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November 03, 1925 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1925-11-03

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7DAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1 25-, t

To sum up, we have onthe basis telligent under-graduate work dodg-
of te three types of transition re- ers. It included frequently Greek and
ferred to: Latin as foundation languages of our
first: A period of change from recita- own tongue, mathematics as mental
tions in school to lectures, required discipline and as a test of reasoning
reading, laboratory periods, section ability, natural science to provide a
meetings and quizzes. This is the general introduction to the phenom-
information acquiring stage. - ena of nature, literature and rhetoric
Second: A period of analysis and cor- to enable the student to read and
relation of the information acquired write intelligently his own language
during the first stage. (It should and logic which was the nearest ap-
of course be pointed out that those proach to what we should today try
in this stage can be trusted to ac- to include under general psychology.
quire information themselves, in Stiff and unbending as it was, the old
their own way, if given instruction system during theepurely preliminary
as to where they can find it.) Senm- stage was, I believe, the very best o-
nars, discussion groups, problems, tamable. Once its function in relation
and projects form the methods of with slight modifications will probably
instruction. to later stages of development is clear-
Third: A period of investigation and[jly recognized, some such curriculum
research (including and continuing reappear in many of our universities.
the two previous types of training). 11I1 the process of readjustment we
This involves personal conferences, shall admit the weakness involved in
individual study, theses, and expo- diversifying the food given to minds
ration, not yet ready to "digest" and shall
As already stated, the time at which probably reduce and simplify the num-
these various transition periods occur hber of subjects and courses offered to
isa matter of individual variation, the student who has not passed the
Harvard and some other institutions transition from the purely acquisitive
are planning to require the first and to the correlative stage.
second stages for graduation. Basing In the meantime it is possible, by a
their judgment on the average experi- careful study of the electives chosen
once of under-graduates they are plan- by those under-graduates whose major
ning to bring on the transition at or subject is either athletics or outside
near the close of the sophomore year. diversions, to determine programs
So far as I am aware it has not yet which should be impossible. As an
been decided how to treat those who example of one of the most beautiful
are ready for the transition before of these,mosaics built by the combined
that time or who are not ready at judgment of several college genera-
that time, although working consci- tions of artful dodgers I submit the
entiously and to the limit of their following choice of a prominent ath-
ability. The very nature of the situ- lete in a small college: appreciation
ation suggests a "pass" and an ad- of music, journalism (given by a fra-
vanced or "certified" degree to recog- ternity brothier), history of religion,
nize the two types of achievement. and fertilizers.
The research grade might then be rec- Instruction in the second and third
ognized by the award of an "honor" stages, being more advanced, will prob-
dereeably become more informal. Instead
At present, the last mentioned type of offering, to the -world an enormous
of transition has not been fully rec- number of formally organized courses
ognized and utilized. Graduate stud- in shining array, groups of students
ents naturally come to our mind in with a common interest will be formed.
