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July 20, 1968 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1968-07-20

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, July 20, 1968

Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Substituting reality
for the three R's

Wsbooksbooksbooksbooksb
Wall Street: From psychodrama to melodrama?

By JOHN GRAY
The Money Game, by Adam
Smith. Random House, $6,95..
What's your idea of a suc-
cessful stock/ market type? Do
you picture, as I did, a rather
staid sort in a three-piece suit,
sitting in his panelled office
and poring over the ticker and
two or three hundred annual
reports and prospecti and the
like?
If so, 'Adam Smith' says we'-
re 'wrong. Right now the big
men on the Street are, of all
things, the 'gunslingers' of the
giant mutual funds, youths
schooled in or at least attuned,
to mass psychology, buying and
selling all day long andl steer-
ing clear of the blue chips and
similar long run holdings.
In The Money Game,, 'Smith'
makes these 'gunslingers'. (and,
s u ch irregular regulars as
Scarsdale Fats who has them
all for lunch and Irwin the
computeer) so real and alive
that they're almost completely
incredible.
The most incredible charac-
ter of them all, though, is 'Mr.
Smith' himself. A former Rho-
des Scholar, he plays the stock
market for the fun of it, mak-
ing money and writing funny
informative books as a sideline.
Whether he's worried about his
cocoa holdings or watching the
quotations for Digital Data-
whack onIrwin's computer dis-
play, he attacks the market
with the zest of a born poker
player and the knowledge of
Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner,
Smith and Beane.
'Smith's' book is, in fact, so
good, so witty and so informa-
tive that it is likely to have a
great effect on the American
view of the investor. Although
he's avoided it so far, the stock
broker is about to become chic.

With The Money Game the
number one best seller at $6.95
a shot and a paperback market
that should gobble it up, per-
haps this winter, the retiring
men of the Street will be cast
into the limelight of Pop Cul-
ture. The Streeters, who only a
year or so ago were thought too'
stuffy even to rate being label-
led camp, are about to be label-
led hip.
This feat of 'Mr. Smith's'
(and it isn't only because of the
book-'Smith' has been writing
for the chic weekly, "New York"
since it was the Sunday supple-
ment to the World Journal Tri-
bune) is truly monumental. It's
a tribute to his amused, semi-
detached and urbane style that
he can do it.

'Smith' (a pseuionym, of
course-he's revealed his iden-
tity but you've never heard of
him anyway) provides the rea-
der, aside from an enjoyable
time, with a good deal of infor-
mation and insight into the
workings of the largest market-
place the world has ever known.
It is Smith's contention (one
which he admittedly owes to
"the Master'-Keynes) that
statistics and all that har~d
stuff is only half of the stock
market. The other half is what
makes it a game - the people
involved, from Gerry Tsai, king
of the gunslingers, 'to Edward,
who wants to be loved for him-
self.
The most entertaining of the
people is 'Smith's' friend the

Gnome of Zurich, who is spir-,
iting away gold and betting on
world disaster and economic
chaos. The Gnome is very up-°
set about things like the bal-
ance of payments deficit and
faith in the dollar and all those
other things that give the read-
er, as Chairman Mao would put.
it, a headache.
The. Gnome contends that
the United States' foreign pol -
icy will eventually bring about
another great depression, that
the dollar will be cut free from
gold and the stock market will
collapse, conpletely. $e' points
out that half the dollars we
spend in Vietnam wind up' as
gold claims from France
through the Bank; of Indochina
and half wind up as gold claims

from Red China through Char-
lie, Hanoi and the Bank of Chi-
na (Mainland). And that's a
lot of gold to be throwing
around when claims on our're-
serve Would deplete it twice and'
China, for one, doesn't really"
give a rat about our balance of
payments problem, to put it'
mildly. Food for thought.
'Smith' ends his book with a
bit of anti-wealth philosophy,
again from the; Master, to the
effect that, in the Master's,
words, in the future:
"The love of money' as a
possession - as distinguish-
ed from love of money as a
means to the enjoyments and
realities of .life - will be re-
cognized for what it is,' a

somewhat disgusting morbid-
ity, one of those semi-crimi-
/ nal, . semi-pathological .pro-
pensities which one hands ov-
er with a shudder to the spe-
cialists in mental disease."
It should be noted, however,
that Lord Keynes made several
millions for himself in the mar-
ket, and when he suffered a
heart attack cancelled all his
activities but theeditorship of
the Econ~omic Journal and his
daily half-hour of trading.
Until the future comes, Key-
nes believed and 'Smith' agrees,
being rich isn't, so bad after all.
And if the money game is, in
fact, as 'Smith' describes it,
getting there is half the fun.

