The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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Memorial Hall's clock, which has been keeping enthusiastic if not accurate time around the Yard for many years, usually manages to make itself heard through inconceivable kinds of weather. This sort of time keeping was fine with everybody until people decided to build Lamont and get scientific about soundproofing. So now, when Memorial Hall clangs the conclusion to each class, the chimes rarely penetrate beyond the front door of Lamont, but lose themselves in layers of paperbound insulation.
So far, the professors haven't been too much help. Their watches show a disparity of from three to five minutes. Even if they did want to help out the situation a little by dismissing a class by consulting their own time-pieces, they cannot fight temptation. Even the strongest minded lecturer succumbs before the sub-conscious impulse which grips him to avoid the impartial face of his watch and run on a little overtime. He will wade through a stirring peroration and seem relatively oblivious of everything, until suddenly he gropes around in his pocket and comes up with the observation that my, my, we went a little over today, didn't we? Then the track practice begins.
Perhaps the main path from Lamont to Sever could be made into a one-lane speedway to handle express classgoer traffic, and all local and westbound idlers could be shunted off to other routes, thereby reducing the accident toll. Or maintenance men could rip out the soundproofing in the library. If asked any questions, they could say that this was going to be done all along because the University has found that the suppression of noise violates the principles of academic freedom.
Max Shulman has observed that college students attending left wing organization meetings should come in after a brisk run, smelling of sweat, and consequently establishing some identity with the toiling classes.
This desire is not prevalent in the stolidity of summer school self-improvement, where the air conditioning system in Lamont clearly repudiates it. Surely a system of bells could be installed in Lamont, perhaps at no greater cost than the annual repair bill for the Memorial Hall clock. It would spare the wind of both professor and student.
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