thinking of research. The unfortunate These groups will read, study, correl-
truth is, however, that graduate stud- ate and discuss material in a general
ents have among their numbers indi- field. At least two or three weeks of
viduals classifiable under all three of .hAtmeath th rt hee teekskof
these same headings. The mere fact the more than thirty which go to make
thatp ir they already have a bachelor's de- u h college year will probably b
tha tand are a certain number of passed in deciding upon the person-
gree nd rea eran ubrofnel to be included in the various
years older than are under-graduates,n os Asing direviou-
does not necessarily mean that they groups. Assuming a directive func-
have progressed mentally through the of such eapswouldme normally shape
various transition stages referred to. f such groups wud somall shape
I believe that graduate schools as the course of study, sum up discus-
well as colleges should recognize the sions, and at times point out topics
three grades of endeavor by some ap- worthy of emphasis. Most of the work,
propriate means and that this fact however, should be done by the stud-
should be recorded in awarding the ents themselves.
master's degree. In the research phase the contacts
The present methods determining should, of course, be more individual.
the award of distinction appear to be All faculty members -of a department
based upon the degree of excellence should be available to the student for
shown by the student in the individ- consultation. Most of the work by
ual courses taken-in other words any one student would, however, nor-
primarily upon grades. As compared nally fall under one or two such men.
with distinction based upon an increas- This phase,as I have said, would very
ing ability to think and to create, the rarely be reached in the undergrad-
present method is neither biological uate stage. Still, if only one per cent
nor logical. Our scale of values of our under-graduates were ready for
should be reconstructed to utilize nat- such privilegesthey should be given
ural stages of mental development the right to work at the level which
rather than arbitrary academic grades is commensurate with their mental
involving no necessary change in at- ability. Not until the label "open to
titude. This should apply at least graduate students only" is removed
through the master's degree. At that from research courses shall we be do-
point the choice is offered either to' ing our duty by the advanced student,
eliminate from candidacy for the doc- the brilliant mind which is, in many
torate those who have not shown abil- ways, our most precious responsibil-
ity to do research, or else to continue ity.-
the separation into classes through
the doctorate itself. When a living organism has reached
There is not the slightest doubt but a certain size it must either differen-
that under the present system the tiate by division of labor and organ--
same "Ph.D." or "Sc.D." "label" is ize into smaller units or it must re-
placed upon the revised and embel- main more or less inert; alive but not
lished human encyclopedia who as an aware. Two thousand, or four thou-
under-graduate by high grades alone sand, or eight thousand boys and girls
scaled the dusty heights of Phi Beta of college age form, if left unorgan-
Kappa, or upon the somewhat uncouth ized, as inert a group as would a col-
and intensified youth destined some ony of single celled animals consist-
day to be hailed as a creative genius ing of a similar number of cells. They
in some particular field of research. become locally interested in small
The unsuspect'ing departni'ent head groups for social or other purposes
looking afield for young instructors as just as a group of cells in the colony
game, fires the shot of opportunity at of Protozoa might be busily engaged
the excelsior dummy of a scholar just in digesting some food particle. All

