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December 10, 1938 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1938-12-10

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Page Two

PERSPECTIVES

COURSE OF STUDY
YEAR TERM Languages & Literature Mathematics and Physics Intellectual & Moral Sci.
Folsom's Livy, Xeno-
1- phon's Cyropaedia, and Bourdon's Algebra.
Anabasis.
Livy finished, Horace, Aleebra, Legendre's tGeo-
I. 2. Thucydides, Herodotus, metry, Botany.
Roman Antiquities.
Horace finished, Homer's Geometry, Mensuration,
3. Odyssey. Application of Algebra to
Geometry.
Cicero de Senectute and ?lane and Spherical Tri-
1 le Amicitia, Lysias, Iso- onometry. Logic
crates, Demosthenes.
Cicero de Oratore, Greek Davies' Descriptive and
II. 2 Tragedy, Grecian Anti- Analytical Geometry.
quities, Newman's Rhet'c
Tacitus, Vita Agricole, Analytical Geometry:
3. and Germania, Greek Bridge's Conic Sections
Tragedy.
1 Cicero de Officus, Greek Olmsted's Natural Philo- Abererombie's Inteniec-
Poetry. sophy; Zology.. tual Powers.
Terence, Greek Poetry, Natural Philoosophy;
II, General Grammar. Chemistry. Paley's Natural Theology.
Olmsted's Astronomy;
- Whately's Rhetoric Chemistry Mineralogy,
Lectures on Greek and Stuart's Intellectual
1, Latin Languages and Geology; Calculus Philosophy. Cousin's Psy-
Literature. chology.
2. -Whately's Logic,Way--
y, land's Moral Science,
Political Grammar.
Story on the Constitu-
3" tion,BWayland's Political
Ec., Butler's Analogy.

University's paternalism which forced
hIm to mit it. He often complained
itterly to the girl who was a student
nurse at the University Hospital. In his
four years at school he had met but one
Latin student, and asked him what it
got him. Morris then admired him as a
real scholar, deplored him as a fool, and
forgot him. That was about the time
that he himself was being razzed by his
roommate for a course in English liter-
ature he had taken to fill up his pro-
gram. He never opened the book and
balanced the subsequent E with an A in
Ec. He also felt a little guilty about tak-
ing so much Geman, but he felt that
anyway he could use it when he traveled.
Morris was swamped by the same for-
ces which, demanding practicality in
education, had swamped the University.
In 1871 kindly, progressive, President
Angell had found a still somewhat small
midwestern school of three departments
whose curriculum, mixed as it was, was
still largely classic. In 1909, he retired
from a large university of eleven depart-
ments which turned out thousands of
men specialized to fit into occunpational
grooves. The public was demanding men
of special abilities, the University was
meeting their demands and growing in
the process. Freshmen were entering on
diplomas from approved high schools,
many of them laughing at entrance
exams they never could have passed.
They were choosing their own subjects,
hampered only by a few minimum re-
quirements which represented a bewil-
dered university's attempt to graduate
men who might at least recognize a few
names from literature and history.
For there was no exact idea of the re-
lative importance of the material and
the cultural. There never had been,
although Louis the Democrat came the
closest to it. While Clarence the Classi-
cist had stood in culture up to his ears,
Morris the Materialist scorned the very
term. And the University fussed wor-
riedly over its brood and gave it just
what it wanted.
Out of this background has developed
the maze in which Charlie Contem-
porary gropes. He doesn't give much
thought to it anymore, because he's too
confused to bother about it. He knows
he'll get a degree, anyway, and he's
sure it will please his mother.
Charlie, then, is something of an enig-
ma. Nobody can quite tell what he's
like, what his potentialities are. He
shouldn't be judged by the way he acts.
He attends a university of thirteen de-
partments, with a student body of over
eighteen thousand and a faculty of
755. A university whose surface he bare-
ly scratches with only a hazy concep-.
tion of what he's scratching for. A de-
pression, with its consequent factory
strikes and bitter invectives against Ahe
"machine age" has made him wary of
Morris the Materialist's rosy point of
view. He feels vaguely for a balance be-
tween the intellectual, the cultural, and
the material. Meanwhile, he spends a
good bit of his time at the drugstore, and
cuts too many classes.

