrated with graphs
and a linitted number of colored plates.
There are two short appendixes; the first
of which opens with the rather hopeful
title, "Why do we need Statistics?"
The text itself seems to progress
through the introduction ad infinitum,
to rhetorical questions addressed to the
reader and answered, in theory at least,
by the authors. Samples include What
is Psychology? How is central nervous
system activity modulated by external
factors? What is inherited? What are
the sources of frustration? and even,
What factors contribute to compliance?

from
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tionalize
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the stud
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The t
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Author Elliott of the
and fan
point, however, lies beyond the scope of
the present book."
However Copi has made his subject
interesting, which should be after all,
the primary concern of most college text-
books, or so they would have us' believe.
I've found student reactions to the
book have been generally apathetic, al-
though teaching fellows have objected to
the text as being too concerned with
minute classifications. All the same,
readers will not suppress a chuckle as
they read the following argument.
No athletes are bookworms' Carol
is a bookworm. Therefore Carol is
not an athlete.
"None but the brave deserve the fair.
Only soldiers are brave. Therefore
the fair are deserved only by the
soldiers.
Psychology; Wilbert James Me-
Keachie; (U of M) and Charlotte

-uaiy-ichard Lee
Zoology Department
Fitzhenry
McKeachie's discussions of the vari-
ous topics are good at least insofar as he
is careful to include a variety of research
data and reports,, with which and on
which he patterns his observations and
conclusions. In addition he is good at
citing examples for points which are
difficult. Here's an example:
While workmen are excavating on
Packard Street, they stumble across
a skull. Professor Gulch of the An-X
thropology Department of the near-
by university happens to be passing
by at the moment and takes pos-
session of the skull. It would be a
feather in Gulch's cap if he could
say that it was not a skull belong-
ing to a modern man. But, being ain
honest scholar, Gulch has to decide/
whether or not it really is different
from modern skulls. Therefore he
measures it and finds that it is just
40 centimeters around the brow.
"Let us find out what the chances
are that it might be a small skull
which differs from. other skulls only
by the amount of random variation
we might expect in human skulls,"
he says. So saying, Gulch draws

SHARON FITZHENRY, a freshman Daily staffer, has
worked in publishing houses in New York and Germany.

Gold in the pan

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