"Bewildered Prayers"


An answer to the bewildered prayers of some thousand Harvard Freshmen has been granted by the Harvard CRIMSON in its first "Confidential Guide to Freshman Courses" in pamphlet form just mailed to each and every one of them. Here is no wordy exhalation from the pillared halls, but something in their own language about that formidable array of courses from which they must choose four or five by next Monday.

The Guide proves to be neither gallant nor chary with its criticism as it labels each of the regular Freshman courses with the familiar traffic slogan of "go," "caution," or "stop.' It is the opinion of students (most of them members of the CRIMSON staff) who actually took the course in question last year. They know.

English 28, the familiar survey-course stand-by, is handled more gently than any other, including high praise of Professor Munn, who "is full of enthusiasm and is not hampered too much by rules and regulations. Almost more than any other man on the faculty, he takes into account what the student thinks of the subject." A rival course, English 79, is labeled "caution," with] the additional remark that "Professor Rollins discusses poetry during the first half-year. Since he does not seem to enjoy the course, his lectures suffer correspondingly."

Plautus, Torence, and Livy are highly recommended as interesting studies in Latin B, while Greek B is the only other classical course in the good graces of the guide. History 1, that old bugaboo which drives many into electing Government 1, is surprisingly lauded, for "Dominating the course is Professor Merriman, who from the fall of Rome to the peace of Versailles sees that the leading facts, figures, and events are portrayed with coherence and continuity."

In a foreword to the Guide, Freshman Dean Leighton writes: "The merit of these statements is that they are not 'official' and that they are written by men who have taken, not given, the various courses. They give 'the dope.' It has been the practice of the CRIMSON to publish a similar comment on courses in the early numbers at the beginning of each college year since 1925; this is the initial year of any pamphlet.

Your average Freshman is a docile soul, and the opinions of the Guide will doubtless carry much weight; in many cases they show fine penetration and accuracy to those who are familiar with its subjects. However, as Dean Leighton concludes, "The judgments passed on the courses and instructors are the judgments, usually of one or two CRIMSON editors. One does not need much experience in the academic world to recognize that human likes and dislikes conform to no uniform pattern." --Boston Evening Transcript.