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July 30, 1964 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1964-07-30

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Swnty-Third Year
Truth Will Frevall"ss s
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

The Movement Begins on the Bloc)

Lecture System Breeds
Mediocrity in Freshmen

EGINNING AUGUST 31 another 7000
freshmen primed for the rigid aca-
nic standards of college professors will
>erlence "education" via the phenom-
a, of the lecture hall and the teaching
[heir characteristic eagerness to learn,
.ingness to study and hesitancy to
ticize will temporarily stay dissatisfac-
'n and lethargy. And the knowledge that
just two years-with fields of concen-
.tlon already selected-virtually all
irses will be taught by full professors
r at least instructors) in classes of lim-
d size will offer a measure of aca-
nic sustenance.
Some will become disenchanted more
ickly than others; but it is almost in-
table that the entire lot will at some
nt conclude that they are not being
icated as they had anticipated. Reac-
ns to this realization will vary:
5ome will forego class attendance as
11 as serious study efforts or in lieu of
re intense textbook study; others will
through classes- inattentively, aban-
ping any pretense of interest or mo-
ation; still others may endure the lec-
es and the teaching fellow-led recita-
ns with a semblance of patience, seek-
understanding and depth in faculty
asultations and outside readings.
UT THE PERCENTAGE of those who
will profit-who will spurn academic
dibcrty and take the initiative in pro-
Ming their own learning processes-
1i be far too few. For the stimulation
4 guidance which are most vital dur-
what is essentially a year of transi-
n will be lacking.
tespect for academic competence is
at brings students to the University;
-encompassing "introductory" courses
lete with cut-and-dried lectures and
ching fellow discussion leaders often
,ceed In undermining that respect. Oral
sentation of material which merely
hi ghts textbook assignments or dwells
>n miniscule details serves no signifi-
it function, save perhaps permitting
student to skip assigned reading, yet
s examinations. Lecturer-student con-
t in a lecture of over 200 students is
tually non-existent.
tecItation sections directed by teach-
:fellows of limited experience and lim-
I interest in the instructional process
qho are, after all, concerned primarily
x their own degree objectives-gen-
lly develop into either a mere lecture
nmation or a free-for-all bull session.
w fellows are capable of opening new
nues of discussion or of stimulating
student into thoughtful probing of
rse content and goals.
hus dulling the interest and the "chal-
ge" of the entering freshman, the lec-
e-recitation system promotes an edu-
ional atmosphere which is both stilted
i unproductive. Forced immediately in-
mediocrity, the student can scarcely
expected to subsequently rise above this
el '
THE FRESHMAN'S educational goals
are not to be thwarted from the outset,
I s potential inquiries and endeavors
not to be stifled, if his capacity for
freliance is not to be stunted, then a
,or alteration of "introductory" in-
uctional methods must be undertaken.
lhe freshman-who each year is sub-
bed to increasingly tougher admissions
ridards-deserves-and needs - rthe
ie contact with and guidance from
apetent instructors and professors no
s than his upperclass brother does.-
:h guidance, prohibitive in a lecture
lion of 200, is viable in discussion

ups of 25-30, the size of current reci-
Lon sections.
f the lecturer(s) for each "introduc-
y" course were to discontinue lectur-
-distributing concise topic outlines
tead-and assume the direction of reci-
ions, the course content and the lec-
er's interpretations could not only be
served but enlarged upon. From the
4p ifidTi!3a Daily*

