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The lingo of the steersman seasoned, perhaps, with a spicy bit of Billinsgate will comprise part of the academic career of Harvard coxswains during the next few weeks. Not that the coxes will commit to memory the right thing to say at the right time in the right place to the right people. They will rather be aided in acquiring such a fluent vocabulary that other crews will stop in amazement.
Freshmen, of course, will learn a more simplified version and will discover the manly art of saying just enough. Upperclassmen will be encouraged to give free rein to the oarsmen and to check them up when frenzy conquers rythm. Although the complete course is not known, it is rumored that a complete day will be devoted to the perfection of making a graceful are when tossed into the water by a winning crew.
A special lesson will give the fundamentals of steering, including how to bring a shell to a float without shelling the float, how to take four crews abreast around the sinuous curves of the Charles River, and how to achieve the crowning glory of taking a shell through the right hand arch of the Larz Anderson Bridge, on the way upstream, without running it on shore.
Less advanced instructions will be doled out to the Freshmen showing the efficacy of dodging the singles that bask beneath the arches. How to break a rudder rope and not get it tangled with the bow, how to get into a shell after a crew has pushed off, without adopting the woeful methods of Buster Keaton, and how to steer a course nor'nor' east by nor' through the murky haze of the basin will be considered in every detail. The hardest feat to master, that of coxing two miles in a tight race and keeping the remnants of vocal cords in their natural position, will be the final triumph of the school.
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