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October 08, 1922 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1922-10-08
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An American 's Impressions of Oxford

(By Millard H. Pryor) down and Carson carried the day
"Tutorial system, organization by alone, which for the cause of prohibi-
colleges, and individual and colorful tion in England was not an easy one.
s n lges," is tAt the end, in the final vote, to the
student life," is the way Ralph Carson,i astonishment of the English them-
'17. sums up his impression' of Oxford selves, prohibition won by 163 to 129.
University after his three year stay While in Michigan, Carson was very
as Rhodes scholar from Michigan. active in oratorical work, was a mem-
This comes with a little more force ber of the Varsity debating team and
from Carson than it would from many also of the Adelphi House of Repre-
other of the students from the United sentatives.
States who have attended Oxford by The actual conduct of the debates
means of the Rhodes scholarships, in- differs quite materially from the ac-
asmuch as Carson is one of the two cepted custom in our inter-collegiate
Americans to be elected to the high- debates. Four men are generally se-
est position given to Oxford students lected to speak upon the question
-that of president of the Oxford which is always of the most vague
Union. The only other American ever and general nature and which is pub-
accorded this honor was W. J. Bland, lished in advance all over the colleges.
of Ohio, in 1913. Then on the night of the debate the
Carson describes the Oxford Union President and two more officials of
as being somewhat similar to the the Union dispose of the regular busi-
Michigan Union in that it is ther one I ness and each of the speakers talks
big undergraduate club and serves to for about 15 minutes. It might be
bring together the different indepen- said that the debates are at the same
dent colleges at Oxford, of which there time both formal and informal for the
are 22. It is different, though, in presiding officers and the four main
many of its activities. The Union is speakers always wear full dress. and
housed in several buildings, which are certain forms are followed. But there
used for lounging, billiards, reading, is no definite time kept on the speak-
writing, and they are soon to have ers nor do they ever take sides of the
a large dining room. The best working question that they do not believe in,
library at Oxford is also a Union so that the speeches are always in
activity and is entirely managed by the nature of a personal belief rather
the students. But the way in which than a formal presentation. After the
it differs most radically from our own four main speakers have finished the
Union is in the debating assembly, question is thrown open to the house
which is the center of all the Union and everyone is permitted to give his
activities and the thing for which it views of the matter. Sometimes there
is best known. The building itself is are more than 400 present at these
built out of brick and stone and is ar- debates and often as many as twenty-
ranged inside very much like tht Eng- five express themselves in a single
lish House of Commons. This Union night. The time of the meeting is
was founded in 1823, fourteen years be- from 8:00 to 11:30 o'clock and at the
fore the founding of our own Univer- end the president asks that the mem-
sity, and is second only to the Cam- bers present vote. This is done by
bridge Union as the oldest in the exchanging seats so that all in favor
world. The president of the Union of the question are seated on the right
is in full charge of the debates that and those opposed on the opposite
are conducted in this hall every side.
Thursday night and it is because of a Very often prominent men in Eng-
man's ability as a debater that he be- lish public life are. asked to speak
comes president of the Union. The at these debates and it indicates the
debate in which Carson achieved, his high regard in which these discussions
laurels was one in which the question are held when it is stated that these
was prohibition. It developed that tht men consider it an honor to address
other member of the liberal side broke the Union. During the past one hun-
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dred years three presidents of the the pinnacles and the' soft grey stone
Unioh have become prime ministers: of which it is made.
Gladstone, Asquith and Salisbury, The keynote of the entire place
while present Minister of Foreign might be summed up in the one word,
Affairs, Lord Curzon, Lord Birkenhead, individuality, for there the whole sys-
Hilaire Belloc the writer, and many Item is made to enable a man to de-
others have held the Union presidency. velop himself to the highest point. No
It is also characteristic of the Eng- check whatever is made upon a stud-
lish schools that all the arranging, ent and what he becomes is entirely
management, and even some of the up to himself. The tutorial system
details of the Union are left to the requires that an entrant .designate
president. The same thing holds true what course he-is going to read and
of other activities, for the track cap- then the only classroom work is one
tan designates which men shall take hour a week spent with the tutor. It
part in the different events. When a might look as though this concentra-
man is placed in a high office he is tion on one line would lead to nar-
given real authority and entire con- rowness, but this reading is really an,
fidence. organization of . knowledge under a
As to Oxford itself, Carson says that broad head -and also the intellectual
the architecture, cultural atmosphere, curiosity of most men causes them to
the beauty of the many gardens; and cover a wide field on their own. ac-
the indefinable spirit of the place are count. Oxford is entirely given to
beyond description. Ann Arbor per-1 the theory that the business of a hu-
haps possesses more natural beauties. man being . is to become cultured in
than Oxford, particularly her trees, a broad way even as a basis for a tech-
but has no such air of antiquity as nical education. Any such technisal
Oxford has. Everything there seems training must be taken after gradua-
to have its roots far, far back in the tion from Oxford and even law must
past. Especially beautiful are the be studied in London bfore one is
chimes and one soon learns to dis- admitted to the bar.
tinguish those of every one of the col- Student life might be compared to
leges. Carson stated that he thought t.he dormitory system in this country
the bell tower of Magdalen College the except that there the dormitories are
most beautiful in the world with all of (Continued on Page Four)

