The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, December 01, 1891, Page 2, Image 2

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    dard of their musical recitals, guarantee a good
The faculty have adopted as much of the report
of the committee on the new course of instruction as
has been submitted. The committee is still busy
completing the work assigned them.
Wc understand that some of the students are
slightly dissatisfied with the proposed change. They
seem to think that an elective system is not a good
policy to be pursued by students when the' begin
their college career. They claim that the college is
a sort of preparatory department, and that a person
should not specialize until he has a solid foundation
upon which to work.
We, also, lelieve that a solid foundation is an
essential thing, we believe that the student needs
preparation. We, also, believe that this system will
give the student just what preparation he needs to
cope with the trials and tribulations of life. Life is
too short to become acquainted with, and thoroughly
appreciate all the knowledge that the learned men
of the world have ever possessed. Most students enter
college with a future career mapped out. They, then,
should prepare for such. In this age of individualism
and of specialization, each person has a distinct mis
sion. If he choses science for his field of opera
tion, then, it is highly commendable that he should,
study science. So with any other branch.
It is believed that the courses which the faculty
may adopt will, after they have been given a fair
trial, meet with the appoval of all the students. The
course will not, as has been mentioned before, be all
elective. There will be a number of courses as there
.arc now, and probably more of them. In these,
nearly one half of the work isprescribed. 'The essen
tail studies for a certain course are incorporated in
that course. It is supposed that a student will select
that course in which he wishes to specialize. If he
does this, he will have ample preparation for that
"branch which he desires to persue. If he acts other
Tise, ut is the fault of the student, and not of the
It is, of course, a great thing to be able to have a
good knowledge of every branch of study; but it is
a great deal better to lcnow one branch, and Tcnow
that thoroughly, than to have a general idea of a lit
tle of everything and not much of anything. The
student, if so disposed, may get a more general know
ledge of various subjects, than under the old regime.
The student may have the privilege of choosing
Ibctween general knowledge and specific knowledge.
He "who has fully mastered one branch of study is
Ibetter enabled to meet the exigencies of life than he
who Ihas a faint Tecollection of the many Ibranchcsofi
study he tried to grasp when at college, but firmly
comprehended nothing.
The new system, then, will have two distinct
advantages over the old one. First, if the student
wishes to specialize in a particular line, he will have
a better privilege than heretofore. Secondly, if he
wishes to branch out and become an intellectual giant,
the new system will surely be much better. If then,
the new system will offer better advantages to stud
ents than the old one, whj' should objections ba
The student who has "been told repeatedly that higher
education unfits Hm for practical life, will derive much
encouragement lrom an article in a. recent number of the
New Molcmder and Yale Review, entitled "College-bred Men
in Political Life."
Realism in literature is -no longer confinrd to the contents
of a Loolc, hut lias extended itself even to the style of print
ing and binding. A striking instance of this is -what pur
ports to. be a reproduction of the log-book which Columbus
threw overboard on the 12th of February, 3493, in the midst
of a storm which he expected to be fatal to himself and his
comrades. It is a small quarto of about twenty five pagrs.
The type is an imitation of the hand point of the time, while
the leaves have been soaked in something which discolors
them and gives them the appearance of having heen in the
water for some time. In addition there .arc three batches of
moss and cockle shells on the front cover. In his literary
matter the author has failed to catch Columbus1 style, ithelng
too much like the style of Captain John Smith's works.
Nevertheless, the book is a literary curiosity and is well
worth examination.
A recent English writer upon the House of Commons,
remarks, "The instances are few and 1 believe will long con
tinue so, in which any but men of University training can
attain great permanent influence in the government of the
Jlritish empire." This statement has never heen trut.'to the
same extent, of the United States, as of England and is per
haps less true to-day than before the civil war.
Yet, considering the difference in the conditions of polit
ical life ia this country, the history of the hundred years dem
onstrates, on the whole, the preeminence, not indeed in num
bers, but in weight and influence, of those who huve had -s.
college or a university training. Professional life holds out
far greater attiacJioiib to the college graduate than politics.
The well-known uncertainties of political life forbid his
regarding it as a possible career in which he may embark
with confidence the best energies of his life.
Comparatively few men of liberal education are willing to
resort to wire pulling, the scrambling for offices and to the
various methods, corrupt and corrupting, which prevail so
generally in our politics, and by which alone political prefer
ment can, as a rule, be secured and obtained. Their college
training has made suuh methods so distasteful to them, that
many prefer to stand outside the political arena quietlywAtch
ing their opportunity as indqpendent citizens to deal 41 telling
blow for purity, right, nnd justice. It may be snid (that Shis is
not "practical politics." This is true, and it is a .serious
indictment of the prevailing political methods -anS practices,
'by which ithe state and the mationre deprived cf thetinval-