News

The New Gen Ed Lottery System, Explained

News

Armed Individuals Sighted in Harvard Square Arraigned

News

Harvard Students Form Coalition Supporting Slave Photo Lawsuit's Demands

News

Police Apprehend Armed Man and Woman in Central Square

News

107 Faculty Called for Review of Tenure Procedures in Letter to Dean Gay

THE RUSSIAN STUDENT.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The old complaint about the condition of the students in the Russian universities is today as well founded as ever. One or two universities absorb the few conspicuous men of science there are; the other universities are content with luminaries of the second rank; the intermediate schools feed on half-culture, and the elementary schools on the wisdom of drill-sergeants. Thus the boy enters the university with mere scraps of knowledge, acquired with the last remnant of his father's money. The poor village priest has sacrificed his all in order to secure to his son a position in life better than his own wretched one. And the boy is morally as badly equipped as pecuniarily. Long ago the uneducated and soft-hearted father lost his authority over his son, who, with his few Latin verses, deems himself far above the mental horizon of his village. Neither has he ever been subjected to the moral influence of his teachers; he stands entirely alone, proud of his independence, which he interprets as strength, and is anxious to prove by action. Now he is confronted by the double task of learning something at the university and earning some kind of living. With great exertion he succeeds in giving a few private lessons, which perhaps pay for his dinners. For lodgings, fuel, and all the rest his only hope lies in a scholarship. He does his utmost to obtain it, and if successful he has at least enough to keep him from starving. However, his 150 to 300 rubles do not permit him to go into good society, nor is his company desired at the professor's house. But if he fails to get the scholarship, than the alternative is either to go back to the village as field-hand, or - the world must be changed, as Ossip Parfenitch and all the rest of them say. And so he tries to change the world. He was so confident of getting the scholarship - 250 of them are awarded at the university - and now all his hopes are blasted! It is actually the abuse of scholarships which so frequently leads to the ruin of students. At all the Russian universities there are a great many free students and holders of scholarships; their number sometimes reaches and even surpasses half of all the students. These scholarships tempt many boys to enter the university who really have no business to be there. The son of well-to-do parents is rarely seen there - now less so than ever, since the universities have become the rendezvous of the proletariat that clamors first for bread and then for patriotic deeds. The name of student has become a by-word with the lower classes of Russia, and the St. Petersburg student must take care not to betray his calling in the street if he would be safe from occasional maltreatment at the hands of coach-drivers and laborers. Excluded as he is from good society, and confined to that of his associates, poverty-stricken, neglected, despised, he is yet fond of life and enterprise, proud of his slender knowledge, and full of contempt for the blunders of the government. From his obscure corner he looks at everything with a hostile eye, and his opposition to the state and society becomes more pronounced with every new revolutionary rising and Nihilistic attempt. - [Kolnische Zeitung.

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

Tags