It is an unfortunate thing that many men go through the University and do not learn how to study without a professor. If they enter a profession, of course, they are naturally forced into continuing their work, but in the ordinary case it is different. It is a frequent thing for an undergraduate to apply for entrance into some course, and be asked the following question: "Why don't you read this author or study this subject by yourself? This course is meant only for those who are going into the matter so deeply, and are looking at it in such a special light that they need help. Why don't you take some course that depends more on the interpretation of the professor, some course which you could not cenveniently do by yourself?"
Many an undergraduate has been turned away with such words, and has felt the force of such arguments, but there are few who have profited by the suggestion. They take the other course, but they do not study by themselves either in college or in later life. In other words, studying means to them something supported by the oracular, and all-knowing professor. Even the thesis which is intended to lead men into studying by themselves, merely leads them to studying other books. We bring up this point at this time partly because it is something which everyone should consider in the choice of his courses, especially in regard to his literature courses, partly because it is something that the professor should remember when he gives this advice to the students, and mostly because it is unfortunate that men should not be able to study independently here and there, instead of blindly restricting themselves to required courses and required books.