The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

The proposals to grade the sophomore tutorials in History should not be modified, they should be protested. Firstly, and least importantly, the work is already graded by the tutor for the department and by the administration of Part I of the Generals. Secondly, grading the tutorials would ruin the program.

The present sophomore tutorial system was one of the most interesting and useful parts of my introduction to the study of history precisely because the absence of a grade left me free to make what I wanted of it. I could choose without cynicism or fear among the reading assignments to concentrate my interest where I wanted. I had the freedom to make intelligent use of my own interest.

Grading the tutorial will undermine its purpose as well as the student's enjoyment. The whole structure of the tutorial system is aimed at developing the student's capacity for creative work. Sophomores are acutely conscious of their grades and they are good at figuring out how to get them out of their tutor's weaknesses. Grading the tutorial will just turn it into another exercise in psyching the section man and the experience it gives would be no different from any other course. Because the tutorial meets in a group, there would be less basis for rational grading if any creativity and independence did survive. Grading the 98 and 99 courses is different because upperclassmen have generally achieved perspective in the importance of grades and because they work individually with their tutors.

It would be a shame to turn the sophomore tutorial into another dismal Gen Ed A. Samuel Bird Plei '62-4