as enthusiastically as at the living that the rest of the undergraduates
scholar himself. Experience gained glean from the localized activity is
by accumulating the dried bones of what permeates slowly from cell to
under-graduates who have tried to cell or is spread by infection. Life has
feed upon the excelsior dummy is the always progressed by organization of
only way at present in which the two its diffuse elements of this sort into
types can be distinguished. This whole some sort of workable unit. In such
matter is, of necessity, wrapped up in a unit there should be enough diverse
the reorganization of curricula and elements to give a fair opportunity for
in giving more individual attention to 1 the development of a great number
students. of different types of activity. What
For the mind still occupied solely has held true of life in general since
in the acquisition of facts, the freedom it first began its upward climb to
of the modified elective system is, I greater socialization of function is
believe, too great. The old prescribed surely true of man-supposedly the
curriculum was designed to meet the highest of social organisms.
needs of such minds. It was a selec- The freshman or other "group" dor-
tion made by those responsible for mitories tried at various universities
teaching rather than one left to the are a wise physical attempt to meet
combined judgment of a number of in- the problem. they serve to segre-




I gate a group whose contributory units
should have problems and interests
roughly comparable to one another.
So far everything is well conceived.
Unless, however, experienced and in-
spiring persons are put at the head
of such groups, in residence, thus pro-
vidiag a directive agent, mere geo-
graphical proximity in a group of
freshmen may engender quite as much
time wasting activities as desirable
habits, and as many hatreds as friend-
One real need for the college boy or
girl is intimate contact with young
- men and women of from thirty to
sixty years of age,-(I mean spiritual-
ly young))--who are before every-
thing else their guides, advisors and
friends. How can one expect group
loyalty on the part of two or three
hundred young men or women living
in a dormitory-no matter how beau-
tiful a building it may be-if no ef-
fort is made to make life there mean
something more than walls and
floors? We have shamefully neglected
the obvious value of the intimate
friendly leader as an example to col-
lege youth. The time is ripe for ef-
forts to utilize him in his proper place.
Men or women in charge of such
groups need not necessarily be facul-
ty members or world-renowned schol-
ars. If they are fine and outstand-
ing human characters, familiar with
the institution, they will have fulfilled
all that is needed to arouse the force
of hero worship inherent in every boy
or girl, who for a term of years is
separated from the natural object of
that hero worship, the parent, or otherf
older relative or guardian.
With the coming into being of such
a process of sub-organization of un-.
wieldy student bodies there would
come a natural relief of petty police
duty from the office of the Dean. Under,
a reorganization into unts of about
five hundred or less students, discip-
line and advice would, in most cases,
fall upon the shoulders of the leader
of the group. The leader living with
the students, could administer such
matters at short range, and with' a de-
gree of intelligence impossible under
the present system. To bring about:
such a reorganization of an existing,
institution is tremendously difficult,
but is, I believe, worthy of the at-
tempt. If the principle is sound, we
can begin to work toward its estab-
lishment gradually and carefully after
deliberate study of the material and
psychological factors which, in any
one institution, are to be considered.
The social adjustment of the college
student in relation to sex, liquor, and
automobiles is another matter of ex-
treme importance at the present time.
The usual reaction of administrative
officers of universities appears to fall
under one or two types. In some cases
the attitude is one of severe restriction
and chastisement of the offender who
is suffering from over-emphasis of
social interests not wisely conducted.
An example of this sort is to be found
in the case of a dean of women who!
is reported as having recently said
that it is immoral for girls to be!
beautiful and immodest for them to!
ride in automobiles with men. Un-
doubtedly she has been misquoted toi
some degree, but the statement as
given typifies one treatment of the'
The other reaction frequently met
with is one comparable to that of the
biblical gentlemen ,who "passed by
on the other side of the road." It is
typified by the college administratorl
who once said to me "My girls arei
all wonderful, they never do anythingl
they ought not to." Upon being asked


