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The recent action taken by the English department in remembering its courses on a chronological basis is worthy ofhigh praise. It is now possible to guage with some degree of accuracy the period and work covered in a course by referring to its number. Before, this would have been impossible without at least a year's experience as a concentrator or member of the English department.
While this change is worthy of praise, it is far more worthy of the flattery of imitation. the next logical, practical setting for a similar readjustment would be the History department. Under the present numbering one finds History 3 covering the Roman Empire while History 54 deals with the Beginnings of Christianity. There is no sequence, no order, no meaning to the numbering, and the situation is much the same as that in the English department before it rearranged its courses.
The only objection to a reshuffling is tradition:- History 7 has always been American History; why should it be changed now? Granted that tradition is strong, the fact remains that this obstacle was successfully hurdled by the English department without serious consequences.
History is fundamentally a chronological subject. As such it should be treated chronologically. With the example of its sister department before its eyes, the History department should set about rearranging its courses into a logical and natural sequence. This change would do a great deal toward clearing up the confusion which now exists in the minds of a large proportion of the student body.
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