DID YOU EVER WONDER why Dexter Gate (on Mass. Ave near Lamont Library), which tells thousands of Harvardians every year to "Enter to Grow in Wisdom," is always locked at night? Does Harvard not want you to grow in wisdom after sundown? Is growing in wisdom just a nine-to-five job?
Yale's motto ("Lux et Veritas"), but not Harvard's ("Veritas," no matter what the lighting), tells the Yalies that ultraviolet rays are necessary for the discovery of truth. But it is now apparent that Harvard is plummeting into the same murky depths as that inferior New Haven institution by preventing its students from finding wisdom in the dark.
This is disturbing.
Think of all the wisdom found after sundown. One of the greatest inventions of all--time--the light bulb--was undoubtedly discovered in the dark. Thomas Alva Edison obviously did not study at Harvard (or Yale for that matter) for he surely would never have ventured to find wisdom in the dark if he had been educated by our Mr. Dexter.
It's equally possible that Harvard locks the Dexter Gate at night to prevent thieves from entering the Yard. For surely only bright, young Harvard students are intelligent enough to walk to the next gate along Mass. Ave. to gain entry to the historic quadrangle. Don't you know at least 10 thieves who see the lock on the gate, causing them to turn around and give up on trying to get into Harvard?
But then again, it is a scientific fact that nine out of 10 burglars are never admitted to Harvard, so maybe this gate-locking policy is working.
Or maybe Harvard is just trying to keep buses heaping with sweaty tourists from Hoboken, N.J., from infiltrating the pristine Yard. But then why do they leave the Cadillac-sized vehicle gates open while locking the pedestrian gates?
It takes a lot of smarts to figure out why Harvard has such a strange Yard-entry policy. Maybe the phrase atop the gate should read "To Enter, Grow in Wisdom." Then again, since you can only get into the Yard through the wide gates, the phrase should read "To Enter in Wisdom, Grow.
SHOULD YOU MANAGE to get into the Yard, upon attempting to leave through Dexter Gate, you will find that it says "Depart to Serve Better Thy Country and Thy Kind."
Does Harvard want you to wait until morning to perform altruistic deeds so that your friends at Yale can see them. You obviously won't be able to tell them of the good things you did in the dark, because they won't believe it's the truth unless there's light around.
Does your ability to find your way out of the Yard qualify you for such types of public service? Does Harvard want to prevent those with no sense of direction from instructing their peers?
If you've grown in wisdom, it should be easy to find your way out of the Yard, especially if you are wise enough to have figured out how to get in.
But what if you find yourself unwise, with no way out of the Yard late at night? If you bribe one of the security guards to let you out, maybe the phrase should read "To Depart, Serve Better Thy Country and Thy Kind." But this phrase would assume that the cop is your kind.
Do thieves who get caught in the Yard (they must be thieves, because only Harvard students are intelligent enough to walk 50-ft. to the next exit) get taken to jail where they have to eat plain bread and water? If so, maybe the phrase should read "To Depart, Serve Butter to Thy Kind."
With all the confusion he has caused, Mr. Dexter belongs behind bars.