by me through inexcusable ribaldry striction of athletic privilege rather
as to how they passed their spare time than toward aanore complete analysis
evenings, the gentleman (I regret hav- of the underlying factors which should
ing to confesst his sex) looked deeply be the real matters of concern.
pained and said "Why, I haven't theI Few of us wh3 really think the mat-
remotest idea-that's never worried I ter through carefully will, I think, de-
ne.~"Iny the great value of athletics in
Between these two extremes Ithere teaching lessons of self-control, judg-
seem to be courses of some degree of ment, rapidity of thought, power of
promise.' Let us try to analyze for ajdecision, team play, good sportsman-
moment the elements in the situation. ship, and other most essential traits.?
First, we may all, I think, agree to Many of us, however, are aware of
the general proposition that the time certain unpleasant sentiments within
to undertake the solution of any im- us, when we consider the great busi-'
portant problem is when it can be nor- ness organizations which have grown
mally presented, clearly perceived, up in almost all American universities
and freely, and if necessary, uninter- to handle the hundreds of thousandsl
uptedly pursued. All of these things of dollars paid by the spectators for}
are true of the academic phases of the privilege of witnessing the varidus
higher education during the student's forms of intercollegiate contests. Let
residence in a college or university. us for a moment try to analyze the
It is the focal point of his whole ca- situation by asking and attempting to[
reer in this respect. Let us see whether 3 answer certain questions.
this is true of his social problems, as The first question to be asked is
above defined. whether "earning power" is one of
Can such problems be normally the chief objections to intercollegiate
presented at a university? Can theyt athletics and if so, why?
be clearly perceived? Can the stud- A moment's thought shows that
ent without interruption give his time "earning power" or amount of moneyl
to their solution? I believe that for received from the public is a very real
college students all these questions factor in shaping a great deal of ad-
must be answered in the negative. verse faculty and alumni opinion.
The environment of care-free, finan- Thus we find no very great faculty
cially vagrant, imitative youth which opposition to intercollegiate rowing
characterizes our large under-grad- which has, for the colleges involved,
uate groups does not fairly present practically no earning ppwer. On the
probleris of automobiling, liquor or other hand, football with a tremend-I
sex as they will have to be met in ous earning ability is accursed.
later life. In all probability nowhere Why is this attitude so general
again will such a large group of ir- among faculties?
responsible contemporaries with so I think that several elements are
much excess energy be met with. involved. First, organized athletics
The environment of under-graduate make no financial contribution to ac-
minds, untrained in judgment of Val- ademic expenses. It shows little inter-
ues, untrained in the causes of human est in academic excellence but much j
suffering, untrained in self-discipline, and most effective interest in main-
is unable to give a clear picture of the taining the minimum eligibility re-
true magnitude or importance of some quirements. Second, the salaries of
of the problems to be faced, the de- coaches, paid largely from the receipts
cisions to be made, or the habits to be I from athletics, appear large to the fac-
formed. The problems, therefore, can- ulty member who considers the rela-
not under these circumstances be tive length and expense of his owni
fairly perceived. period of training compared with those
Finally, it is obvious that the stud- of the average athletic coach. Both
ent cannot give his or her whole time of these things trace back to a feel-
to the study of these social problems, ing akin to jealousy. A man, who for
without neglecting academic work and 1 years has been begging for a $5,000
thereby, defeating the prime purpose of piece of equipment with which to
their attendance at a university. conduct some experiment dear to his
With these facts in mind it is logi- heart, cannot but become slightly
cal and I believe imperative to in- green when the receipts from a single
sist that some other locality besides football game total, let us say, twenty
our schools, colleges, and universi- times that amount. In such situations
ties, be selected as the battle ground as this, there is a constant pull away
of social and sex adjustment. We from the rational and toward the emo-
cannot train a mind in the develop- tional treatment of the problem. .
ment of its greatest and highest schol- The second matter of inquiry is on
astic powers in an atmosphere of a the ground of the amount of pub-,
veritable Gettysburg of social activi- licity. Does this produce adverse
ties where after a prolonged artillery sentiment and if so, why?
preparation of jazz- and fast-travelling I Once again, I believe, the answer
joy-rides, a Pickett's charge of "dates" can be given in the affirmative. Little
and of petty but absorbing gossip re- publicity is; given to the fact that the
suiting therefrom, and relating there- number of men engaged in rowing
to, is in progress. may, and sometimes does, exceed;
Over-emphasis of, and intemperance i greatly the number playing football.t
in, autmobiling, use of liquor, and pet- It, therefore, is not so' generally not-
ting among the students of our uni- iced. In playing football; however,
versities must be stopped because it is men are siLgled out and marked as
not the time nor the place to investi-( proficient; in a crew, the eight- men
gate or to decide these matters. No are very nearly a unit-with the pos-
taunt of impropriety need be chanted! sible exception of the stroke, who as

