The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 16, 1967, Page Page 2, Image 2

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Page 2
Gradepoint God
(Editor's Not: Mr. SpaniTs article
first appeared la the North Carolina
State "Technician.")
By Bob Spann
North Carolina State
"To Him I will bow and pray."
This sign hangs above the desk of a
prospective engineer trying to learn his
craft at North Carolina State. It is hung
with as much reverence as a sacred pic
ture might be displayed on a church wall.
Each morning and afternoon the stu
dent looks at it and gives it a reverent
nod, for the magic number, the grade,
is trully his god. He must constantly try
to achieve Its image. He must constant
ly conform to the standards the grade
point god sets for him. He must constant
ly try to piease the demi-gods of books,
quizzes, assorted facts, test tubes and oth
er heavenly apparatus that will give
him the grace to achieve the image of
this great god.
Why does a supposedly intelligent
young man do such a thing? Certainly
an 18 to 22 year old could not have set
up such a religious system by himself.
It is set up by a much more clever ap
paratus, namely the great American so
ciety, the clergyman of the god's reli
gion. The student worships society's god
because since childhood he has been told
that a college degree is the key that will
open that golden door called the great
America Way. And the God of 2.0 deter
mines whether or not he will be privi
leged to receive this golden key.
And what does the student get with
this golden key? It opens the door to
many wonders his parents may or may
not have and he almost definitely does
not have. It will give him a nice house
in a nice suburb or subdivision that looks
like all the other nice people's nice
houses. It gives him a plain desk or
Sight n...
'To Sir, With Love" Is almost to
bad to be true.
A stout-hearted teacher leads a class
of London slum kids to lower-middle class
respectability by the strength of his char
acter, the nobility of his intention and the
warmth of his heart. His solution to the
Culture of Poverty that haunts America
as well as our English cousins? Con
vince the kids to call adults, "Sir," the
girls, ""miss" and to wash.
Sidney Poitier as Super Spade, stem
ming the tide of anarchy by force of per
sonal example, just as Glenn Ford as
Wonder Wasp did years ago when Sid
ney learned that lesson from him in
"Blackboard Jungle." True. Bill Haley is
long gone, but an insipid English teeny
bopper named Lulu replaces him.
"To Sir, With Love," is a dreadful
picture. Dreadful in its plastic sincerity,
dreadful in its total sentimentality, dread
ful in its soft-minded view of the world,
dreadful in its deep contempt for its
audience. Dreadful, too, in its thorough
waste of Sidney Poitier, whose career is
becoming a sadly long record of waste.
And this is no small amount of waste,
for Poitier is one of the strongest screen
actors of our time, an actor who cannot
appear on screen without becoming the
focus of attention.
His voice is powerful his movements
are incredibly graceful for a man so big.
his sense of timing is sure and firm and
in dramatic situations his entire body
seems to become the instrument for what
ever emotion he wishes to convey. I
know of no other actor who can match
him for sheer energy and power, particu
larly in the expression of joy, the sen
sual joy of simply being alive.
Then why is he wasted? Why Isnt
this paragon given the roles Ms talents
deserve? Because no one is writing those
roles. Because no one would produce
those roles. Because no one would go to
see them.
Sidney Poitier is wasted because of
one fact lie is black.
He is black and be is wasted. And the
tragedy of his waste is a trival espisode
in the larger waste of millions of lives in
our racist culture.
Sidney Poitier is a sop thrown to lib
erals to convince them that things are
New Dorm Asked
The Inter-Dormitory Asso
ciation Council approved a
resolution last week inviting
Smith Hall, Schramm Hall
. and Harper Hall to join IDA.
The council heard a report
from Tom Briggs, chairman
of the standing administra
tive co-ordinating committee.
Iiriggs sfiid the committee
plnns to take a poll concern
ing salaries for executives in
dorm government.
The poll will be a random
gambling of 200 dormitory
rrsijcnts, he said.
Iaca dorm will hava a spe
cified number of participants,
he explained, and tbe tarns
questions will be presented ta
each participant
Briggs reported that the
committee is also planning to
do research on the parking
ASUN is i'lfio doing a study
on parking, he said, and will
try to co-ordinate its efforts.
The committee also plans
to study the limitations of
dormitory recreaSfton faoili
ties, Briggs said.
President Brian Eidenour
drafting table in a plain room that looks
just like all his plain co-workers' desks.
