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One of the little idiosyncrasies of the Lowell ministry was a unique method of encouraging professors, associate professors, and the like to invite undergraduates to their homes for dinner. By presenting at the Bursar's office each week an itemized account of the number of youths he had "out to the house" for meals, a professor would be entitled to a reimbursement from the University to the amount of 50 cents a student. In other words, for every hungry Harvard youth that devoured a Brattle Street fowl, the University would assume damages to the extent of four bits.
The possibilities for the smart faculty member with a little business sense were innumerable. Although no professors are to be found who will confess to taking advantage of this bounty, it is assumed that their wives were quick to see the opportunities which lay in such a transaction. With a little judicious diluting of the consomme, a stretching of the buttered parsnips, and a stringing out of the beans a supper for two could be made into an attractive if limited supper for four. Net profit, $1.00. Again, if still larger game were sought, a simple, yet filling picnic of peanut butter and hot chocolate could quickly be provided by the dexterous house wife for a hilarious group of eight Sophomores, all for the price of a "Georgian Special." Net profit, $4.00. A little systematic study and execution of the plan, say a student a day, would have brought in the hard-driving instructor a tidy revenue of almost $2.50 a week, depending on how long the wife could make the cold roast beef last.
Needless to say, President Conant has abolished all such trimmings. As "Time" would say: "For him no food-money."
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Once upon a time there was the now defunct Kex Club of Mt. Auburn Street. "Kex", they say, is Greek for "Poison Hemlock." Some learned member of the club, knowing that Kex meant Hemlock had a pine cone engraved upon the insignia; but, alas, pines and hemlocks are two different things, a fact well known to all New Englanders, but not to the Kex Club. This sad error, however, was soon to be transcended. The Kex of the ancient Greeks was not a member of the gymnospermous order Coniferales; it is, rather, a member of the dicotyledonous family, Umbelliferae--a close relative of that charming weed, the Queen Anne's Lace. Ludlorous as this error seems to the botanist, it must be remembered that the Kex Club probably included no botanists in its membership, a fact less surprising than their presence would have been.
* * *
A certain young tutor, it is reported, was touring England with some confreres. With these colleagues he lunched at Dr. Johnson's tavern. There they partook liberally of stout, and after their imbitions, they proceeded to that ancient church, St. Clement's Dane. Before the high altar they prayed for Abbott Lawrence Lowell and for Harvard. The prayers of the unrighteous avail not. . . .
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