The plans for Class Day this year sound sad as a dance record at ten of the morning. The week which ordinarily ends the Senior's career in what the newspaper always call an orgy of joy, has shrunk in length and magnificence till it bears the same relation to former custom that a Junior Dance does to a Junior Prom.
It is useless to enumerate the work into which members of 1917 have gone. Sufficient is it that they have gone. The class unity, revived, democratized, and enhanced almost to the sentimental, which always springs up just before men are to make the last parting of four years' association, has received a lasting shock. The class of 1917, more than any class which has preceded it for a half century, will be scattered to the four winds in the fulfillment of that work which lies ready for it to do. We must consider it as trebly unfortunate that this parting week of life as a class will see a proportion of the class so scanty together.
When the war first came upon us, many men with excess of zeal forwent all forms of pleasure, in a burst of ascetic fervor sacrificing all their thought to the war. After the lapse of two months, although not much has been begun, and nothing ended in a martial way, we are reverting somewhat to our former manners. It is evident that such a grand thing even as war may not exclude everything from our lives. We must seek the ordinary distractions from the business in hand, in order that we may resume the business in hand with increased effort. No vast military good is accomplished by refusing to dance, to heal music and see plays, or to keep up our friendships. In a time of increased effort, indeed, a more than normal amount of amusement is needed, as has been found in warring nations, after the first hysteria of war nervousness has worn off. It might be urged that pleasure found by intense enjoyment is artificial. But all pleasure is artificial, provided we assume a pessimistic air.
There is no reason why men should enter into the Class Day "celebration" with anything less than the normal spirit of the day. There is great reason why they should make it an occasion un-shadowed by gloomy references to the work which tomorrow they will do.
There is enough philosophy of common sense in that old student song to make it worth repetition: Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus."
Class Day may mean a great deal to men in memory for months to come.