It gives him the opportunity to k e p up
with the Joneses and buy everything they
buy. It gives him the opportunity to mar
ry the girl back home and have 2.7 chil
dren and a car he probably can't af
ford. &
Grades, not learning are too often the
god of a technical school. The query
"How did you do last semester?" is al
most never met with a reply such as "I
learned a lot," or "I had some real good
courses," but rather with a grade
point average.
Students become addicted to pleasing
the god of 2.0 or whatever magic number
may be their particular god. Students are
not really concerned vith the knowledge
gained while taking a particular course,
but concentrate on memorizing enough
for formulas that can be churned out on
a quiz to achieve the good grMe.
Unfortunately, instructors are not im
mune from worshipping the gradepoint
god either. A student usually learns what
will determine his grade before his is told
what he will learn in a particular course.
However, this worship of grades is
not really surprising. Grades determine
whether or not a student graduates, they
determine wheather or not he "will be
target practice for the Viet Cong, they
determine whether or not he can partici
pate in many student activities, they
determine whether or not a student can
take certain courses and they make many
other decisions for the average student
The result of such a system is in
evitable. Learning fades into the back
ground. Students will do anything to
achieve the magic grade. The amount of
cheating exposed during recent Air Force
Academy scandals should not be viewed
with alarm or considered uncommon. The
only unusual thing about them was the
fact that someone was honest enough to
blow the whistle.
Caler Ghamhhe
getting better all the time. And liberals
are racists who disapprove of racism
largely because of the base manners of
the cruder more honest racists. Or, if that
is unfair, liberals are men who disap
prove of racism in the abstract, but re
fuse to recognize how deeply it is em
bedded in American society because that
recognition would entail far more dras
tic measures to end it than they're will
ing to take. They will not fish, yet they
will not cut bait, for far too often they
profit from the sale of blood-worms.
Let us observe only a few instances
of the use of Poitier as a soporific for
the liberal imagination. In "To Sir, With
Love," he makes good citizens out of
ghetto kids (sure they're Cockney, but
read black) by teaching them manners
and respect for authority, even when the
authority is admittedly unjust. And that
is the answer to Watts, to Newark, to
In "A Patch of Blue" Poitier and a
white girl fall in love, but it's accept
able because she is blind and can't tell
he's black. Her blindness makes it all
right. To whom, one might ask? Not to
flat-out bigots, certainly. The blindness,
then, makes It all right to liberals.
In ""Lillies or the Field," Poitier
charms a passel of white women, but
they're all nuns, so no messing around,
right? Besides he teaches them spirituals.
In '-Blackboard Jungle," Poitier is an
angry young cat, but teacher's paterna
lism brings him around.
And who can forget Poitier in ''De
fiant Ones," getting off that train to free
dom to go back to jail with his food
buddy Tony Curtis there he is an es
caped convict in a Deep South state go
ing back to the chain gang for brother
hood.. I saw that movie In a theater ic a
black neighborhood and I cant forget the
voice bellowing from the darkness, "Get
back on that train you stupid son of a
bitch!" Nor can I forge the burst of
laughter from the audience, who never
would have thought of getting off that
train. Somehow, they missed the point
But then the point wasnt meant for
them. The point was meant for white
America. White liberal America. And
white liberal America has been missing
the point of that audience's laughter for
several hundred years.
Into IDA Council
alsB urged tha individual
alarms ta establish permanent
representatives on the IDA
JUdenour reported that a
Lincoln citizen has donated
a large slot car racing track
to the University.
The administration felt that
the dormitories could make
best use of this track, he said,
for recreational purposes.
Mark Cave was appointed
chairman of a committee to
investigate which dorm could
best accomodate the track,
YJHi, U3E NV ytoucb HAVE-
Our Man Hoppe-
The Day The
Scene: The Elysian Fields. The Land
lord, looking a bit tired is seated on his
Heavenly Throne. His business agent
Mr. Gabriel, is standing by, record book
in one hand, trumpet in the other,
i- Hr i-
The Landlord (wearily): There. Now that
I have all the galaxies wheeling in their
proper courses, is there anything else
demanding immediate attention?
Mr. Gabriel: Well, Sir, I've been mean
ing to tell You about Earth. That's a
tiny planet revolving around a third
ing to tell You about Earth. That's a
tiny planet revolving around a third
rate sun out on the fringes of . . .
The Landlord (testily): How can I for
get it? It's more trouble than all the
rest. 1 suppose the tenants are still run
ning down the property?
