The proof of the pudding lies in the eating--and with the digestion. For the past two and a half weeks Harvard College has been busied with an intellectual pudding, the success of which will be inspected for the next three weeks. The first "Reading Period" ever tried in an American University came to a close yesterday; beginning this morning, the results of that Reading Period will be put to test.
If the College faculty has erred in the initial presentation of this Period--and the possibility seems likely--it has erred on what is probably the right side. Rather than expect too little it has, in many cases, expected too much. Reading assignments have been large; on the whole, if one is to believe current reports, they have been too large. No time has been left for that individual grazing in the fields of learning which was one of the hoped for consequences of the plan. The books read have been required; the student in this experiment has been as dependent and as restricted as when he attended three classes a day.
One thing is certain--the organization of the College has been proved capable of functioning without that bond which American educators have heretofore regarded as essential,--required attendance at classes. The Library has not been deserted, indeed it has never been so filled, and the upperclass dormitories have not been empty. One thing is certain--and the rest depends very largely on the next three weeks.