outlined summaries, students could be-
come familiar with the basic tenets of
the lecture material prior to each class
period, thus making class discussion more
thoughtful and, hence, more profitable.
The advantage of opportunities thus pro-
vided for personal consultation with a
competent, well-versed instructor is un-
Admittedly, this proposal would make
greater time demands on the professor-
lecturer. But the necessary adjustments
would be neither excessive nor unreward-
ing. In most introductory courses, there
are two or more alternating lecturers;
If they now present (or attend) lectures
twice a week for a group of 200, each
would instruct four classes of 25 students
twice a week. Although this would cut
from four to two the number of hours the
student spent in class, there is no reason
why the number of credit hours should
also be cut. Indeed there is a growing
consensus among the faculty that the
time spent in class does not necessarily
reflect the effort expended by the stu-
dent. The "extra" time afforded by halv-
ing class hours might profitably be used
by underclassmen to master the very
broad introductory course content as well
as to review the instructor's outlines.,
ADDITIONAL TIME would also be re-
quired to prepare the lecture material
for mimeographing; yet this should in-
volve little more effort than preparing
notes for oral presentation. Extra time
would also have to be alloted to make the
professor more accessible to students. The
almost-certain increase in student recep-
tivity and response to his ideas and prob-
ing of the course content would surely
compensate for this time sacrifice.
Moreover, even without these outside-
the-classroom consultations, the instruc-
tor would be likely to enjoy a greater
measure of satisfaction than he does
standing'at a podium before 200 unknown,
unrevealing faces. By virtue of smaller
group size, he would be able to discern
much more easily the effect of his pres-
entation-whether it be confusion, bore-
dom or facile comprehension.
posal would be to free the teaching
fellow for his true purpose here: to allow
him to earn his degree without the re-
sponsibility - frequently an unpleasant
burden-of attending lectures, leading
recitations, iving examinations and grad-
ing papers. There is no reason why a fel-
lowship holder should have to teach,
just as research grant recipients often
have no obligation for their awards.
In the case of a fellowship holder who
really desires to teach on the college level,
a program of student teaching-under a
full professor-could be arranged. With
the guidance of an experienced, compe-
tent instructor, the fellow can benefit
greatly; after a semester or two, he should
then be permitted to lead a discussion on
his own. In this way, the extra effort
expended by the supervising professor
would be recompensed by a lessening of
his teaching responsibilities in subse-
quent semesters.
And the students would benefit from
instruction on the part of a teaching
fellow who really wants to teach and has
been competently trained in instructional
methods. The outlined lecture material
would still come from the professor; hav-
ing taug, ,t under the professor's super-
vision, the fellow would be able to relate
the essential interpretations of the course

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
third and last in a series of articles
on the Economic Research and Ac-
tion Project. ERAP, organized under
the auspices of the students for a
Democratic Society,. seeks and "in-
terracial movement of the poor."
single city blocks organized
around small issues if you ever
want to build a large-scale social
That's the practical philosophy
being followed by the Economic
Research and Action Project in
its pilot stage this summer In 10
different cities ERAP is seeking
to establish a "broad base of com-
munity support" in its effort to
organize the dispossessed of Amer-
ica in an "interracial movement
of the poor."
ERAP, a program of the Stu-
dents for a Deomcratic Society,
has nearly 150 students living on
a subsistence level in its project
communities. Their work is a uni-
que attempt to awaken the un-
employed and underemployed, the
slum inhabitants and the people
living on welfare, to the legiti-
macy of their grievances and the
possibility of alleviating those
grievances by organizing.
with these people, ERAP then
hopes to bring them into an al-
liance with the Negro freedom
movement. Recognizing that the
Negro movement lacks the support
of many of its potential allies-
yet cannot be responsible for forg-
ing links with unorganized whites
-ERAP seeks to provide the impe-
tus for a broader social movement.
Thus the summer's efforts are
largely with whites. In addition,
they are exploratory, for ERA
must still develop the basic tech-
niques of organizing and a back-
log of information about various
communities. And they begin on
a relatively simple scale, concen-
trating on the rudiments of or-
ganization-block meetings, simple
demands, leafletting, canvassing,
getting to know leaders.
It is clear that the impression
one gets from an ERAP prospec-
tus on the overall goals of the
program-that the barriers to suc-
cess are quite thick-does not
necessarily indicate what might
happen this summer. In any case,
there is really only one way to
judge this issue, since ERAP's ef-
forts are so unprecedented: look
at what is being done.
On the whole, reports from the
10 projects indicate that ERA
is succeeding in its goals forthe
* m* *
of the projects has been:
-Establishing friends in poor
white communities, getting people
to acknowledge the good inten-
tions of the SDSers living in their
-Holding meetings of people
living in single blocks. The meet-
ings center as much as possible on
specific issues-seeking new or
improved playgrounds or sanita-
tion services, informing people of
welfare and unemployment com-
pensation rules, building support
behind individuals who have been
getting a "raw deal" from welfare
agencies, pressuring city hall for
renovations in housing or estab-
lishment of rent controls over new
housing projects to be built in
an area, investigating the possi-
bility of rent strikes against any
landlords who rent to a large
number of tenants;
-Leafletting the community in
general or unemployment com-
pensation offices in particular.
These offices often provide the
best means of contacting poten-