Mr. Gabriel (consulting his record book):
Yes, Sir. More gouges bulldozed in t h e
mountain meadows. More holes napalmed
in the forested carpets. More species of
livestock exterminated on the fruited
plains. More . . .
The Landlord (angrily): By Me, who do
they think they are? Vengeance is mine,
saith 1. And I think it's high time I
wreaked a little around here.
Mr. Gabriel (raising his trumpet): Yes,
Sir. But I think you ought to know, be
fore I blow the eviction notice, that
The Landlord: No need for such a dras
tic measure, Gabriel. 1 shall easily teach
them the error of their ways by some
singe awful visitation of my wrath. I
know! (He shudders) I shall pollute the
waters from which they drink and bathe.
Mr. Gabriel (shaking his bead): Oh,
they've already done that themselves. Sir.
The Landlord (surprised): They have?
How odd. Well, then, I shall have to be
A Crisis In Education?
Collegiate Press Service
Is there a world crisis
in education, and if so what
can be done about it?
On hundred seventy edu
cators from more than 50
nations met in Williams
burg, Va. last weekend at
a conference sponsored hy
XLS. government and pri
vate foundations to seek an
swers to these questions.
There was little agreement
on either question, though
the report, of the conference
co-chairman, President
James Perkins of Cornell
University, made substan
tial recommendations which
will be presented to Presi
dent Johnson later this year.
Views of the crisis dif
fered dramatically.
Perkins saw it as the fact
that ""educational systems
have been unable to keep
pace in the last decade with
their rapidly changing en
vironment" Another delegate, Adam
Curie of Harvard Univer
sity, described it succinct
ly as ""too many students,
too few teachers and not
enough money."
Others said there was no
world educational crisis,
just a world crisis, period.
And that; they said, is a
political, not educational
Still other noted a wide
diversity of problems
among nations, suggested
that there was no single
crisis, but rather crises and
asked that each country be
permitted to find its own
solutions and that the con
ference not make universal
Through working groups
on topics such as manage
ment, technology, resources
and taachfT suppiVi dele
i u i
Landlord Quit
Arthur Hoppe
foul the very air they breathe. A small
foretaste of the fumes of bell should set
them straight
Mr. Gabriel: I'm afraid, Sir, that they're
very busy doing just that themselves.
Tbe Landlord (frewning): Then I shall
invent new diseases with which to plague
them. I seem to recall that worked well
in the past.
Mr. Gabriel: Frankly, Sir, there's noth
ing they've become more adept at than
inventing new diseases. Hardly a day
goes by that . .
The Landlord (thoughtfully): it seems
most unfair, but I suppose I could visit
the sins of tbe fathers upon the children.
Mr. Gabriel: A well-established practice
down there, Sir. They call it "race rela
tions." Tbe Landlsard: Hmmm. Do you think
wars and rumors of wars would do any
Mr. Gabriel: I don't think they'd notice.
The Landloard (sternly): They go too far.
Blow, Gabriel! I shall rain fire and de
struction from the sky upon their cities
and teach them that vengeance is mine.
Mr. Gabriel besitantly): Yes. Sir. But I
think I should point out that they're per
fectly capable of doing that themselves.
Indeed, if You rain death and destruction
on one of their cities, they will immedi
ately rain it on the others, seeking ven
geance on each other.
The Landlord: Good Me, Gabriel! Do
you realize what you're saying?
Gabriel (reluctantly): Yes, Sir. That's
what I've been meaning to tell You:
There's nothing we can do to them that
they havent already done to themselves.
The Landlord (with a sigh of defeat):
Well, Gabriel, at least we now know Who
they think they are.
gates sought to mak? the
recommendations on a
strategy and specific mea
sures for meeting the cris
is or crisesby Tuitions
and international action.
A strong emphasis was
placed on the educational
problems of developing na
tions and their need to tail
or education more effective
ly to sodstyi aims and
Chairman Perkins, la Mi
report oa the conference,
advocated an increase in
the flow of aid from de
veloped to developing coun
tries. Technology as a means
of relieving teacher short
age received a great deal
ofattenticn. Delegates
agreed that "programmed
instruction, team teaching,
film, radio and tslevisioa
win be increasingly the tools
of the trade."
Monday, October 16, 1967
Grand Sprix
1 i
by George Kaufman
Two Beards and A Blonde are now a beard, a
mustache and a blonde, but their magic has grown.