The generation gap: How to narrow it

The way it spozed to be?

By THOMAS R. COPI
The Way It Spozed to Be, by James. Herndon. Simon
and Schuster, $4.50.
There is a radical theory of education which states, generally,
that a teacher shouldn't interfere with his students. Children are
naturally curious, the theory goes, and want to learn. Attempts
by teachers to channel and direct this curiosity will only,,
stifle it.
The role of the teacher in this scheme is to help the kids
learn what they want to know, not to try to make the kids learn
wbat he wants them to know.
A teacher who wants to put this theory into practice 'mus't
be prepared to do both more work and less work than his non-
radical counterpart. He will do less work at the usual kinds of
chores associated with teaching: lecturing, correcting tests and
workbooks, preparing lesson plans, etc.
On the other hand, he must become familiar with each of
his students and the work each student is doing, if any. He must
be prepared to help each student find answers to questions, but
stop short of supplying all the answers (even if he knows them),
and stop short of directing the students' study once the student
has a chosen topic.
What this radical method of education proposes is that if a
Student is given the opportunity, a chance to think, a chance to
decide for himself, then he will do so.
Needless to say, this theory presents numerous problems,
often the most difficult of which is trying to put it into practice.
James Herndon is a teacher who tried to put this theory to
the test in an urban gpetto school in California. The story of
his year in George Washington Junior High School is told in his
book, The Way It Spozed to Be.
The book is both encouraging and disheartening to people
who want very much to believe in the radical method of educa-
tion sketched above. Herndon both succeeded and failed; he left
his students with a different attitude toward school and toward
life, but lost his job because he refused to do things the way they
spozed to be done. He dispensed with workbooks and composition
assignments and quizzes and tried to find out what the kids
wanted to do.
But the kids, who knew that this wasn't the way school was
spozed to be, didn't trust him, and fell at first into the apathy
and rebellion which were the only responses they knew to the
school situation.
Herndon is no magician, and worked no miracle with/ his
students. All he did was get them to begin the process of educat-
ing themselves.
Unlike an elementary school teacher, he didn't have his kids'
to work with all day. So each day he had to begin anew the task
of trying to get the kids to take down the barriers of indifference,
resentment, defiance and despair which they had constructed be-
tween themselves and the world.
That he had some degree of success is the joy of the book.
Its woe is that he was fired from his job because he refused to
go along with the stupidity of a system which emphasizes rote
learning and discipline above all else.
As literature, the strong point of The Way It Spozed to Be is
its humor. Herndon manages to poke fun at the failings of the
other teachers and the system without ridiculing them. And
much of the humor is bittersweet; Herndon lets the situations
speak for themselves.
"Old Mrs. Z down the hall was the real wonder of the
school. I'm not pretending she was typical. For a while I was
interested in where 9D went after they left my room, and as
this happened to be to Mrs. Z for arithmetic, I used to go
down and talk to her. She told me that she had a very simple
attitude toward her students which was in fact no different
from her feelings about people in general. That was, all her
life she'd spoken only to people who were ladies and gentle-
men. Since none of the students in 9D were ladies and gentle-
men, she never spoke to them, never had, and never would.'
She also forbade them to speak In her classroon. If they did
*peak she sent them immediately to the office with a note
Instructing the office to keep them for the period. If they
left their seats, she did the same. If they chewed gum, put on
lipstic or changed their shoes, out they went. She didn't
even speak to them when they were kicked out-Just handed
them the slip from a ready stack inside her desk which she
had all filled out except the name of the culprit and the in-
fraction of which he was guilty."
This is an instructive book for people planning to teach.
Uerndon, who had no special training and no experience, fared
quite well in situations which aren't covered in education courses.
For example, there was no way he could help the four non-
readers in his 7H class who used every method from lip-reading
to imemorization to avoid admitting that they couldn't read. And
they refused to participate in any reading activity on the rational-
ization that It was more honorable to appear bad than stupid.

