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Radcliffe Juniors showed a remarkable propensity for describing "The Radcliffe Experience" in terms of dorm floor plans, off-campus kitchens and extra-curricular facilities last Saturday afternoon before their fathers. Mrs. Bunting and a panel of four 'Cliffies led the discussion in Agassiz which included the questions and comments of many of the parents and daughters in the audience.
Most of the girls praised enthusiastically the great diversity of experiences at Radcliffe, and described their activities in dramatics and in music, on room-and-board jobs and in cooperatives.
But it remained for a father to point out that the Radcliffe experience he had heard about had more to do with loneliness than with "gregarious" activties. "I think there is great encouragement here for intellectual independence. Students are not expected to be blotters and absorb everything given to them. They are part of the process of discovery."
Mrs. Bunting agreed that professors at Harvard have more respect for students (and the undergraduate men for undergraduate women) than at any other school she has seen.
However, according to one father, the comments seemed to reveal that 'Cliffies "have not bothered to think a great deal about their experience here." At the tea following the discussion, several parents expressed their disappointment that many important questions had not even been mentioned.
Among these they listed the relationship between what a girl does now and when she leaves college, the ways, if any, in which Radcliffe has changed her values and assumptions, the relative importance to her of lectures, tutorials and independent study, and the academic pressures of Radcliffe life.
At tea, many fathers said they thought the meeting was informative and useful. Just as many thought it was part of a fund-raising campaign. They were unanimous in praising the "charm," "tremendous sense of humor" and "capableness" of Mrs. Bunting.
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