. Peter, Paul and Mary visited Lincoln, Neb. Friday
night with a new look and something of a new sound
which is more than an extension of their old sound.
But nothing can ever change the one-of-a-kind harmony
which blends from three voices and echos back from
six thousand.
Paul was as ever. The beard, the well-tailored (and
now almost mod navy suit, the poet's eyes that can
help his voice reach an audience.
Peter came on minus his famous chin-whiskers but
with a full mustache and a pair of cowboy boots which
made him look all the world like a sort of smaU Jew
ish Mark Twain.
And Mary. Mary was Woman. Mary, for the first
time, was Sex. Mary in a miniskirt, moving as ever
with the drive or soft weave of the song, Mary with
the throaty voice which now seduces.
And Peter, Paul and Mary showing Lincoln, Neb.
that seven years of one-nighters in Lincoln, Neb. cannot
blunt their magic.
In fact, they have grown, matured; there is no mis
taking the voices within their voices now.
They no longer whisper, they shout And their
poetry is harsh now for a harsh world. They still trans
late Bob Dylan but they are writing their own songs now
too. and Paul's haunting "Love City" says as much about
love and life and how sometimes one must deny the
other as any ballad ever written.
And though, as the most prolific writer of the
group, Paul denies a conscious attempt to do so, I be
lieve "Love City" and some of his other new songs
were only written because a pair of geniuses nameed
John Lennon and Paul McCartney have, as Paul himself
says, "changed music . . . changed the world."
PP&M came alive Friday night as Lincoln or Ne
braska had never seen them.
Their songs are no longer subtle. Tm in love with
A Big Blue Frog" left no doubt about tbe racial mes
sage barely hidden there ("And I'm certain that it's
plain to you. The value of your property will go straight
down. If the family next door is blue."!
And they captured Pershing with probably the most
powerful and important song they have ever done: a bit
ing song called 'The Great Mandella", written by Peter
and Mary. It says more about Vietnam and Any War
then all the speeches and protests combined. It has al
most as great an impact on their newest album, listen
to it
The trio, especially tbe men, makes no secret of their
admiration of tbe "stone geniuses", as Paul calls the
Two years ago, Peter said of the Beatles, in sort of
frustrated tone. "I guess their magic is just bigger than
ours." I think be realizes bow tbe truth is that the two
cannot be measured and were never meant to compete,
but to entwine and to change What Is.
In one of Paul's other new songs (not yet released)
Paul sings of a young man, "Yes. be was had by ber,
and a good time was had by all, which echoes too
much of John Lennon's "I once had a girL or should
I say, she once had me." in Norwegian Wood.
But Peter, Paul and Mary do not sing Beaife songs.
Why, I asked Paul afterwards.
"Because tbe Beatles do a song and it is their song.
They have done it too well for improvement all we
could do would be to imitate. There is only one of their
songs I would like to do better than they did, and that's
"IH Follow tbe Sun", which is really a folk song."
Peter, Paul and Mary received a standing loving ova
tion from six thousand world-weary people who im
mersed themselves in the magicians' therapy for two
hours Friday night.
And there was something sad when the lights came
on and you realized that tbe people silling around you
were no longer that chorus you had been loving and
singing with a moment ago; they were that guy in En
glish class you didn't like and the Mortar Board that
was so stuck up and
When win Peter, Paul and Mary stop being? I hesi
tantly asked Pa uL
"When we get too tired to go to Kansas City
tomorrow night." he replied. "When we don't care. Right
now, I think we are still growing up. 1 hope we will
continue to grow."
So do L Peter, Paul and Mary. For you are beauti
ful people.
Campus Opinion
Dear Editor:
Do your typesetters drink? .
with your proofreaders, maybe?
Dear Editor:
Should We?
ASUN is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes
me lie down in dead pastures,
He leads me to the polling place where I may vote;
he removeth my soul.
He guides me along the wrong path for his name's
Although I vote on the issue of Vietnam, I chatt
fear no evil for it meaneth nothing
Its ineffectiveness and nselessness; they comfort rat
ASUN preparest a table for me before the eyes of
my enemies;
It anointest my head with oil; my eyes become
Stupidity and ignorance win follow me all the days
of my life,
And I shaU live in this world without knowledge
S. Lee Soreasea
The Nebraska! moves the right to ceadense let
ters unsigned letters will aot be Hinted.)
Dally Nebra&kan
Vol o. J
47MSM. 4714m, CS4M.
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