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September 17, 1956 - Image 52

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Michigan Daily, 1956-09-17
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Page Six



September 17, 1956

September 17, 1956


PageSix HE MCHIGN DALY Sotemer 1rT/1 9V


September 17, 1956 THE MICHIGAN DAILY


Teacher Sylvia Hamer is trying to "prepare a place for

A Probing Analysis of the Campus Intellectual

local people to dance,

so they won't be running off to N

SINCE my wife and I always like
to know what the enemy is do-
ing, we subscribe to Time maga-
zine. I admit to a certain hand-1
tremor as I snake our copy from
the mailbox each week. Except in
the realm of social philosophy,
Henry Luce is full of surprises.
The second issue in June was
loadedtwith social philosophy, but
we got our twenty cents' worth
anyway. On the red, white, blue,
yellow and black cover: teacher
(Teacher in America) -historian
(Darwin, Marx and Wagner) -
biographer (Berlioz and the
Romantic Century) -ethnographer
(Race: A Study in Modern Super-
stition) -social critic (God's Coun-
try and Mine) -myth critic (Ro-
manticism and the Modern Ego) -
music critic (Music in American
Life) Jacques Barzun, 48, longtime
(1927-56) teacher (Columbia Uni-
versity) and "willowy" intellectual.
"Willowy" (Time's word) suspi-
ciously resembled "slippery," but
it turned out that Time was all for
Barzun. As Time saw it, he had
proved himself a "Man of Affirm-
ation," joyfully replacing the
gloomy "Man of Protest." Pre-
cisely what Affirmation is the
anonymous writer (call him X)
didn't say, though he made it
pretty clear that the Affirming
Intellectual tispe was optimistic,
nationalistic, and neither very
bookish nor very critical of Amer-
By "America"-Arthur Schles-
inger, Jr. was happy to point out
the following month in The New
Republic-was meant "Mr. Luce's
America." And Schlesinger testily
observed that "those who say Yea
to Emerson's America or Jackson's
America or Lincoln's America
might conceivably wish to say Nay
to Time's America."
The skirmish between Schles-
inger and X might have been an
equal one, were it not that for
every melancholy reader of the
New Republic, probably 50 readers
breeze cheerily through Time,
O COURSE, other Deep and
Shallow Thinkers were in the
battle too. A second Luce tentacle,
Life magazine, writhed last Sep-
tember in much the same direction

as that of writer X. American
novelists, declared X-1, should
present a more "affirmative" pic-
ture of America abroad. Robert
Penn Warren, novelist, poet and
(ah!) critic, attacked this argu-
ment in the New York Times Book
Review, apparently with such
mortal effect that X-1 moved out
of the grotto for only a feeble
counter-attack in a subsequent is-
sue of Life.
It isn't just the commercial
overtones of the Luce message that
ought to perturb the public (in-
cluding the Michigan student
body), nor'the striking difference
in bankroll that enables Life to
sandwich that message between
brightly-colored views of the
Chrysler Imperial and Anita Ek-
berg, while the Times Book Review'
scrapes along on black-and-white
woodcuts and The New Republic
on black-and-manila snapshots
and Herblock cartoons.
What ought to stir even Light
Thinkers is the bewildering spec-
tacle of a mighty journalistic em-
pire taking the stand in a period
of unprecedented national eco-
nomic prosperity and political and
social stability that American in-
tellectuals ought not to criticize
too much. Is this Luce's "Ameri-
can century"? Is this, in the words
of X-2, "the most successful soci-
ety in human history"?
(Even the less conservative Har-
per's carried an article in Febru-
ary by the widely-publicized
French Dominican priest, Ray-
mond-Leopold Bruckberger, who
pleaded a case quite similar in
many respects to that of Time and
Life. Harper's editorially disagreed
with Bruckberger, but only mod-
Wherever virtue may lie in this
battle, the Affirmers may soon be
pleased, if surprised, to discover
that they have won. At the Uni-
versity of Michigan, for instance.
KNOWINGLY or not, what Time-
Life-Fortune-Tide-Sports Illus-
trated really wants is the abdica-

