Exit the Crammer

Along with the decimation, in the face of legitimate beer, of the ranks of the campus bootlegger, another kind of bootlegger appears destined for gradual oblivion: the cramming school tutor. For years and years college and university authorities have striven with scant success (save in the case of Professor John L. Lowes, of Harvard, who allows students in his courses to bring all their text books into examinations) to circumvent the wily tutor. The Widow Nolan at Cambridge, Johnny Hun at Princeton, and Rosie at New Haven could seldom be outwitted. They perfected systems of question spotting that would drive to despair the mathematicians who try to beat the wheel at Monte Carlo. Not-too-bright young men and the gilded youths who spent their time elsewhere than in class could rely on them at midyears and in June, and with abbreviated texts and resumes they made many college careers possible.

Now, however, three publishers of college text books have instituted court proceedings against a college tutor who, they claim, has violated the copyrights on their properties by reprinting them in condensed form. This may be one approach to the cramming school problem, and it is easy to see where official sympathies will lie in the issue. But, more than anything else, the necessity for cramming for exams has been obviated by the spread of the tutoring systems and reading periods within colleges themselves. No such great store is now set on tests in single subjects, and a comprehensive knowledge of the student's field is being instilled far less painfully than by the old method of lectures followed by examinations. Soon, in all probability, the tutoring school in college towns will have become a part of tradition only, along with turtle-necked sweaters, the campus pump, and the banners of rival institutions pinned upside down on the wall. New York Herald Tribune.