Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Nebraskan. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1892-1899 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 20, 1894)
lion would feci itself lost if " headquarters " were else
where thnn in University hull. All these constantly
bring the people of the state into closer and closer con
tact with the University; and bring the children of the
state who are at the University into keener apprecia
tion of what the best and most honest and sincere men
and women of the state are trying to accomplish in
their respective spheres. This recognition of mutual
interests, this standing assertion of the dignity of
labor, these repeated opportunities for actual contact
with what is being accomplished in an industrial way
throughout this state, must in the long run tell in a
most helpful and inspiring manner upon the thought
and lives of the youth of Nebraska. No other Univer
sity has been so wise and active in these directions, and
none has such a strong hold upon the confidence and
esteem of what are sometimes called the common
And so this crown of the great system of public and
free education is rapidly reaching the point where it
will completely answer Ezra Cornell's definition of a
University-" A place were anybody can learn anything,"
It stands today unchallenged as the center of the best
thought, the most active intellectuality, and the most
beneficent planning, in Nebraska.
A BLIGHTED CHRISTMAS.
BY OLIVIA POUND.
This was the day of all days of the year when per
fect rest and happiness should have been hers. She
had looked forward to this Christmas during all of the
slowly-passing hours of the fall term, while she was
sitting in her recitation rooms waiting for the bell to
ring. Even this morning she had greeted the rising
sun without anticipation of the anguish that awaited her.
Was this not vacation? Was she not at home among
her friends? Yet already a cloud had arisen, as yet
"no bigger than a man's hand," as she had said in all
three of her last year's Junior themes, which threat
ened to ruin the whole day for her and leave her when
evening came with brain exhausted and a torturing
doubt still gnawing her.
The trouble had its source in an unlucky allusion to
the woman question. Naturally, this was insepara
bly associated in her mind with certain scientific
data concerning the relative brain-weights of the
sexes data still fresh to her because she had but re
cently cribbed them, and much of the articles contain
ing them, for her required paper. I lad the train of
association stopped here, all would have been well.
She might even now be gay and care-free, enjoying her
Christmas as she had in her anticipations. Hut just
here, suddenly, insidiously, came into her mind a ques
tion reminiscent of exams, of hated text-books laid
aside for vacation, reminiscent of mental slavery and
nights of anguish, but yet tenacious and persistent.
"You seem absorbed," said one of the family, notic
ing her careworn expression and knotted brow, "what's
"I hate to tell you," she said; "it is something ridic
ulous, and something I ought to know, but it keeps
bothering me. Resides, you couldn't any of you help
"Never mind, tell us," they said eagerly.
"Well," she said, "it's this. Don't laugh, please, be
cause it's worrying me dreadfully. Suppose suppose
you draw a diagonal from the corpus dentatum of the
cerebellum to the superior frontal convolution of the
left hemisphere '
"Yes," breathed the family.
"Then suppose yo.i let fall a perpendicular on this
diagonal from the posterior lobe of the hypophysis "
"Yes," queried the family anxiously, "What then?"
"The question is," she groaned, "and this is what
troubles me, would this perpendicular fall to the north
or to the south of the fissure of Rolando?"
The family were all sympathy, but as she had said,
they could not help her" They told her to forget such
things and talk of something else. She tried to fol
low their advice and felt a premature relief, as she did
so for a while successfully. Then during a lull in the
conversation she found herself repeating over and over
again to herself,
"The fissure of Rolando lies between the frontal and
parietal lobes, hence its direction from the hvpophysis
should be should be southeast unless unfess "
She broke off angrily and darteil rudely into the re
sumed conversation. Her parents looked at her with
grieved surprise till she explained. Once more they
were all sympathy, and she tried to divert herself by
turning her thoughts resolutely towards other things,
such as those drawings, their fond author, the pro les
sor, called them drawings, that sometimes take form
and immortality on the blackboard behind his desk;
such as the relative merits of idealism, "inevitable to
the rationalist" versus materialism; such as the mys
teries of life viewed from the point of view of a defi
nite combination of heterogeneous changes, in corre
spondence with external coexistences and sequences.
Her efforts were at best but transitory. Do what
she would, all roads seemed to lead back to the geo
graphical site of the fissure of Rolando and its posi
tion relative to a perpendicular. Her day's happiness
was slowly, surely, absurdly creeping from her. "Ro
lando had hypnotized me," she said to herself, and she
tried in vain to throw off his spell. She rose and
rushed out into the open air to search frantically over
that town for books or people that might help her to
an answer. O that she had brought along her Ladd oi
lier James! Then she could pass the rest of this
Christmas day in joy unutterable.
The afternoon found her at the matinee, whither she
had allowed her friends to drag her, her brain dulled
and wearied, her eyes red with vexation. All were
anxious to divert her, as anxious as she to be diverted;
all understood the travail of spirit which that haunting
demon was to her, and wished to relieve her, though
they could not. When the play started, she set her
self to watch the actors and to untangle the plot, with
an intensity of effort almost as exhausting as the prob
lem with which she had been wrestling since that morn
ing. She willed to be wrapped in them and in their
A few scenes passed. She watched the hero with
absorbed interest, an interest that became deeper and
deeper till she awoke with a start to find that she had
located in imagination every lobe and convolution in
his cerebrum, from the medulla to the corpus callosum,
and was even now fancying the effect on a section of
his brain, were a perpendicuiar let fall from the pituit
ary body on a cerebellar and frontal lobe diagonal.
She looked around the theatre in despair. "This was
ludicrous, ridiculous, terrible. If this question were to
haunt her like a nightmare, an incubus, could she no
where get it answered? She caught a gleam of hope
as she discerned a familiar face at the end of a distant
row, the face of a last year's graduate, back, too, for the
Powered by Open ONI