vision appears to be well under
An "intellectual"-if I may add
my own definition to the pile of
definitions under which countless,
sociologists are already buried-is
a human being who exploits
thought primarily for its own sake.
In the relatively free, pure, un-
cluttered atmosphere of a univer-
sity, this is what students are ex-
pected to do 40 to 50 hours a week.
They dissect frogs, not to exhibit
their cruelty nor to sell the legs,
but to understand better the prac-
tice and (especially) the theory of
science. They dissect Plato's Re-
public, not to refute "communism"
nor even to find out what's wrong
with Detroit, but to watch the
workings of a remarkable human
Now, really to study, to exploit
thought, to follow ideas wherever
they lead, requires that the young
man or woman be highly detached
from the things and persons
around him, not just now and
then, but for stretches of two or
three hours several times a week.
As every undergraduate knows,
the thousand-guest, open-door
barracks-hotels on campus hardly
encourage this kind of detachment.
Neither do the barnlike study halls
in the General Library, nor the
square, gray, formica-top tables
(like the library tables, ranged in
utterly straight lines) in the Mich-
igan Union or the League (that
"mass-feeding institution," as a
shiny plaque near the cafeteria
line boldly states),
AND if the usual campus places
for sleeping, eating, studying
and relaxing conspire against the
student's independent action and
detachment, how much worse are
other things in the gauntlet he
runs. From the fantastic begin-
ning at Waterman Gymnasium,
where unarmed but grim-faced
troops fight it out across the
wooden barricades, to the equally
fantastic ending at Ferry Field,
where the regimentation of cap-

as they do the kinship between
academic and industrial institu-
tions, no wonder they cry, "This
place is a factory!"
They're right - it is a factory.
The architecture grows yearly
more factory-like: compare Haven
and Mason Hall with the doomed
Romance Languages building,
which is unquestionably more in-
teresting and individual than
either of its neighbors. Each se-
mester, students are loaded into
courses like cartridges into tin
ammunition cans. Often they
can't even ask for instruction
from a particular teacher; they
are given (again mathematics pre-
vails over man) a "section."
And then there are the Others.
The Pretzel Bell Bohemians who
pose with a tired cigarette, wear
dirty-looking (but really clean)
clothes, and talk about their Bon-
go drums to avoid writing the play
they are always about to begin.
The Snack Bar conspirators who
spend less time learning the com-
plex lessons of European and Am-
erican, political history than
plotting the overthrow of their
housemother. The fraternity re-
fugees from freedom who can't
visualize social life without bour-
bon, campus life without cars, or
post-graduate life without "con-
These are the Groups, the
Cliques, the Boys, the Girls, the
Others who relentlessly crowd the
student's independence, his de-
tachment, his intellectual growth.
W HY do Michigan undergradu-
ates commonly devote. more
attention to their clothes than to
their minds, more to earning the
approval of Others than to de-
serving their own self-esteem? Is
it the "basic need' to "get along
(with others?" Nonsense. To a
larger degree than we sometimes
realize, ,peeds are what we think
they are. Those who find a second
womb in the System or in belong-
ing to Others would naturally like
everyone else to applaud this in-
fant-like behavior.
To achieve detachment or in-
dependence, which is the neces-
sary condition of being a real
student, one must be conscious of
these threats from without.

tion of independent thought. gown-and-precision-handshake on-
What this abdication would mean ly briefly replaces the drill of the
in Ann Arbor is a subtle revision football team and the ROTC,
of the idea of a "student" that Michigan undergraduates are
most teachers and students at schooled not merely in the arts
Michigan fortunately still cling to. and sciences, but in the spirit of
What worries me is that this re- military discipline as well. Sensing