looks and Writers
The Smart Set for October should
be of special interest to readers of
The Sunday Magazine, as it contains
a novelette by Harold H. Armstrong
and a short story by Byron Darnton.
Both are Michigan men, Armstrong
having graduated in 1905, and Darnton
leaving college before completing his
course. Armstrong has written "Zell,"
and "For Richer, For Poorer." Darn-
ton is a reporter on the Baltimore'
"Exhibit A," Armstrong's novelette,
is no credit to the author of "Zell."
It is a poorly written affair, dry and
tedious, and I yawned mightily before,
I had read two of the thirty pages to
which I had condemned myself.
The story deals with fatal indecision
and blind subservience to a shattered
ideal. Ralph Crusoe, the leading char-
acter, falls heir to a quarter share
in his grandfather's paint works, and'
if he continues on the job until he is
twenty-one he is to receive another
fourth. But Crusoe is an artistic soul,
who would rather play the violin, and
he has queer notions that the only
way to realize an ambition is to goI
after it whole-heartedly, letting one's
family take care. of itself, and worry-
ing not at all about so minor a matter
as living meanwhile. Ralph lets his
wicked uncle buy him out for enough
money to give him his musical educa-
tion, and sails blithely for Europe,
whence he presently returns penni-
Through the skillful press-agenting
of his two friends, one of whom tells
the story in a most inane fashion, he
becomes a- nine-day wonder. The
glory fades, however, when he mar-
ries a pale stenographer with whom
he had had a half-hearted love affairI
in the paint office, and takes a posi-
tion as teacher in a second rate con-!
servatory. Since his departure from
the office the stenographer has become
a wife, mother, and widow, and he
finds himself facing the necessity of
supporting (sordid word!) himself, his
wife, and his wife's child on an in-
adequate salary.
He becomes a brute in the home,
loses his reputation, what there is :f
it, at the conservatory, and begets two
children. In a spasm of generous im-
pulse, he commences teaching part
time for nothing a day in an orphan
asylum, doubling his work but not his
Here the wicked. uncle reapears,
renews his ancient advances toward
the former stenographer, and a
wretched liaison results. Affairs move
to a climax, when finally Crusoe kills
his wife and himself after an unsuc-
cessful attempt to shoot the wicked
The point of the story seems to be
that Crusoe "fixed" himself when he

