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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

THE OLD ORDER CHANGETH

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The question of whether the clock was turned back an hour on Saturday night or on Sunday morning might well furnish the theme for a hot debate. It is much the same problem as that in the old Greek dilemna of the lawyer and his prentice. But waiving this point, it is probable that nobody felt the effect of the turning except in a fresher sensation when he waked. Another unnoticed effect there was also. The quitting of Daylight Saving Time has put a period to the summer. No longer can one pretend merrily that 12 o'clock is mid-day nor gain spiritual merit by getting up in the wee sma' hours of the morning along with the rest of Nature's early birds.

It is interesting to note what mountains of opposition had to be removed by the faith of the early advocates of this juggling with the clock. Willett died without seeing the motion he had long advocated in the House of Commons become law, and only this present year the French Senate changed its opinion on the matter several times. Like all new ideas it was difficult to grasp. Farmers could not see how cows could be milked or wheat grown if the clock were altered and mothers could not understand how it would be possible to get their babies to sleep. This antagonism to new ideas is not new. The conception of a non-stationary engine was impossibly difficult to the physicist of the early days of the steam engine, while everyone has heard of the Oxford Don who, in denying the necessity for installing baths in the old University town, raised the point that the students were only in residence a little over eight weeks at a time.

By now the Daylight Saving idea has practically been entirely swallowed. Almost the only objections audible come from undergraduates when the system goes into effect and night is turned partly into day. Yet even this is readily forgiven since the event is the immediate forerunner of vacation. Even if man is a conservative and stubborn animal, time and such "even-handed justice" will eventually dislodge him from his moss.

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