FRESHMEN HEARD BLISS PERRY
"TRY TO FEEL THE ROMANCE AND THRILL OF UNIVERSITY" HIS ADVICE.
"Get the rhythm of this great University" was the advice given to the Freshmen last night in the first of the regular Monday evening meetings held in the Smith Hall Common Room by Professor Bliss Perry. "I am sorry," he said, "for those who go through this college and never discover what Harvard University is, but not sorry for that fellow who comes here from far off, and feels out of place and awkward, but who does the real thinking, dreams the dreams which have changed the face of the whole world." He said he was sorry for the "spoon fed" fellow who has been "tucked into bed by his intellectual friends" and enjoyed the society of a boarding school. They come into the luxury of the "sideshow," the Freshman Dormitories, and do not see the real side of college life. He said that men should try to feel the romance and thrill of University life, not merely enjoy the pleasures of life in the Freshman Dormitories.
Professor Perry considered that a mistake is made at freshman receptions by laying too much stress upon what everyone should go out for. "A man must go in for the greatest things in life, not out for them." He advised them to search within themselves and inquire into the real aim of their college life and their object in being here. He did not declaim against, going out for the activities in college but said that here the Freshmen have a chance of a lifetime to find the most important thing in the world, but a chance which is not held out as one leading to prominence and college leadership. They must "shift their point of view and change their scale of values."
The Freshmen should take more ad
vantage of the opportunity offered them by the intellectual speakers in the morning chapel who are there to provide inspiration. Over sixty men go out for the Freshman football manager competition and only half a dozen attend the regular morning chapel services; this is a striking example that Freshmen do not appreciate the privileges they are offered.
Professor Perry read from a letter writen by a mother to her son in Christ's Church College, England, over 200 years ago, the key-note of which was "methodize your hours so as best to improve them." The advice was to have some system for everything in daily life and live up to it religiously.
"Thank goodness that a good influence is as contagious as a bad one and a good deal more so." Two or three fellows who get together with the real "Christian spirit" have more power than those who get together with bad intentions. Two or three who are brave enough to take a stand for what they really belive in will soon find that they have obtained a real following and that their little group has been doubled or quadrupled. He advised the Freshmen to come together in such small groups to think things over and really get to understand themselves.
In the final word Professor Perry said "Get the rhythm of this great University and take up the slack of spiritual indifference."
Arthur Beane '11, Graduate Secretary of Phillips Brooks House, introduced the speaker and Dr. A. T. Davison '06 led the singing at the beginning and end of the meeting