sold his legacy, and that from then on
nothing good could come to him. "Bad
luck" is the keynote. The real cause
of his downfall is his lack of charac-
ter, his weakness when strength is
The story is hopelessly dull. It is
only necessary to quote a paragraph
or two to prove it:
"He's clever, yes, but there's some-
thing else to it. He's one of those
people who never have bad luck. Has
the faculty of always lighting on his
feet. I've seen him wriggle out of
some of the tightest holes.'
"I want to hand him his due, though
I never liked him. Personally, I al-
ways managed to get along all right
with him. I had to; he was my bread
and butter. I find you can avoid quar-
relling with almost anybody if you
make up your mind you've got to. I
always worked pretty hard for Klatt,
and on the whole he treated me pretty
well. Certainly I learned a lot from
him during those four years."
It is surprising to me what a man
can get away with after he has made
himself a name.
"Harold C. Mills," the story by By-
ron Darnton, filling less than four
I pages, is much better. It is better
written, presents a no less conven-
tional idea, and with far more force
and animation. It is like a campaign
handshake after hours- spent as an
undertaker's assistant.
Harold C. Mills is an assistant bank
cashier who is possessed of a large
and all-pervading wife. She spends
her waking hours impressing the
neighbors and attempting to impress
her husband with the social import-
ance of his job in the bank. Every
time he signs himself "Harold C.
Mills," her unfortunate spouse, who
might have been human if left to him-
self, relapses into inky gloom, as he
remembers that he was "H. C. Mills"
before she remodelled him. The sig-
nature is to him a constant reminder
of his wife's domination over him,
and the false front she attempts to
maintain for the family.
Thecatastrophe, when in a devil-
ishly retrospective mood "Harold C.
Mills" becomes "H. C. Mills" again and
eats potato with his knife at a dinner
party, his superannuated wife's debut,
is brief but well handled.
The story cannot be said to be a
masterpiece, but it is clever and fairly
entertaining, which Armstrong's is
not, and after all, the average short
story or novelette can have little pur-
pose other than to entertain.
To digress a little, Mencken and
Nathan should be ashamed of them-
selves for the type of advertising that
has been appearing in Smart Set of
late. The October issue is especially
'bad. Commencing at the back and
working forward, we find a collection
of advertisements of which I shall
(Continued on Page Eight)

(Continued from Page One) l
means of transport which carried sev-
eral hundred thousand pounds of
freight and more than 250,000 passen-
gers last year must eventually attract
sufficient public interest to penetrate1
the halls of Congress."
Mr. Mingos of the Detroit Aviation
Society - continued, "Operators and
constructors have been twixt the devil
and the deep blue sea, in a manner
of speaking. They have not been con-,
trolled by national authority in any;
form; and after all, control is syn-
onomous with protection. Today any-
body can fly in any sort of old crate
without a license. In a country where
one requires a license to hunt, motor,l
marry, keep a dog, build a house or
dig a tunnel, one can do anything he
wants to in the air without first qual-
ifying for his job or making his fly-
ing machines airworthy.
"More than ninety per cent of air-
craft accidents are caused by irre-
sponsible persons operating unair-
worthy machines. It has led to many,
serious accidents and has kept capital
out of commercial aviation, the sort
of aviation that is needed if we are
to develop aerial transport facilities
to a point where they shall provide
an adequate air reserve which our
excellent army- and navy air forces
may draw upon in an emergency." j

To the end of pro
regulation of flying
Bill was considered
Committee on Intersta
Commerce since pass
last February, but why
in the committee sta
been acted upon has
At the present tim
world powers excepl
have national air law
not allow a man to fl
been licensed and ha
spected at intervals a
worthy. American pi:
mitted to fly over Ca
because this country
regulations. The Can
however, has shown
our Army and Navy
tending Canadian flyi
them because their r
dence of their effici
Not only will the N
races attract thousan
prove a valuable exj
um; but the Aero Cong
to accomplish much
establishment of avi
concept in the minds
this country.
Hugh Walpole is to
j again this month.

Appearance Counts-

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a i '
44 '
b y
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°+" /
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Ladies, and


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Diferent Styles of Hair-dressing.
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Facial Massage and
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The thoughtful buyer buys on confidence and est
We invite your inspection.

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I ,i'

.. .

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