He must also recognize that in-
dependence comes not primarily
from "affirmation," as Time-Life
believes, but from Protest. Any
one who finds himself excited by
ideas and ventures onto the stony
ground of hard thought soon re-
alizes that merely to preserve
his intellectual independence, he
cannot simply leave the System
and Others behind. They won't
keep away from him. The student
must actively (while responsibly)
criticize both. For if he persists in
thinking for himself, the winds of
military discipline and group
snobbery will blast him so harshly
that criticism becomes at the very
least a means to his self-preserva-
DIFFICULT as comparative free-
dom from people and things is
to maintain, at times it is likely
to seem less difficult than the
other task of the student, which
is to gain independence by
strengthening and sharpening his
mind. Students, especially before
they become sophomores, want to
succeed on the university's terms,
and to their emotions that means
looking alive, being personable,
and trying to show interest. "Soc-
rates - oh, yes - uh, huh." For
women: cross legs at the knees;
for men: deodorant. Work hard,
of course (hours at the books last
night), but not ordinarily with the
idea that the contours of one's
brain are really going to change.
My grade may change: my in-
structor's opinion of me may
change: but not my brain. Amer-
ica and me: fixed forever in the
mind of God.
As the protesting 1930's dis-
appear over the horizon, as the
veteran's fervor after the second
world war and the Korean war
passes into history, and as I fade
into middle age, each year strikes
me as bringing more and more re
cruits to the university who love
the uniform and hesitate to wear
their own clothes.
To those who like the security
that living in a tin can brings,
I have nothing more to say. But
to those who have it in them to
hold the IBM and Time machines
at a distance, to walk on the side
of State Street opposite that sal-
mon-pink brick edifice, to put first
things - that is to say, the crea-
tive and aware human being --
first, I would recommend the fol-
lowing practical steps:
1) Join groups for relaxation,
for frutiful or fruitless discussion,
but don't make it a habit. Learn
how to be anti-social.
2) Seek personal fame. Don't
let the argument that you're just
compensating for your deficiencies
bother you. There are more im-
portant things in the universe
than scrutinizing the first three
months of your life.
3) Carry out your responsibili-
ties to others, but lead your own
4) Learn how to read.
5) Put some system into your
daily routine, but keep it in its
6) Search out eccentrics among
teachers and students: they can
teach you courage, if nothing else.
7) Learn how to write.
8) If you have the guts, ignore
grades completely.
9) Don't train yourself for a
job or profession that pays well.
After your salary reaches a cer-
tain level, you're being paid for
your soul.
10) Don't be "practical." Even
the Bell Telephone Company is
sending-its executives back to col-
lege now for the impractical lib-
eral arts education they missed.

This is Mr. Weimer's first
article for the Magazine See-
tion. He isan instructor in the
English department.

FOR THE TOTS -- Priscilla Basom demonstrates a "Releve in
cinquieime position," accomplished in three months of pointe
work. Her young audience seems more interested in the photo-

before they're ready" to meet competition in the dance w

The Dream That Cook Built

(Continued from Page 5)
improvident housekeepper [Miss
Bozorth is always asking for new
"I don't undertand why you
ask the Regents to investigate.
They have ,troubles of their own
and probably will not care to be
bothered with the merits or de-
merits of Miss Bozorth's manage-
At the end of September, 1937,
Cook wrote, "I do not expect you
to break your contract with Miss
Bozorth ... but I do expect that
my protest will be considered be-
fore you make any contract for
next year." Despite Cook's pro-
test, Miss Bozorth was retained
until November, 1929, when, bend-
ing to Cook, the Lawyers Club re.
leased her until September, 1933,
when she was rehired.
No Mystics . .
THE New York lawyer was not
above sarcasm in his dealings.
In one particularly vitriolic letter
written November 27, 1925, Cook
says, "I note your statenent about
my not comprehending your ac-
counts but I defy gods and men to
understand those accounts. It
may be that some mystic of the
middle ages might decipher them
but certainly I cannot. I recognize
and admit the limitations of my
intellectual faculties, but I have
the slight satisfaction of noting
that your books do not enable you
to tell how much you made last
year, and that several changes