tial members of community or-
-Door-to-door canvassing;
-Cooperating with established
local groups;
-Doing extensive research on
the laws, group composition, hous-
ing and employment conditions
and power structure in each com-
-Educating and arousing exist-
ing community leaders about the
need for organization and the
techniques df accomplishing it,
with an eye to greater indigenous
-Guiding more widespread or-
ganizations such as Chicago's Jobs
or 'Incomne Now. N JOIN, which has
also been introduced into the Phil-
adelphia project, opens offices
where the unemployed can talk
about their problems, receive sup-
port in making claims, learn about
welfare and compensation laws
and become involved in the JOIN
effort themselves.
instance, has been leafletting the
local compensation office full
time-45 hours a week. Many of
the people whom project workers
contact in this manner come to
the JOIN offices. There they can
be drawn into conversations about
compensation problems, difficul-
ties with other city services, fore-
men or city politics and broader
issues like full employment, medi-
care and automation.
The project workers have found
that "the poor, unemployed and
employed alike, are to a great
extent vocal about their com-
plaints, in many cases angry and
quite willing to talk about the
political implications of unemploy-
ment." a Chicago project report
"There is recognition of the
necessity of an organization of the
unemployed and great willingness
to face long-term political and
organizational problems. In many
cases, unemployed think and talk
in terms of class analysis. Al-
though this consciousness is not
overt, there is often an easy §tran-
sition into terms such as the
bosses vs. the workers or us little
defenseless the poor are in the
face of an employer, a government
official, a rent collector or a social
worker. There is a minimum of
good advice available as to how to
face these problems. One of the
most important services that we
provide is such advice and en-
couragement," the report con-
Often facing the difficulty of
keeping up contacts when there is
nothing specific for the person to
do, the Chicago ERAPers have in-
creased their emphasis on block
organization. This entails sending
teams of two to locate all of the
250.unemployed who have come to

the JOIN offices. Those contacted
are then urged to participate in
block meetings.
The meetings themselves consist
of a short presentation about
JOIN, discussion of general un-
employment issues and proposal
of an action program to be follow-
ed until the next meeting.
* * *
agreed upon democratically at the
meetings, consists of further dis-
tribution of JOIN information in
the immediate neighborhood, thus
combining concrete activity with
spreading the JOIN "gospel."
The main goal of this effort is
thus, "through the minimum pro-
grams in the local committees (of
JOIN), to involve large numbers
of people, give them experience in
organizational work and locate
At the same time, however, there
exists a realneed for "more dra-
matic projects." Thus two of the
JOIN offices will put together a
committee of the unemployed to
work out a program-with the
JOIN research staff-that will be
presented to the mayor's Com-
mittee on Poverty. If the program
is not accepted, students and un-
employed workers will picket the
mayor's office.
AN EXAMPLE of greater pro-
test action is the Chester, Pa.,
project. In, that city ERAP' has
been a direct participant in many
of the demonstrations and rallies
held by a local civil rights organ-
ization begun a year ago.
In addition to this participation,
Chester ERAP has been trying to
organize a march of children to
protest inadequate public swim-
ming pool facilities and is con-
sidering a general rent strike, even
though research has revealed that
local laws favor "slumlords and
property" over tenants.
The project is also looking into
a voter registration drive in co-
operation with two adult political
organizations in the city.
* * *
other eight projects could fill a
complete volume. While Chester
and Chicago are somewhat indica-

tive of the kinds of programs be-
ing carried out this summer, each
city has its peculiar problems, each
ERAP office deals with different
sectors of the population, each
project has its own specific goals
and concerns.
Baltimore ERAP, for instance,
has been broaching the black-
white unity line and finding favor-
able response among the ethnic
groups with which it deals. But
then it has made primarily eco-
nomic appeals with regard to ally-
ing the races and does not know
how specific racial issues will af-
fect community response.
Cleveland ERAP is also dealing
with specific groups- Europeans
and Appalac'ian and Southern
emigrants --but it is concerned
mostly with the psychological and
economic trap in which welfare
and public housing families are
In Louisville, ERAP is more
service oriented. Thus it is dealing
with existing housing and civil
rights groups in an attempt to
broaden their pl ograms. Newark
ERAP has mobilized hundreds of
people to demonstrate on various
issues and at the same time is
working on block organization,
first around small issues, later
around larger ones.
The Philadelphia project, on the,
other hand, is operating mainly as
a JOIN office. As such it dis-
tributes leaflets, contacts people
in unemployment compensation
offices, and canvasses extensively.
Besides working with adult
groups in Trenton, N. J., and open-
ing a neighborhood office, the
ERAP group in that city is operat-
ing a tutdrial program. It has
just moved into an all-Negro area
to organize people around housing
and the eventual displacement of
the neighborhood's population
when an urban renewal project is.
begun. It is also working with a
local CORE chapter on preparing
a plan to better integrate the
city's junior high schools.
The Boston project, however, :s
not dealing with lower classes at
all. Instead, it is organizing mi idl
class people whose job security is
low. These people depend heavily

