A Look Ahead
Cabbages and Kings
"Personal interests and backgrounds will be important factors in assigning students in Social Sciences 136"--CRIMSON, Jan. 16, 1959.
Bronson Crass, of the New York Crasses, stands five feet, eight inches high. He has blue eyes, blond hair, a sister and cocker spaniel. His father's income is $8,000 a year and his mother is an active member of the Stepping Stone School PTA.
I mention these facts only because Bronson, when he enters Harvard in a few years, will be the horrible victim of recent trends perceptible in University educational policy.
Consider the future: poor Bronson, being unbearably average, will submit his completed questionnaire for admission to Philosophy 199 (Philosophy of the Beat Generation, MWF (11:17 p.m.). His application will be refused imediately, because with blue eyes (Category 16-A), Bronson failed to meet SR (Stat Reg) 299-Q mean distribution. The instructor in Government 101 (Political Theory of the Beat Generation, TT (S), 9 a.m.) will not accept Bronson as a student because too many Democrats have applied, upsetting the PB (Partisan Balance) quota. So it will go. Bronson will be rejected by every instructor, from Professor Gravel in Geography 173 (Geography of the Beat Generation) to Dr. Wang in Chinese Studies 10 (Asia and the Beat Generation).
Standing lonely by Widener, Bronson will watch his fortunate friends (mostly A-Q-42 types) troop into Emerson, Sever, and Building T-4 (built on the site formerly occupied by Memorial Church). They will hear the lecturettes; they will sit in on the think sessions and RH-29-X meetings; they will be happy in their own inner-directed, typical way. Bronson will take the 11:48 home, sad but wise, and enroll in some third-rate community junior college.
The big picture is clear. The Age of Holden Caul-field is upon us, the University of Chicago syndrome is slowly ossifying. At the citadel of veritas future Bronsons will be sacrificed to the glory of the Spike Sluggs and Moses Kelleys. The uncommon man-typical in his uniqueness--is taking over; the natives of Idyllia are being driven to the sea.
If the public wants to crash the Harvard educational party, it will have to dress in disguise. Put on your wigs, men; the only thing you have to lose is your identity.