TO find fault with our surroundings being one of the easiest things in life, it is not to be wondered at that "men" in college, where "easy paths" are occasionally sought, should indulge in this amusement. Indeed, with those afflicted with a superabundance of leisure, it is not merely an amusement, but an occupation. The morning is creditably begun by swearing at the weather, prayers, and first-hour recitations; as the day advances, lunch, gymnasium, and dinner come in for a fair share of abuse; and the evening is consistently closed with a general grumble.
Besides these professional grumblers, all Freshmen may be considered as amateurs in the same line; but the fault-finding done by the latter, who understand little or nothing of the college institutions, is too absurd to deserve notice, especially as impartial judges will admit that of all God's creatures Freshmen are the most unreasonable.
However, there is an entirely different kind of fault-finding, which, though often not less ridiculous than the former, merits more attention. These ebullitions of college discontent, remarkable chiefly for their number, find vent in the college papers; hence, in order better to judge of them, it might be well to examine a recent copy of the Advocate.
The first article censures the actions of some professors with regard to voluntary recitations, and ends with the statement: "In some courses voluntary recitations are now simply a farce." I can hardly believe that a calm examination of the facts would bear out this assertion, and it would be well to remember that in all probability the Faculty did not make the Senior recitations voluntary in order to render Senior year a comfortable "loaf."
The second article, directed against the "condition of the Physical Laboratory," makes some disparaging comparisons not worth mentioning.
The third, vindicating the cause of the oppressed, takes the side of Harvard against the Lampoon.
The fourth protests against changing the hours of prayers and recitations, the writer being evidently averse to early rising.
The fifth is on that well-worn subject, Memorial Hall, and lays considerable stress on the fact of eight barrels of meat "in an advanced state of de-co position" having been seen hoisted from the cellar, and probably thrown away. Taking into account the frequent changes in the weather, and the large amount of meat consumed at Memorial Hall, this fact does not necessarily show any mismanagement or useless waste. In a quasi-supplement to this article, a reasonable statement, indirectly from Mr. Farmer, is scoffed at, and treated with many exclamation-marks.
The last note of the plaintive swan is a sigh that students are not allowed to overhaul the College Library at their pleasure! What a delightfully chaotic state it would soon be in!
These complaints, in general, are not especially violent, but they are decidedly stupid and monotonous, and the Faculty, if they read them, must be tired out by their frequency; hence, if they are ever written with any other purpose than to fill up the columns of the paper, that frequency could well afford to be lessened. To us, many of the Faculty's doings seem blamable; but we cannot or will not justly appreciate their reasons for thus acting, and would it not be better to devote an occasional column to the good deeds of the body, rather than half the paper to a querulous enumeration of its atrocities?