The Crimson today continues publication of its eleventh annual Confidential Guide of Courses. The Guide appears at this time of year since study cards for next year must be filed at University Hall on or before Thursday, April 27 by all members of 1934 and 1935.
The object of the Guide is to furnish students with frank opinions of other students with frank opinions of other students who have taken the courses that are being offered. Where no one deemed capable of rendering a clear and unprejudiced opinion of a particular course could be found, that course has been omitted from the Guide.
Training in exact thought and accurate handling of apparatus is the invaluable feature of Chemistry 4 for any man in the field of Chemistry or Bio-Chemistry. It is not, however, desirable to take it when one is not planning to achieve more than a knowledge of the elements of Chemistry, for there are long laboratory hours and considerable drudgery connected with the course, and it is not required for Medical School entrance or for concentration in the field of Chemistry.
The first half of the course is gravimetrie analysis, including the collecting and weighing of many precipitates. The student learns how to standardize weights, and how to get results which will check to one-tenth of one per cent. Nine-tenths of the work of the course is in the laboratory, the lectures being merely for the purpose of giving the procedure to be followed in the laboratory. It is here that the first criticism could perhaps be applied to the conduct of the course. With hours for work as limited as they are in Mallinckrodt, it often seems that too much time is taken up in the lectures, splitting the afternoon as they do. There is often an unpleasant feeling that though the gist of the lecture has taken but forty minutes to give, the class meets at two and therefore could not possibly be let out before three, even when the lecturer has nothing more to add.
Volumetric analysis takes up the second half-year, involving the standardization of reagent solutions and titrating of unknowns. The average man will find that rarely will he require less than four afternoons a week, or about 15 hours a week, and this is a conservative estimate. The course is not hard, but requires rather close attention to details.
The relation of Chemistry to industry is one of the most important practical applications of chemical knowledge. The common industrial processes for manufacture of coal gas, soap, rubber, paint, heavy chemicals, etc., are made clear by explanation from the industrial rather than the laboratory point of view, and a series of twelve trips to representative factories of the neighborhood gives the student an opportunity to gain first-hand ideas about how industrial large-scale operations are carried on.
The course is exceedingly ably presented by Professor Grinnell Jones whose inexhaustible fund of anecdotes gleaned during his long acquaintance with industrial leaders enlivens many a lecture. The principal work during the year is the preparation of reports on the trips, which demands considerable time and care. In general, chemistry 11 is very nearly the most interesting course in the field of Chemistry, and invaluable for anyone contemplating entering the chemical industries.
Comp. Lit. 9
Professor Babbitt is a scholar of tremendous erudition; he has read, roughly, everything. Be it Buddha, Coleridge, or Sinclair Lewis's last novel, it is all grist to his mill. The name of the course makes no difference; were it to be "A Study of the Literary Background of 'Alice in Wonderland'," Professor Babbitt would yet find in this work his favorities--the higher will, the ethical imagination, the central control making for decency and humility, the star of Burke, the Christian and the gentleman, and the wisdom of the ages--set against his villains--what one is tempted to describe as the sheer pantheistic bewilderment of Coleridge, the "dolce far niente" leisure of Rousseau on the Lac de Bienne, the vicious practice of "mixing oneself with the landscape," the idyllic imagination, Romantic nostalgia, Romantic irony, or the confusion of "profound philosophy with what is at best only a holiday or week-end view of existence."
And so it goes. Every one will agree with Professor Babbitt up to a certain point. Some will become disciples, and others will lay more stress on those sides of literature to which he, on his own admission and intention, does not do justice. The lectures tend to become repetitious; a bit too much time is spent on Rousscan's Confessions; but the course on the whole is a stimulating one and one of the very best advocated in the little green pamphlet. Whether they sit at his feet, or whether they learn from him by "intellectual repulsion," the one thing students cannot do for Professor Babbitt is to forget him. After a course with him the problems of literature and government will be seen with different eyes. Here is one who has not only great erudition, but a definite point of view; a vigorous and invigorating mind. The wide influence he has had testifies to the general acceptability of the critical apparatus he provides