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November 18, 1923 - Image 1

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SUNDAY MAGAZINE
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1923
College-Bred Instability
Adolescent Readjustments
In these days, when the modern' DOROTHY GELTZ at hose. Ie does not often realize
American university is beginning to that, even were he to be given the
undergo a change of function, and is
becoming a place where, instead of Something new'? Decidedly so In greater and more noble than the boy opportunity of returning to his home,
worn out beliefs and traditions being all his life before this, he has never has ever dreamed of before, and ex he would find that his taste of col-
fostered, new ideas are engendered come across or been thrown into such hibits a depth and breadth of know- lege us s
ansd put into practice, (often to a a situation. The people of his pre- edge and a charm of personality that ideas and mde of tondut perman-
~ slight jiggling of the imperturbable vious acquaintance have been gener- demand and deserve genuine respect. ently.
quipoise) a new problem arises in ally of two classes, the desirable and Or possibly the boy goes out with
connection with e student. T he undeirable and the dividing line a girl about whom he has heard many There are two courses open to him.
change is far ronm conmplete in any of ietween the two has been in sost damning things hinted, and with Either be most evade the issues-
the colleges or oniversities, and as a cases pretty sharply drawn. Of course,. whom he finds lie can take liberties must retire into a reserved and per-
result the college campuses are ta- lie has bumped into people of the so- swhich he has reserved only for the haps morbidly introspective shell
ieg on the aspect of a hiotly-contel called undesirable type, but he has undesirable element of his previous shunning all hint of allowing his own
battle ground between the safety invariaily thought of them as such, acquaintances. She swears, she ideas to be questioned by himself or
and sanity" of past generations and and they have been somewhat apart smokes, she "fusses," she laughs anyone else, or he must go about the
the independent thought, the open-ro his life. Perhaps he has wan- gaily and irresponsibly at things business of thorooghty questioning
themindepestienthght, the per - dered downtosn with his fellows, and twhich utterly disgust the boy; and and examining everything with which
minded questioning, of the near tu-licoeinotablevgnth
tors. sfallen in with one of the deplorable yet, in her too he finds the same ap- he comes i contact, believing noth-
"town characters" (male or female) peal to his respect that he has found ing, and actively attacking any at-
The inevitable result of all this is now and then. But these people have in the man-a certain refinement un- tenmpt that may be made to force ideas
a similar struggle going on in the never meant anything in his life -he derneathi hr superficial veneer of upon him.
mind of the student who goes to col- has held then in the utter contempt blase and somewhat vulgar savoir Strangely, it is the student who
Ieee with a conpiete sot of hssnd-me- shih only youth can achieve, and he faire-an attitude toward life which, chooses (either consciously or un-
down isea+, 'shich somnew ito not has never for a moment thought of though as yet unsettled, is neverthe- consciously) the former course who is
ft in with the scheme of things when connecting his experiences with them less deliberate and rational-the re- the more hopeless. His case is pretty
he finds himself set down with no swith his daily life, sult of genuine thought and carefult apt to become almost psychopathic;
one to thinik for him.s A very definite
poblens hink ieisrhe rimsAe mdeuno But now! . . ie spends an consideration. at any rate he joins the ranks of the
problem immediately arises. and upon;
ts solution sietunds in large measure evening with a man who jokingly al- The boy is in a quandary. Added permanently emotionally unstable. Al-
iludes to a drunken brawl of the pre- to the problems which confront him though he strictly suppresses all in-
librium of this student with this type vious night, scoffs lightly at principles' are two' addiftonal factors, the gen- chntions or thosghts that may lead
of background, low he adjusts sis- and traditions that the boy has pre- eral confusion of activity to be found him to doubt the infallibility of his
self to this new order may determine vieusly held sacred above even t- ain any college, and the keen pangs of doctrines, or his phulosophy of lfe
his sousequent success sue ilure in whisper of a doubt, and yet in the homesick longing for the even, un- (if he may be given credit for having
his life undertakings. next breath expresses thoughts far disturbed life which he has known see) his mind is nevertheleys a con-
fusion of impressions, of vague qoes-
Such a student enters college at tionings which hue refuses to recognize,
the summit of adolescence with abso- much less attempt to answer. Because
lutely no conception of the conditionsh PRhe dares not trust himself to exchange
under which he is to live for the next .5h e P recipitous B row ideas with his fellows for fear his
four years of his life. Ile has here-- own may be weakened or overthrown,
tofore been more or less sheltered hehe becomes either critically or ego-
from the undesirable things of life, V ersus the W orld tistically introspective. Small wor-
as well as from a great many of its ries, doubts, and fears perturb him
possibilities. He has had to make unduly, he is perpetually undecided
no particular decisions for himself- ROBERT W. COOPER and hesitant, hue becomes inordinately
his elders have done that for him, on precautious or overcantious, his anxi-
the grounds that his inexperience ani Our younger writers are making the knowledge which it is possible to ac- ety over various matters far exceeds
