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NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The Christmas recess this year is to include one week and four days of class-time; twelve days in all. This is about the usual length. One is just beginning to fill one's soul with plum pudding and Father Noel when it is time to return to the dismal white wastes broken only by the peak of Memorial Hall. After the briefest snatch of relief, festivities are suddenly exchanged for facts, conviviality for colloquy. And because the recess is so short, the Yuletide days of a Harvard man are the acme of strenuous relaxation and busy indolence. The student comes back from his vacation completely worn out. It is at least possible that a longer recess would not be so exhaustingly packed.

Traveling time is a slight concession, but the conscientious student cannot take it without pangs of remorse, because classes are being missed. Besides, its allowance is made only at the beginning of the period, and those living far away must leave their happy firesides on New Year's Day. Of course Dean's Listers arrange their own calendars. But even their stolen bliss is soured a little when they compare their indolence to the industry of companions, and think of the accumulating pile of work.

Few students these days pursue courses of study with the sole purpose of evading them. Thus escape might appear unnecessary from a routine that is pleasant in itself. But even the best of studies eventually cloys the palate. And in general a fortnight's diversion only whets the intellectual appetites. Harvard is the only shepherd to drive home his flock in the middle of New Year's week. Two full weeks at Christmas-time, including as they would the additional week-end, would be a most welcome extension and at the same time a most conservative allowance.

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