I -

that given to the discovery of fossil smothering individual inter-
eggs thus proving that certain of the ests.
dinosaurs were oviparous, is to cer- 3. Attempt to limit the schedule. to
tain minds, anathema. As an after one or ttwo games would probably
thought the cry is raised that it is bad be no real rmedy, for an excellent
for the boy-it supersaturates his ego way to intenify all the preent
until hie crystallizes conceit. This at evils would be by the production of
times certainly is true. The publicity i narrowed point of contact which
of athletic success is an acid test for naturally pentrtes the under-
youth,-the weak dissolve, the strong graduate mind more deeply. A
remain. It is one of the few means tremendous clinmax of two games
of natural selection of the truly looked forward to for the whole
humble and unselfish among youth season would not solve the diffi-
that a soft civilization has left to us. culty
Moreover, for conceit producers- we 4. Intra-muiral athletics at present
should have to eliminate clubs, fra- are alf-hearted because no natur-
ternities, class officers, honorary so- al intra-mural units except the fra-
cieties, student dramatics, debating, tcrnity have b)ron evolved. rThe
and finally even Phi Beta Kappa itself, class is too big ad too di'ffse-
if we are to spare our college youth the do ritory hasno0prsoality.
from temptation rather than to teach Not until leadership shapes the or-
them to overcome it ganization of units and a personal-
The third matter of importance is ity is provided, as before stated, to
attendance at intercollegiate contests. which loyalty can be pledged, shall
(oes large attendance arouse ire and we have true intra-mural competi-
if so, why? tion. 'When these conditions are
There is no doubt that in many cases provided, we shall have greatly in-
the crowds which attend athletic con- creased enthusiasm for comptition
tests have a very great influence in within the university; and a chace
creating antagonism toward the game to judge its relative value cum&
I which brings them. Two main reas- pared with intercollegiate athet
ons seem to be involved, first, the old ics. Before that time it is wagted
jealousy again. Eighty thousand mnergy to compare the two, for a
watch a football game and less than - true type of intra-mural competi
five hundred attend a lecture by the tion has not yet been built in this
world's greatest living authority on country.
the oigin of atolls. It is not right; These are some of the weaker but
it is not just; but it is human nature. more recent effort. Others, such aa
The second reasons is given as the the limitation of coaches' salariesyn
waste of time for thousands of stud- the restriction of inter-sectional con
ents involved in the attendance at a tests; the raising of eligibility stand.
football game and in their journeys ards; the rigid punishment of profes-.
and discussions both ante and post sionalism; and the three-year ruleare
bellum. This objection does not seem wise and constructive." .
to me to be particularly serious. A Certain other nmodieations ,aro
counter question might be pertinent.I worthy of consideration. They are, in.
Will the c'ritics guarantee that the Ithe light of present conditions, radi-'"
mental energy and physical powers of cal. On the other hand, I believe
the thousands of individuals in ques- they are possible and if established
tion will be better employed if foot- that they would do much to correct
ball and all that goes with it be wiped som6 of the present evils:
out? I believe that they cannot do(a) Help to meet the crilicism tht-
so. In a day of the highly explosive too few men are aided by inter-
mixture of youth, gasoline, and liquor collegiate athletics by having
borne swiftly on balloon tires to re-, three teams of each institution"
mote retreats; in an era of college compete and awarding the vic-
comic publications and terpischorean tory either to the highest total
efforts skating on the thimnest possible score or to the institution win,.
ice of decency, it would take Her-- ning two out of three.
cules himself to guarantee a fair sub- I (b) Ielp to meet the criticism of the
stitute and I believe that he would too great importance of the pro-
cheerfully admit that the Augean fessional coach by the develop-
stables were, in comparison, an early] mert of under-graduates to <i,
season practice game. Youth might' ret the teaum while in competi-
be doing-and possibly would be do-
ing-infinitely worse things than l
watching open-mouthed and open-
hearted the fortunes and misfortunes The Miladies
of their college teams.
One could go on asking and.answer- B a y h
ing questions aboult inter-collegiate
athletics, but time is too short to do' Will Give
so at present. Let us review some
of the main efforts which, have been. Fe erce+ td'l
made to "correct" the situation:10 re M arcus
1. Amateur head coaches have beenlbmExers Oly
substituted for professionals, but br
are frequently poor teachers and Bring this ad., together with
relatively unskilled in the finer i yd
points of the game.I your name an a ress.
2. Elimination of pre-season practiceA
has grown largely ineffectual be-[ B UnD
cause it M 1)9IShat
(a) brings the team to its games'
physically unfit; Over Chubb House
(b) loses the greatest opportunity Mial 8383
for building team play, thus


by the virtuous. It is merely a matter pace setter may be singled out to some
of common sense: For a student to degree. Again, the coach of football
insist that these matters be continual- at present is able to substitute men
ly forced upon a university is a just and exert a directive pressure on the
cause for his or her dismissal on the' course of the .most important games.
ground of unintelligence. l The coach of the crew obviously cai-
not do so, during the race itself. Why
Just as in the case of difficulties in' are these things objectionable to fac-
academic policy a mistake, in criticis- ulty members? Once again I believe
ing athletics has been made by trying' that a very human jealousy is involved.
to consider all causes and all cura- j For some nineteen year old youngster,
tive or corrective measures on a single' blessed with a powerful physique, a
plane. All efforts seem to have been clear eye, speed and courage to re-
directed toward modification by re- ceive public recognition far surpassing







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