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As a social event no less than as a political revival meeting, the Tcach-In was a bust. It was more like a compulsory Orientation Week discussion of C.P. Snow, with the great crowd dutifully immobile and silent.
Some girls arrived at 7 sharp and took detailed notes on every speaker. A few people discreetly whispered "hello" to a friend as they entered. Some shuffied. One boy fell off his chair on the Sanders stage.
The heartiest applause came when speakers stepped down from the podium. Laughter, cheers, hisses, so lusty in the heyday of political activism at Harvard two years ago, were scarcely dared. People came to be educated, and in the proper Harvard manner were tastefully bored.
To keep their minds alert one girl wrote a Fine Arts 12 paper; one boy wrote to Chicago asking a friend to spend the summer in Guatemala; another boy listened to Louie Armstrong on WHRB; and a pretty blond girl whispered "This is very serious ... Vietnam ..." to her date and giggled.
A few of the Bolsheviks hissed when speakers were soft on America, but the predominant noise-making of the crowd was wholesome Menshevik applause. The biggest laugh of the evening greeted the remark that "Tanzania has invited Israel to set up their hotel system."
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