By DAVID MANN
The Gap, by Ernest Fla-
dell and Richard Lorber.
McGraw-Hill, $4.95.
The disparity in values and
views between youth and the
older generation has been much
emphasized, sometimes w i t h
violence, in events of the re-
cent past. From Columbia's
Morningside Heights to college
admiiistration buildings ac-
ross the country, 'to France,
Yugoslavia, and Italy, students
who have assumed the role of
spokesnken for their generation
have openly clashed with those,
who hold the authority that
rules their lives.
The older generation, they
say, is out of touch with the
realities of the present. On
issues as widely separated as
educational standards and for-
eign policy the adult world has

been charged with insisting on
application of anachronistic
solutions ' to t h e problems
plaguing society, and in the
process of having miserably
failed, leaving a nearly-hope-
less mess in their wake as the.
inheritance for their children.
It answering the generation
they spawned, adults have
neatly inverted the complaints,
of. their children. insulated
fromtthe realities of life in the
real world by the walls of the
universities, the adults say,
today's youth is attempting to
apply rosy-eyed idealism as a
pniversal panacea. Love and
flowers represent a withdrawal
frpm reality, not solutions forr
its problems. The world, they
say, is no more of a mess now
than ever, and society will con-
tinue to muddle through as it
always has managed to do.
The Gap is framed by these
two opposing concepts. Pur-
porting to tell it like it is, Rich-
ard Lorber, a 20-year old Co-
lumbia graduate student and
his uncle, Ernest Flabell, a42-
year old advertising executive,
produced The Gap as a chron-
icle of the summer they spent.
t9gether sampling tidbits from
each other's world.
For the most part, the book
is an exploitation of a com-
mon social phenomenon. Uni-
versity students rioted at Ox-
ford 600 years ago. Their ob-

ject was to institute academic
reform. Shapespeare wrote of
the difficulties of 'transition
from adolescent to adult in
Hamlet. The differences are
not new, despite Lorber and
Fladell's insistence that they
are.
The Gap doesn't offer much
to a student. Ideas, opinions,
and even the language in
which t h e y are expressed
change so rapidly ainong the
young that a book written last
summer is already out of date.
Smoking grass and cohabita-
tion, the topics of articles de-
signed to be the eye-cathcers.
in last October's back to
school issue of Esquire, are. as'}
unexciting today as last se-
mester's sit-ins.
The Gap would, however, be.
an excellent Father's Day gift.
It gives a diluted view of the
norms of the nation's universi-
ty sub-culture. It also reveals
the raison d'etre of a youth on
its own for the first time, the
attitudes at the base of the
alienation of the generation. 1-
The. conveyance of thin, at-
titude is the book's only in-
sight, an insight that slipped
into The Gap by accident.
Iorber and Fladell chose to
write their book in gross anti-I
thetical style. The reactions
and related experiences of one
of the pair are expressed in a
passage followed by the other's
reaction to the previous pas-

sage. As the book progresses,
both authors attempt to probe
deeper into the motivations
and rationalizations of them-
aelyes and each other. No
doubt the aim was to arrive at
a pain 7of stupendous socio-
psychological explanations en-
abling the, reader to see at
last why the gap exists, what
it consists of and how to sur-
mount it.
Perhaps they were too im-
pressed with their mission,
perhaps they were looking too
far or too deep for an answer.
Even moye likely, perhaps the
question of antipathy between
old and young is too complex
to answer in a single book.
Fladell's question, "Can it be
true that Richie's generation
invented sex, music, art, edu-
cation, peace, understanding,
dignity of man all in a. few,
short years?'' is representative
of the, negatidnI mentioned,
earlier. Each. generation, Lor-
ber's and Fladell's included, ex-
perienced all those things when.

they were new-not newly cre-
ated,' but new to those who
were experiencing them for the
first time. Apparently, as a
generation grows o1der, it
grows insensitive to the new-
ness of its young life.
Having forgotten the excite-
ment, idealism, and uneasiness
of its conceptual past, an older
genertion cannot acknowledge
those feelings which are the
prime motivational forces of,
youth. Barred from under-
standing, acceptance, and sym-
pathy for their , causes, the
young assume a position of
paranoia, of distruct of .'any-
body over 30."
That Fladell failed to under-
stand thecontemporary use of
the term paranoid as used by
his nephew, and that Lorber
became more and more resent-
ful 'and withdrawn the deeper'
he got in his ;shared summer
and book, is symptomatic of
the problem The Gap attempt-
ed to explain, and the reason
why it may have failed.

f,

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