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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

ARMING THE PHILOSOPHER

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

In these times the future is more difficult than ever to scrutinize. But perhaps if the Crimson be allowed to discard the businessman's suit of the commentator and to don the mystic robe of the seer, it can anticipate at least one important issue that must eventually be considered: that of the Teachers' Union as a branch of the American Federation of Labor.

Teachers' Unions do already exist; there is at the present moment a local operating at Yale. But before a union can be formed of the teachers of Cambridge, or of Harvard by itself, certain crucial questions will have to be considered and thoroughly deliberated. In the first place, does the nature of teaching, being in its higher forms essentially the giving of personal conclusions, allow of any regimentation? Dramatists' have been known to balk at the name of playwright on the grounds that it levels them with the cartwright and the wheelwright. Hence it is doubtful that teachers, every bit as sensitive, will allow themselves to be organized on the plebeian lines of labor.

It might be argued that teachers already have a natural and sufficient organization in the University. But the University's interests are primarily academic, and it leaves its members and charges painfully vulnerable. Conclusive proof of this lies strewn over the recent newspapers and echoes through the lecture halls: the Teachers' Oath Bill. The teaching profession in Massachusetts was badly hipped because it was utterly incapable of looking after its own interests. Certainly regulation by papers is preferable to that imposed by timid little boys wearing paper caps of red, white, and blue bunting. It is too early to pass judgment on the merits of the Teachers' Union. But it is high time to consider it as a means of providing the defense becoming increasingly necessary.

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