So the University might do well to
dig into its past with an eye toward its
future. It has been in existence for a
hundred years without once demonstra-
ting a survey of its field, without once
showing a sustained plan of control of
a curriculum which, like Topsy, just
growed. Or even a consistent plan in its
organization, for that matter. Is there
anybody who.can explain, precisely, the
difference between a school and a col-
lege? Why do we have a college of En-
gineering, and a School of Music? They
are both departments. The catalogue
proclaims the aim of the College ot,
Literature Science and the Arts is that of
"covering the broad field of general uni-
versity study of the ancient and modern
languages, and literatures, of history,
philosophy, mathematics, science, and
the liberal arts," We don't want to ask
ebbarassing questions, but just what are
the liberal arts?
Because our curriculum has had no
planning it has no balance. We rather
regret that we have found it so easy to
point out each of four ages of the Uni-
versity with four such obvious repre,
sentatives. We might easily accepts the
old classical school as a starting point;;
We had to start somewhere. But after.
a hundred years we might expect some
progress toward a well-rounded course of
study, not a history of coincidental char-
acteristics. At least we would like to feel
that the University recognizes its pro-
blems, and is taking definite steps in its
analysis.
For thus far the University has made
no study of its expansion. It marches
merrily from regents' meeting, to re-
gents' meeting, piecing together, hap-
hazardly, its history, bit by' bit. Our
curriculum has no real root. It is a suc-
cession of happenstance precedent. Un-
til we have a foundation. we cn't have
a good house.
Finally, the University lacks self-ad-
justment. It has responded, of course,
to the demands made by a growing,
changing America. It has responded too
sensitively, has shown no quality of
fundamental permanency which is ex-
pected of learning. Self-adjustment must'
be based on this peimanency of learn-
ing, without which therencan be only
changeability. We might be asked to de-
fine the term "fundamental permanency
of learning". We readily confess that we
would like to, but sorry, we can't, We
don't know the definition of the word
"learning". And we would add that the t
University doesn't know either. It is for
that very reason that we feel the Uni-
versity should do its best to find out,
should have worried about it for the past
century and having failed theis, should
be worrying about it now.
As we gaily march along, we might try'
seeing farther down the road. g
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Spnger's
article is the first in a series of four essays
planned and prepared by staff colabra-
tion, dealing with the University oc Michi-
gan-its growth, sho:comings, an hopes
for the future. The net article Will be
basedon a study e student and faculty
opinion of our present curricular problems.

long hours on a weighty thesis on Greek
mythology and its lessons, instead of
attempting a philosophy of his own.
Clarence set himself up against Xeno-
phon? Neverl
Years later Clarence was to look back
on his college years as being an idyllic
episode in his life in which he had few
worries, fewer necessities for original
thinking, surrounded as he had been by
minds that haG done that for hin ages
back.
Louis the Democrat was to find things
somewhat different whe he entered
Michigan in '67. Tappan had lost no
time in putting his ideas into practice.
He thought, rather quaintly, that a state
university should be of some practical
use to the general public. Result, a
course , in agriculture _.(discontinued
after a short time, to make itself useful
in East Lansing). He also had a plan,
based on the Prussian system, in which
the schools in Michigan state would be
unified; under state supervision, with
the University as the apex. The plan
was a. little too startling, however for
a board of regents which didn't like to
be startled. It was later to be a force
which helped to ease Tappan out of
office.
Nevertheless, Louis was going to a
university which had the stamp of
Tappan's efforts' on it. He drank beer
with companions-in-arms in the scien-
tific course, argued with those in the
classidal course, and disdained those'in
the engineering course. He looked in
awe on hard working, harder playing
law and med students. The university
was growing, was. breaking old prece-
dents and setting up new by' breaking
away from the old ideas of education
of Clarence the Classicist's day. Eastern
schools were looking askance at a
university which was answering the de-
mands of a racy, expanding America.
Yet it was really hanging on to its Greek
and Latin like grim death. attempting
compromisebetween an age past and an
age coming,
Louis didn't worry much about the
University's quandary. He had come to
school with the idea of pleasing both
the deb and her father with the fund of
information he picked up at .school. And
the University was doing all it could
for him. Tappan had relaxed the rigid-
ity of the entrance requirements quite
a while back. And Louis could even
choose a couple subjects for himself his
senior year.
President Haven, methodical and care-
full had classified the curriculum under

four heads-the first and. second scien-
tific course, the Latin scientific, and the
old classical. Also, America needed en-
gineers; the University was giving it
engineers. Michigan, in its groping, was
attaining a universality which it never
had before. Not a yncversality in size
of curriculum. perhaps, but at least in
scope. Xenophon had to make room on
the shelves of many students for a text
on mining engineering.
But there was no clear idea of Ameri-
can educational needs. Louis was tak-
ing his varied course with smug disre-
gard to its actual value, just as the Uni-
versity was adding this course and that,
casually, as the occasion demanded. A
little thought on somebody's part might
have indicated to Louis or the Univer-
sity that a survey of what was going on
might save later confusion.
When Louis drank his last beer be-
fore graduating, it was to say farewell
to a school of eleven hundred or so stu-
dents and a faculty of thirty-five. Years
later, in the Spring of 1929, Morris the
Materialist, one among thousands, drank
his illicit likker to a career of wealth and
success. He had prepared himself well.
The University offered courses in poli-
tical science, economics, business ad-
ministration-and Morris had taken
them all. Business men had fallen into
the annoying habit of asking the scrub-
bed young boy with the diploma what,
exactly, he could do, and Morris was
going to be ready with the answer. Mor-
ris's roommate was prepared to set the
industrial world on fire, armed as he
was with the lore of the chemistry and
physics laboratory, and an engineer
friend had an original idea for boring
a tunnel through to Europe.
Morris's idea of education was as
clear-cut as Clarence the Classicist's,
although entirely different. He saw a
world in which everybody was enthused
with the idea of progress and the money
which could be made in the process.
Morris was going to contribute his share
to the one and get his share of the other,
and college was the place to get the tools
to do it. Tools which he could carry
around with him later, use one by one as
the occasion demanded.
Literature was all right in its place.
Morris thought but he couldn't quite see
its place. He wasn't sure, but he thought
that Xenophon was some kind of a
musical instrument. For his part, he
found time to read a book a year. The
Wild Party being his last. He deplored
the English requirements, regretted the
timoe he lad wasted on a subject so im-
practical, And he loved to criticize the

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1,421
" T H Af TUDE B D " n d n m m s s n E
'WITH A STUDENT BODYX OVER" Including Hummer Session and Extensioni

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