on a number of defense industri,
in the area, and the recent nea:
transfer of one of the 1 .rgest it
dustries to another city has mac
many of them anxious over the
precarious situation.
CONSIDERING all the facto:
militating against success fo
ERAP's various efforts-people
general apathy, their alienatic
from the power structure, the lac
of a communal sense in most whit
areas, the wary eye with whic
people must view an attempt I
liberal students to "organize
them, racial feelings where Ne
groesaresinvolved-the outcome
of this summer's work is mor
than encouraging.
Most important, community re
sponse has been good, often er
thusiastic. If actual protests hav
won few battles, if pressures hav
yielded results on only small is
sues, if block groups have not bee
forged into neighborhood group
and these into city groups, neve
theles's ERAP has been able tI
convince many people of the pos
sibility and desirability of orgar
izing for change.
It has brought them together t
express their concerns. It ha
shown them the potential in con
certed action. It has aroused the:
natural leaders. And it has show
them some results for their effor
In many ways, therefore, th
optimism with which SDSer
plunged into ERAP, with whic
various SDS officers wrote abou
the movement's future, begins t
seem justified. Little is known
still, about unifying whites ad
Negroes, but ERAP will be off t
a good start when it finally ap
proach that later stage.
And when the summer is ove
and most of the SDSers return t
school, they will have an excitin
story to tell. The story will not b
dramatic; it will not be withot
its disappointments and failure
But by and large it will furnis
some proof that the misery, frus
tration and wasted lives of th
poor need not continue.
For the story will show tha
ERAP has given birth to a move
ment that could very well brin
effective social change.

Thurber Carnival' Sparkles

TE UNIVERSITY Players made
another summertime bid last
night in the direction of diversity,
and a happy opening-night au-
dience came away from Lydia
Mendelssohn Theater largely pleas-
ed with the attempt. A Thurber
Carnival added a light and new
dimension to this season's of-
ferings of the Players, as they

JVotapek Displays
Sup erb Tone Quality'
Four Sonatas.............. ............... ...Scarlatti
D major
E major
B-flat major
D major
Sonata in A minor, Oap. 164 ....,. .........Schubert
Six Pieces, Op. 118 ................... ... Brahms
Third Sonata ................. .. indemith
Five Etudes.................... ....Debussy
RALPH VOTAPEK was presented by the University Musical Society
in a piano concert last evening in Rackham Auditorium. A youthful
pianist, Votapek rose to fame quite rapidly as the winner of the Van
Cliburn International Competition.
He opened his program with four Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti,
a contemporary of J. S. Bach. This composer's total output of sonatas
exceeded 550 and they are widely varied in mood and style. Votapek
chose these sonatas well as they offered a nice contrast to one another.
The first sonata showed immediately what was to be Votapek's out-
standing feature-his dazzling finger technique. This work, so full of'
thrills, repeated notes and rapid scales, was performed with clarity,
sophistication, and remarkable ease.
The last sonata in the group also was brilliantly played. It has the
virtuosity and gymnastics that made Scarlatti a renowned virtuoso in
his time. It is unfortunate the audiences are not more often treated
to the works of this master.
THE SCHUBERT Sonata which followed is a most enjoyable com-
position. It isn't as long as most of the other sonatas and perhaps this
makes it a little more accessible. Votapek's interpretation was controlled
and restrained. His evenness of line and steadiness of tempo added
to the work. It is all too easy to be carried away with the beautiful
melodies and harmonies of this composer. The tone quality and dy-
namic contrast of the second movement was very fine.
The audience was treated to the complete set of Op. 118 Piece 6
of Brahms. These compositions are most enjoyable to listen to, but
Votapek's playing of them was a little too introverted and introspec-
tive. The contrast in mood and dynamics, necessary to bring this com-
plete opus off, was missing. They might have been played with a little
less restraint, but Votapek's musicianship made them interesting de-
spite this handicap.
The third Sonata of Hindemith was perhaps the highlight of the
program. The first movement was made especially beautiful by Vota-
pek's superb tone quality, but unfortunately the long melodic lines of
this movement came out a little fragmented.
His playing of the second movement was astonishing. The fast
finger-work was executed with a disturbing ease-it was hard to believe
a pianist could play so fast, yet so clearly and evenly. The wonderful
fugue of the last movement again allowed Votapek to show off his
control and technique.
THE ETUDE$ of Debussy, which closed the program, are delight-
ful works and all tootrarely heard. Votapek seems to have a real affin-

