When the assorted deans and registrars settled down to the long task of counting up the concentration figures this week they looked forward to a close race for first place among the Big Three, Ec, Gov, and History, undisputed preference of undergraduates for the past decade. It was a surprised little group yesterday when they counted up the totals and found that that faded favorite of fifteen years ago, that dark horse among the fields, English, had led the pack for the first time since 1928.
The whys and wherefores of this surprising upturn, which involved a fifty per cent jump over last year's figure, nobody knows. Back in the tinselled 'twenties, when Economics, Communism, and Astrology were relegated to the same class as occult sciences, English was a perennial favorite. Who wanted to learn about money? Everyone had plenty. And there were Bliss Perry and Copey and Kirsopp Lake and Kitty and John L. Lowes bubbling over with words of wisdom. They played to standing room only.
Came rumors of an impending crash; then it hit. Undergraduates began to wonder what all this finance business was, anyhow, and the rush to economics began. Last year, with nations preparing to jump at each other's throats, Government passed Ec to take the lead.
Now the tide has turned. Perhaps this Younger Crowd has noticed that a generation of economic theorists has not exactly solved the ills of the world and decided to adopt a mass what-the-hell-let's-read-a-novel-and-forget-it attitude. But that's a pessimistic view. Let's think of it as a wave of culture sweeping into the Yard and driving the arid Social Sciences before it. It may well be that a new and inspired race of authors, playwrights, and poets has entered the College and that twenty-nine years from now 117 J. P. Marquands of the Class of '44 will inform us what a desolate and uninspiring spot Harvard really is.