The Path to Public Service at SEAS


Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum


Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President


Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study


Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum



ABOUT the time of Commencement a paragraph usually appears in the daily papers to the effect that "one hundred and fifty liberally educated young men have been sent out of Harvard to do their part in shaping the life of the rising generation." May '75 play their part well! But besides these hundred and fifty graduates, every closing of the college term in June sets free six hundred students, who are soon scattered to every part of this country, and, we may almost say, to every corner of the world. If we could obtain a leaf from the mental note-book of each man, we might form a cosmopolitan scrap-book of experience that would be amusing, not to say instructive. O for a telescope of unlimited power, to see our friends of the midnight oil "clothed in purple and fine linen," displaying their charms of face and figure at Swampscott or Newport, looking wise if any allusion chance to be made to the creatures of the " deep blue sea" or to the idealist theory of Berkeley, showing themselves wise by saying nothing, - to see the man who, in college, will not take the trouble to look out of the window when the fair ones of Cambridge and vicinity are passing through the yard, now swimming some Hellespont only to find that his Hero has gone sailing with a Sophomore, - her hero ! - to see the man who, on principle, never gets excited and never swears, dividing his night in the tent into three-minute intervals of courting Morpheus and of attending the obsequies of sundry mosquitoes !

As it is improbable, however, that we shall have the use, this vacation, of a telescope potent over both distance and intervening objects, we must content ourselves with what our eyes may show us. Probably many do not realize what a fund of pleasure can be obtained by the unobtrusive use of the eyes, joined to an average share of imagination. To pass through Boston Common, even, on a pleasant, summer evening about dusk, when so many hearts are lost and won, will give an observing man much food for reflection on the proportion maintained between the three factors,-the social status of the lovers, the strength of their affection, and the publicity of its manifestation; and at Niagara! -truly the air is so love-laden that a poor bachelor mortal can hardly breathe.

During our summer wanderings, wherever they may lie, many opportunities of observing human nature will be opened to us; people can seldom conceal their traits and habits effectually, even when they try; and seriously, I think much pleasure, and not a little "knowledge of character," may be gained by forming the habit of quietly observing the speech and customs of those with whom we happen to be thrown. The man who is always thinking so much of himself that he never thinks of other people, although doubtless he has happy thoughts, will find many a half-hour drag heavily, which this habit of observation would beguile.

It is sometimes said that a student, like a prophet, "is not without honor except in his own country"; more often, I think, the reverse is true, and that outside of the academical town a student is considered, no matter what his age and how dignified his bearing, as "a boy not yet out of college." The inability of collegians, especially members of the younger colleges, to understand that they are considered as of comparatively little importance, except by the juvenile portion of society, causes much amusement to their elders. Not that I would have the Freshman who entered college in June without a condition forget for a moment, during the summer, that he is a member of Harvard University, and that he must deport him self with becoming dignity; nor would I hint to the Sophomore that a great many of his acquaintances have heard college songs and stories before his appearance on the scene: but I would suggest that during the summer vacation we should take in, as well as give out, a knowledge of men and things.

There have been several pleasant articles in the Crimson this year in regard to persons and places of interest that the students have found in their journeyings, and I would like to propose that those of us who meet with any such in the coming vacation "make a note o' 't," as possibly worthy of a college paper article next year.


Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.