IN his recent report the President has distinctly opposed the custom of keeping Saturday as a half-holiday, for these reasons: "Instructors and students can have each one leisure afternoon, without a general suspension of work; a student's working-time is greatly reduced by spending Saturday afternoons and Sundays at home; the time thus lost should be spent in reading, writing, and intellectual conversation." With the highest respect for the President's opinions, there is yet some ground for dissent.
In the first place, it is doubtful if many instructors and students find unemployed afternoons in the busy time from Monday to Friday, - always supposing that the student is ambitious to hold an honorable position in his studies. Granted unlimited leisure, the need of a general holiday is still urgent; else what opportunities exist to witness base-ball and football games, and various other athletic sports? Absence from recitation would be the rule and not the exception on such occasions.
In the second place, what would be saved to study? Very few men pass Saturday night at their desks; and it is safe to say that home influences are as beneficial as those of the city. The natural tendency to relaxation at the end of the week is inevitable, and, in our opinion, desirable. Granted that there is a loss of hours by this weekly absence, is there not a proportionate gain in earnestness and application? Surely a change of scene does not weaken mental powers.
Finally, we fear there would be little accomplished after four o'clock on Saturday. A Sunday at home will afford abundant leisure for reading. Or is it possible that the President recommends the use of Sunday as study-time? Moreover, he argues that by remaining in Cambridge we can enjoy "intellectual conversation" with our fellow-students. Is "intellectual conversation" confined to students? And does he pay a very high compliment to our home surroundings when he intimates that we must remain in Cambridge for this mental stimulus?