romped and chuckled among the
tricky stage designs of Calvin
Quayle in a variegated spectrum
of favorite Thurber parables and
A Thurber Carnival is part an-
thology, part review. It ranges
from the subtle nettles of some of
Thurber's best "modern parables"
through the wistful portrait of
Walter Mitty, interspersed with
whimsy, nonsense, a touch of acid,
and the incomparable "The Last
Flower," that bright and sobering
blend of picture and commentary,
that concludes the first act. Epi-
sodic and quick-paced, it gives
flesh and sound and movement to
the Thurber canon, and little suf-
fers in the metamorphosis.
The greenest laurels must go to
David Hirvela and Bette Ellis,
with Thomhas Manning next in
line. Hirvela, after a nervous start
as Thurber-narrator of the ex-'
tended narration of "The Night
the Bed Fell," and a comic cari-
cature of Gen. U. S. Grant that
he tended to force beyond his
capacity, warmed to the spirit of
things as a drunken shopper and
finally exploited his gift for char-
acter as an exasperated Thurber
and a fine Walter Mitty.
* * *
MISS ELLIS was perfectly cast
in roles in which she was suitably
brassy,, sophisticated, lovely and
leggy. Her performance through-
out was consistently superb, and
she provided the most poised and
entertaining female lead that the
Players have offered this season.
Manning, overstrained in "Cas-
uals of the Keys," gave us his best
performance of the evening in the
following scene, and soon joined
Hirvela and a trayful of martinis
in a magnificent spree that con-
firmed his abilities for the bal-
ance of the show.
Linda Shaye finally came to the
fore in this performance as an

empty-headed, sexy young thi
"with lovely big eyes and a tin
mind," in a series of mincin
tripping roles that were stylize
enough to be truly funny.
* * *
ed our opinion that once he h
mastered control of his grand ax
powerful voice, and curbed h
often impulsive stage dynamic
his talent will be more obvious.
Joyce Edgar,' a bit too eager
conscious in her character d
lineations, still provided an abui
dance of really funny support, an
Barbara Manning and Stephe
Wyman, less often in evidence,e
inforced the quality of their eai
lier roles this summer.
The Players have been ambitio
in offering Carnival, and the tec
nical difficulties inherent in su
a rapid and varied melange ha
been rather well met in Ija]
Katter's direction. The revolvin
sets and J. Shelton Murphy
tightly-plotted lighting effec
were occasionally beyond the she
theatrical capabilities of the cas
and these two facets of the pie(
were not always blended smooth:
The Thurber wit and spark
generally overrides these min
problems, however, and a deligl-
ful cohesion is supplied from b
ginning to end by the "Thurti
Quartet" (Morton Archter, Dav
Rogers, Richard Cioffari and Tc
Ralston), whose subtle and lighi
polished treatment of the music
score that both accompanies a:
counterpoints the productio
brings it out of the merely epis
dic into the harmonies of a revi
in wit.
THE OLD Thurber fans wi
have to share this one with t
town at large this week; it's t
glorious to belong to the in-grot
-John J. Manning, Jr.

HAT THE LECTURE as a means of
minstruction has survived the ages is
testimony to its possibilities; there are
undoubtedly many University courses
which are best suited to lecture treat-
ment. But the comprehensive nature of
introductory courses-which compose the
bulk of the underclass curriculum-to-
gether with the very real needs and de-
sires of the freshman for stimulating aca-
demic experience dictates the necessity
for change.
Moreover, the student can profit im-
mensely from early exposure to academ-
ic competence in selecting his field of
concentration. Too often, having endured
several equally unsatisfying introductory
courses, the student blindly chooses his
mnnr. field nf endeavonr Tf hnwever. he

WOW ! ! Which is a very un-
professional but highly sincere
sentiment concerning Alix Dobkin,
the new folksinger now appearing
at TherGolden Vanity.
There is a special portion of
personality that some performers
are lucky enough to have which
allows them to immediately estab-
lish a bond between the perform-
ers and the audience. Miss Dob-
kin is such a performer. The aud-
ience is hers from the moment
she begins, and they stay that
One of the reasons that they dig
Miss Dobkin is her honesty. There
is no pretentious crusading or
assumed emotion, nor is she of
the over-polished highly commer-
cial and sterile school; Miss Dob-
kin sings songs she likes, and sings
them naturally and beautifully.
* * *
IF YOU LIKED Josh White Jr.,
you'll love Miss Dobkin. She com-
bines his natural ease and talent
with her own sense of involve-
ment and consummate charm.
You can't help but want to hear
her sing more and more.
From the humorous songs of
hz1 Silverstein t o uffv S.

Editorial Staff

NNETH WINTER....................C6-Editor
WARD HERSTEIN..................co-Eitor


... .. 'F.' ' -}
s: ^

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