Out of the chaos of the universe, each man must create an ordered, meaningful existence. Courses of Instruction for Harvard and Radcliffe offers a 399 page world of chaos from Sanskrit to Seismology, and the Administration decrees that students may only use four or five courses to build an ordered shelter against the whirlwind. Yet what is order but a dry formalistic structure without vibrant content, without pulsating life?
Thus the CRIMSON haruspex will examine the entrails of departed students to suggest courses for the coming term. The most basic courses--Economics 1, Mathematics 1, Government 1--are evident even to the untutored eye. But many less obvious, although not obscure offerings might be a boon to those who seek outside their own field for edification. It is these our seer has descried.
Most students at Harvard and Radcliffe don't go to bed until 1 or 2 a.m. Neither, so it seems, do the professors; course offerings at this early hour are meager. Mathematics for non-mathematicians (Nat Sci 116) allows students to bridge the two cultures without wetting their feet in a torrent of labs. One of the key problems in modern thought, "Value and Explanation in Social Theory," and some of the key modern thinkers--Kierkagaard, Neitzsche, Dewey, and Mannheim--structure Soc Sci 115. For those whose roomates are so lovable that there is no outlet for hostilities Soc Rel 120 ("Analysis of Interpersonal Behavior") encourages students to dump on their fellows in section.
One hour and two cups of coffee later all occupied in the great enterprise of learning are more fit to march on. Many are so aroused they will march to "War" (Soc Sci 112)--Stanley Hoffman's full course on the even chapters of Tolstoy's novel. While others take up the cudgels in a life or death struggle with Chem 20, Thomas Schelling will offer "Games and Strategy" (Ec 135) for those who are combative in a refined way.
At the same time that oldies but goodies Hist 142 and Hist 163 great revolutions of the past, Professor Orlando Fals-Borda of the National University of Columbia discusses upheavals of the present in Soc Sci 117, "Revolutionary Forces in Latin America." Few will want to miss the "History of the Book" (Hum 122), it may be their only chance to visit Houghton Library. Eng 200a, "Anglo-Saxon Poetry" gives one of the colleges best lectures, William Afred, a podium to display his wares on more limited topics than those to which he is accustomed in Hum 2 or English 10. A long shot: Naval Science 53, "The History of Amphibious Warfare."
While the giants--Ec 1, Hist 169, Nat Sci 5, and Fine Arts 13--siphon off great bands of students, Erik Eriksons' Soc Sci 139 (Bust to Dust) initiates the ignorant in the mysteries of the life cycle, a modest subject on which Erikson's expertise has gained world acclaim, Life, writ large and lustily, is also a prime topic in one of the college's best (and toughest) English courses. "Chaucer" (Eng 115). For those with a yen for comparative studies, Professor Giovanni Sartori of the University of Florence holds forth in Gov 112b, "Political Systems of Continental Europe."
Few venture into the afternoon schedule of seminars; but those who do are usually well-rewarded. Two of the best this fall: Eng 285, "The Craft of Poetry," taught by Harvard's poet laureate in residence, Robert Lowell, and Gov 289, "Western European Studies Seminar," with Messrs. Hoffman, Kissinger, and Wylie.
(Tomorrow: Tu. Th. (S.).)