have had to be made in your books
'with some resulting confusion.'
"I should say so and hence do
not put too much blame on me
for my limited ability." The let-
ter was one of the very few per-
sonally signed.
AN interesting note on Cook's
gifts is that he always placed
them as far beyond University
control as possible. He attempted
almost to create autonomous little
kingdoms out og Martha Cook and
the Lawyers Club. Whether this
was done out of obstinacy or ad-
herence to some high ideal is a
matter for conjecture.
It was, of course, necessary to
keep a benefactor the size of Cook
satisfied. Though it was no easy
task, University and Law School
officials gave it their all.
Dean Bates, having earned
Cook's deep respect, was a key
figure and yet even the Dean was
at times a subject of Cook's wrath,
always over the pettiest of mat-
ON one occasion, July 23, 1926,
Cook objected to Bates' hand-
ling of a request by the Ann Arbor
Bar Association to use the Law-
yer's Club for meetings.
He wrote, "His [Mr. Jones', then
president of the association] re-
quests are of course absurd. Bates
should have referred to you Mr.
Jones' letter to him of April 22
but instead of that Bates brought
me in and made reflections on
your board of directors.
"I don't like it and if it occurs

again I shall refer the matter to
the Regents."
And on another occasion a
group of gargoylish projections,
were bedecked with busts of Bates,
President Hutchins and others.
Enraged, Cook demanded, so the
story goes, that the busts be re-'
moved and replaced with those
of ancient law figures.
Tact &A Dreams . .
A particularly difficult situation
arose when Cook submitted an
article for the Michigan Law Re-
The article was poor. In a letter
to the Regents' Committee on the
Lawyers Club it was noted, "Not
a member of the law faculty
agrees with the conceptions of le-
gal research set out by him in the
article. We should therefore pre-
fer not to publish it at all and if
it came from anyone else should;
reject the article. We desire, how-
ever, to make every possible ef-
fort toward cordial relations with
Mr. Cook ...'
Especially objectionable were
invidious comparisons in the ar-i
ticle and derogatory remarks con-
erning Harvard.
Cook, as mentioned earlier, was
proud of his ability as an author.
It was difficult to reject his man-
uscript and a great deal of work
went into it. The Regents were
consulted and several drafts of the
rejection notice written.
In all, it took three typewritten
pages to explain to Cook that his

work was unsatisfactory. And the
Law School offered to publish the
article in pamphlet form to pla-
cate the millionaire.
In many instances letters re-
flect the harassed attempts of the
Lawyers Club Secretary to main-
tain dignity while obsequiously
answering Cook.
IT is difficult at times to believe
that the Cook who created one
of the great Law Schools was the
same man who feuded with a
housekeeper 'for five years.
It is stran'ge that the author of
several books recognized as au-
thorities in their field, was also
the author of a rejected Law Re-
view manuscript.
The Cook who worked unceas-
ingly to better the ethics and
ideals of a profession was not
above tearing down a sister law
His letters portray a petty, dis-
agreeable man. His speeches evi-
dence depth and intelligence. His
books mark him as a learned man.
His benevolence indicates he did
not dream idly. The cold, hard
businessman who built a fortune
was the same dreamer who would
not return to campus for fear
the dream would shatter.
Yet, whatever else it may be,
the story of Mr. Cook is undeni-
ably the story of a man who spent
eight million dollars on an ideal,
and in the next breath demanded
to know where $174 of it had

PREPARATION -- Miss Magoon tieing her pointe si
the shoe come untied, she runs the risk of a severe ,i
pointe" is the proper term for what is commonly refer

MORE WORK NEEDED -- Martha Woodruff (left) shows in-
correct position of "sur le cou de pied" which is placed too high
on ankle. Suzanna Hedlesky demonstrates wrong raised hip and
unturned heel of "retire,"

PROGRESS -- Miss Magoon (left) practices a stretch for "de-
veloppe a la seconde sur la pointe." Bonnie Shigemasa does a
"developpe a la seconde, a ila Barre"; as she studies more, she
will eventually be able to perform the position Miss Magoon is

AT THE BARRE--Miss Magoon practicing "

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