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Loyal Members of English 5



(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

With some surprise and no little amusement we happened upon your ill-considered editorial in Thursday's CRIMSON, exposing the decadence and corruption running rife in Harvard's elective composition courses

As members of English 5 may we be permitted to remark briefly upon the following unfair charges:

1. That English composition is decadent at Harvard.

This sweeping generalization is pro-pounded with so little authority or argument that an answer is unnecessary. But it is notable, however, that these decadent courses continue to reject numbers of incompetents, some of whom are evidently disgruntled.

2. "Only a major feat of wire-pulling will secure admittance (to English 5) for an undergraduate."

The writer bewails the lack of consideration shown to undergraduates by English 5. Although this course is intended primarily for graduates, over half its members are, in fact, undergraduates. We shudder to think of the network of wires (a coast-to-coast hook-up at least.)

3. That no instruction in play-writing is to be had in spite of the fraudulent assertions of the Department of English.

Not only are English 5 students encouraged to submit plays whenever they so desire, but they were compelled to hand in a play as one of the chief assignments of last term, whether they liked it or not.

4. "Reorganization to effect a more complete and systematic program for the development of a specialized style is necessary."

A whole faculty striving toward the integration of a standardized Harvard style would indeed be a rare spectacle. Of course, the products of this reformed curriculum night exercise their powers on the staff of "Time," where many a specialized stylist has consummated a glorious career of letters.

5. "The student who desires advanced instruction" must resort to "chance and, perhaps, acquaintance with the instructor."

This is an expansion of the wire-pulling thesis. It is claimed that the members of the course are there through conspiracy or luck. Inasmuch as not more than two of our class had even a speaking acquaintance with the instructor at the first of the year, this left a great deal to chance. The manuscripts which we handed in for approval before being admitted were, of course, written under the influence of chance.

Though your editorial probably created no stir in any way whatsoever, it would still be a pity of such a slanderous attack should go on record unrebuked. S. Zemurray, Jr.   D.H. Brock.

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