Communication

Mr. Blair-Duncan's Sixth Letter

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

Our search of the ruins toward the middle of the university site has unearthed what was once an imposing building of white granite. This discovery aroused our interest at once, because the other buildings thus far uncovered have almost invariably been of a dark reddish material, apparently a sort of brick. This edifice remains fairly intact, and within it we were fortunate enough to find an immense collection of records of every imaginable sort. With his usual sagacity, Senor Alvarotz has deduced the theory that this was the administration building.

The records are so complex and concern such a host of varied topics, that it has taken five solid days of my own time and that of my two confreres. Dr. Bonaparte and Leon Cavallo, to sort and tabulate the material. But our patience has had its own reward; we are now equipped with all the data needed for running a great university on the most efficient plan.

I cannot begin to quote in detail, but in order to give you a notion at once of the nature of these reports, I will choose a few at random. It will be seen at once that they are not only the ordinary attendance records, course grades, and Dean's recommendations; they include also the financial statements, various college rules, and a thousand other minutiae of university affairs--The following selection, I believe, need no further comment. I translate freely but without distortion.

"Notice: All students in the first and second years of their sojourn here shall be required to bathe their faces and hands each day upon arising; their hands before each repast; and their entire persons once within each seven-day pan. Registration for the bath shall be made in the office of the water-commissioner at least one day in advance. Registration after the bath shall be made at once to the Faculty of Hygiene."

"Notice: No student shall allow his taper to burn later than the sixth mark after the going down of the sun. The rounding of tabors, laragytes, zithers, calipantas, tom-toms, or other musical instruments, is forbidden during the noon and vesper hours of contemplation."

"Record of penalties imposed by order of the Circle of the Elders: (1) Gaka Iguantec, for failure to remove his neck-ornament during the morning service--two volumes of the Contours of Andean Stratification, to be read and reported in outline.

(2) Yan Chungas, for tardiness in registration after returning form the solsticial interim--attendance at three discourses by Master Talpita, on the Marking of Astral Periods.

(3)Tiko Alarton, for recording irrelevant and obscene commentaries on the margins of his text--suspension during the reminder of the present term."

"Rules for selection of fields of study:

1. No scholar shall employ himself in less than seventeen subjects during any one year, nor more than thirty-four.

2. Each student shall select two topics from each of the seven recognized fields of knowledge.

3. Courses shall be selected only with the approval of three members of the Circle of the Elders; and, in the case of men new to the University, two of their seniors."

* * *

Among the other data were carefully prepared lists of the students with their records in each subject, which had evidently been posted in public places. Further perusal of the college news sheet reveals that this custom, as well as the others here enumerated, had been received with mixed feelings and that such terms as paternalism, laissez-faire, and indifference were common tender. At all events, it is evident that the Inca University was run on a carefully organized, well-detailed plan. Indeed, one record purporting to be a payroll indicates that the number of executive officials deans, secretaries, registrars, and the like was at least three times the number of professor and members of the faculty. Cordially yours.   J. BLAIR-DUNGAM

With the University of Nueva Barcelona Peruvian Expedition.

Near Machu Picchu, Peru November 12, 1921.