To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
The conception of an academic education as essentially a gymnasium for the training of the intellect in preparation for mastering, in the professional schools, facts and theories of lasting importance, as you put it in your editorial of June 11, represents, undoubtedly, the current undergraduate point of view. And yet the facts acquired in college ought to be quite as important as those acquired in the grammar schools and distinctly as important, both from the cultural and practical point of view, as any acquired in the professional schools. That literature, the classics, philosophy, history may have a permanent value in themselves scarcely needs an argument and is brought forcibly home to anyone who comes in contact with an Oxford graduate. These men seem able to secure not only the mental discipline which comes from sustained study but to make an integral part of their education the subject matter itself. They manage to come out scholars and gentlemen and pretty good judges of practical matters as well.
It is rather a pitiful truth that the American college man reaches his apogee in the humanities in his senior year. From that point on he declines so rapidly that five years out he cannot talk intelligently with the average junior: ten years out with the average freshman: while twenty five years out, he is back again in the elementary grade. He is a Bachelor of Arts only by courtesy, and strictly speaking, no more entitled to hold a degree than before he entered college, however much law or medicine or business he may know. And the chances are that at about this time he begins to wonder if the facts which are really of lasting importance are not those he has forgotten. F. O. BARTLETT ocC.