To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
To those of us now enrolled in English 2 came a great shock through Saturday's communication. We were dismayed to learn, from "A Senior" that Shakspere was the author of so many "microscopic and insignificant phrases," that the training of our memories is of mere "incidental" importance, and that English 2 did not test our culture. Ah, this last was "the most unkindest cut of all."
"Without stopping to criticize" the culture of "A Senior" as displayed in Saturday's CRIMSON, I should like to "ask the question frankly": is it not surprising that "A Senior," presumably having moved among us now for three years, should believe that he could pick his courses solely by consulting the University Catalogue? The undergraduate has additional means of becoming "informed beforehand concerning the nature of his courses": he may look over previous examination papers, he may talk with men who have taken the course in former years, and, in the case of English 2, he may attend the first lecture.
Nobody would deny the right of a student to demand culture from his courses. But, after all, what sort of an examination would that be which tested nothing but our culture? In English 2 it is assumed, and rightly assumed, that if we have knowledge, together with a little incidental power of memory, culture will follow. English 2 is not an easy course; but it is by no means beyond the powers of the normal human student. Nor is it too difficult to finish the examination in three hours, provided you know the answers to the questions; for, in the first part of the paper, fifty complete paragraphs are no required; most of the answers can be given in a very few words.
I think that our Senior is in a decided minority with regard to his opinion of English 2. The trouble with too many of our courses is that the passing of them requires, not knowledge of the subject, but merely a little of what "A Senior" has so happily termed "art" and "culture." ANOTHER SENIOR.