youth have rendered hum less capsble demand, "Why?" And they are not be- quire in this world, but only on condi- she weight of those matters then-
ing answered. The reasoner has ques- tion that he should use none of it eith- selves, and he is troubled with a feel-
than they in coping withnthe problenmsJsevanheitruldwhafe-
and dificubties that have arisen, Be tioned such hoary virtues as patriot- er to guide his life or for any other ing of general insufficiency and inade-
may have played about after a fash- ism, political loyalty, and valor in purpose, he would turn away for fear quacy. This student seldom lasts' in
ion, satisfying natural curiosity and war, To she nan who sees, these of pressing it, But most people can college to the point of graduation, and
finding sut for himsef in a somewhat things as great fundamental mistakes, go through a university course and even If he does, he becomes another
lackadaisical and adolescent fashion the comptacency si the rest of Meec- remain as they were before, sold citi- of the legion of social maladjustments
just what the 'orld is made of, bust ken's morons must be exasperating. zens voting the Republican ticket, be- due to distorted conceptions of life.
all of this is superficial and idealistic, Sometimes I wonder how a man vers- lieving, or professing to believe, in the Thc student who, on ghe other hand
and in most cases very young people ed in the history and learning of the God of the old testament and in the cultivates an attitude of lively in
have no funuamental ideas of their past and watching the world going the U. S. army. And incidentally while vestigation and questioning is much
own, Their meetality is made up same old round, making the same old retaining sound confidence in those nore apt to come out on tsp. Of
blunders, and assuming in a kind of two institutions their minds are so fa- course, he may for a tose seem the
largely of a heterogeneous mass of cush a o iese h
ideas, notions, and fancies accumu- pathetic stupidity that it is facing new cibe as to be able to embrace Christi- more flighty and unstable of the two,
lated Iron their varisus acquaint- situations and new problems, can help anity as well. They do not trouble with his wierd conglomeration of
ances, generally from older peoie becoming wearily disgusted with the themselves about reconciling these es- garbled ideas. He will take up and
whose philosophy of life is based upon ( onotsnous nerry-go-rvund and give tabhishments snu creeds, They are loudly laud an idea which the next
hip the ghost. He probably would if institutions and that is sufficient. day he condemns and rejects for an
their own past experiences, which ex- daywrehntielylogcambtslfendn' Buejwecmesa shoo ofan
periences the youngster himself may ti 'sre 'ntrety logical, but lfe ist lut now couis a schost of skeptics opposite one. He will spend as much
cver busts's-. Most of Isis natural ems- logical. Perhaps he develops a ays- which blasphemously asserts that time, energy, and thought arguing
tions are dormant, or at any rate sap- pathetic philosophy, or become so en- sine of our principles run counter to} over the question of why women use
pressed under a heavy coating of in- grossed in the facts of history them-s each other and cannot be reconciled. rouge as he would over the most
ibitions, so-calle rationisms, and slves that he ignores their signifi- They ridicule outrageously all the weighty problems of science or litera-
convontion Thbe ssa d point is, so's- canoe or their interpretation. hsat Idear, sainted old themes of song ands tre of which he las any conprehen-
ever, that his thoughts and actions seems to be the case, and this over- story, the glories of war, and not a sion whatsoever. But at any rate his
as well as his inclinations are con- sight n the part of the history mens few of the blessings of peace. The tIhinking process as well as his ac-
dalls forth the scorn of the sardonic world has a very effective weapon tions are natural and normal, in that
rationalism which is by no means the . Menokon quite frequently, with which to defend itself. In fact it they frankly admit and bring to light
result of an effechive semning of Iis .The savants of the past ani a ma- has everal weapons. One of these is thoughts and impulses which, though
jority of those now living concern the doctrine of necessity. This takes radical, are nuch less harnful when
themselves with acquiring and cat- various foris. In war it is applied as expressed than when repressed. More-
s re

alcging knowledge. They no doubt followe: "the done it to me first and over, during the process of mulling
,nd so we find him, ent( ring college.1 add to the world's fund of informationi I gotta defend myself." It is applied over various ideas and facts, the stu-
Possibly one of the first things heis about itself, but of what value is the to many governmental irregularities. dent automatically collects a system
encounters is the prevalent and wide- information if it isn't used? To me Napoleon used it, not only in matters j of well-defined principles by which
spread rumor that the college person- knowledge merely for the sake of of government but also in the mur- to govern his personal conduct, and
eel is composed mainly of moth-eaten knowledge is hollow. I have heard a dering of prisoners of war. It covers by the time he has had the softening
faculty, dizzy (grinds of uncertain uman say that if he were shown a but- a multitude of sins. Another weapon 1 and settling influence of a few years
age, drunken rounders, and co-eds ton, the presshog of which would is the good old book. If you question of experience to trim off the rough
that are discreet courtesans. I place him in possession of all the (Continued on Page Seven) (Continued on Page Three)

'A

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