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Scheaffer, C. Gibson (ed.) / Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XXVI, Number 3 (March 1927)

Ward, Mackenzie
Let there be light with less argument,   pp. 4-5

Johnson, George C.
Sonnet,   p. 5

Page 5

Prom week-end and football games
and suicides and pregnant coeds get
all the publicity. Newspapers pounce
on these, and readers like them even
better than Andy Gump or the Inquir-
ing Reporter. People are somewhat
jealous of me. I just laugh them off.
Last month a man said that "they
(colleges) exist mainly for clubmen,
athletes, and snobs." I think it was
Mr. Huxley who said this. His article
was full of several clever phrases:
"unduly emphasized" and "over-sig-
nificant" and "falsely idealized,"-
things like that. He is a reformer.
He wants to do away with lectures.
They are too easy. We go to sleep in
them, and very few lecturers are any
good, anyway. Just for fun, I counted
my lecture courses and found eleven
excellent professors out of fourteen.
I know one professor who has as large
a following as Billy Sunday and is al-
most as interesting.
You cannot fashion us to any edu-
cational system of your own. These
systems and schemes have to adapt
themselves to us. You might go ahead
and put in all sorts of educational ap-
paratus for two per cent, and exclude
the rest of us. It is only natural that
we shauld be babied along for awhile.
But what I meant all along was
that we are not here to study any
harder than we like. College is a
place where we wait around for
awhile and let our youth burn away;
and then we are really prepared to
do something a lot more ridiculous
than going to school.
What educational schemers would
have us do is too much inflicted upon
us. It is too much of a system, like
labor-saving devices and efficiency in
an automobile factory or a cement
plant. Some of us chase after facts
and dates and later deserve a square,
golden key as a symbol of dandruff
and round shoulders, but those of us
who take things easier and more sens-
ibly always last at the queer, goggle-
eyed, straggly-haired people of the
other type. We are content to slide
along and not work too hard except in
a few courses.
I should think that all this talk
about "What is Wrong with our Col-
leges?" would soon become forbidden
among all but legislators and vaude-
ville comedians. It is like "Is there
a God?" and "Should the U. S. join
the League of Nations?"
What changes occur will be very
gradual. You have to do it cauti-
ously. And you have to remember
that we cannot afford to take our-
selves too seriously.
THIS, I say, is all that three hard years
Of books, philosophy, and art have won
My mind: the will to doubt a faith that rears
Great walls of empty creed against the sun
Of reason, under which the childish fears
Of gods and kings have withered to decay;
And science, lord of life, has found its way
To lighten labor and to sharpen spears.
And yet, the ancient wonder still endures:
That men are born of love through women's pain;
That supple grace of yielding breast allures
To quicken life from aching life again.
This awesome spectacle of birth decries
The blood of battle, where the wonder dies.

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