News has come up from New Haven that some of Yale's prettiest dreams about her sister university, Harvard, have been rudely shattered. The Yale Daily News bewails the passage of our laissez-faire educational tradition with the coming of faculty scrutiny of History 1 notes. To our emancipated brethren of Yale, this seems a cross between the Inquisition and academic hand-holding. In view of the facts of the case, this comment is hardly just.
History 1, a course unique in the College for its size and comprehensiveness, presents a special problem to the small "faculty within a faculty" that is charged with its administration. The large number of freshmen enrolled, never faced with such a course before, approach the problem of note-taking from countless angels. This multiplicity of methods is no cause for dismay except that it too often includes one disastrous plan; not taking any notes at all. This practice, and that of taking too voluminous reading notes, are the chief butts of faculty criticism. No attempt is made to change a man's individual style of notes unless they are unintelligible or illegible. Such supervision, restricted as it is to one elementary course of an unusual kind, can hardly be called a threat to Harvard's liberal scheme of education.
Compared with Yale's daily ten-minute quizzes, which bestrew the path of luckless Senior and Freshman alike, the supervision of History 1 notes is innocuous. It is the difference between a helping hand toward good habits and a Sword of Damocles.