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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1892)
TTTE IT ES PER TAN.'
ion." Is the one lone landmaik of former clays the ticc on J
the first page of 'he Palo Alto? fs this tree, the almost
sacred landmark of the past, still rcmcmbeied for the piescnt
and will it continue to he rcmeinbeicd in the futuie by the
cditois of the Palo Alto? Or is this landmaiU of the past foi
gottcn, or is it merely oveishadowed by the gient land
mnik elected for the benefit ol uture ages?
ALUMNI AND FORMER STUDENTS,
Editor Alumni Department, Ilr.sri'.KlAN:
The discussion in your paper about the advisability of the
uuiveisity continuing a member of the N. C. O. A. I have
read with considerable interest. A leading editorial on this
subject in a late number 1 have i cad with amusement and won
der. The amusement was caused by the dense ignorance of facts
displayed; the wonder of, seeing such a snapshot aitiele in
Tin: IIksit.uian. I icfet to the editotial insisting that the
uuiveisity oratois wmle their state contest orations befnie
bieakfast, and committed thorn while eating, or at .some Mhor
Now, unless my memon fails me, Piofossor Wainer, your
fust repiesentative, worked .is long as nine months on his ora
tion.The reputation that he enjoys, and the position he holds,
aie a sufficient guarantee that his oration was not of the
befoie-breakfast sort. On the contraiy it was piobably a finer
ointion than any that has ever been produced in this state, by
a college student. If he did wiite it before bieakfast and
commit it while eating, I wish some of the lest of you would
go and do likewise. The undersigned had the misfoituiu
(soiiously) to be your second icpresentative in the memoiable
Crete contest. He woiked at least nine months on his speech.
Mi. Fogar'y your third representative worked,, to the writers
positive knowledge, tliiec months on his, and more for all the
writer knows to the contiary. Mr. Chappell your fouith and
last representative worked on his speech for ovei twelve
months. So much foi the befoie-breakfast business.
College oratory can never acquire the dignity of a business
like pursuit. Oiatory is not puisued calmy and quietly like
history, botany, or cnginceiing. Its main purpose seems to
be to affoid some one an opportunity for displaying himself
amid applause and blue lights and to waul off consumption by
furnishing vigorous lung c.xcerciso to the students in gencial.
This you will not believe. Hut they of us who have been
theic are united in this opinion. Why did not Mi. Kogaity
and the writer enter a second lime? It was admitted without
qualification that they could have cairied the day had they
tried again. Simply because the gloiy and loveliness of inter
collegiate oiatory hail passed away as far as they weie con
cerned. They had learned by cpeiienee how bupeificial and
insincere college oratory at bottom is.
This is lninly the way the public feels. The cuUuied
poitiou of the public thioughout the state classes intercollegi
ate oratoiy with tin-hoin lootings, statue paintings, foot ball
games and other "periodical outbicaks of general cussed ness."
We, out here in the state, don't care a continental whcthei
the univeisitj loses 01 wins. What we dodeploic into see
the uuiveisity with its imputation for earnest business like woik
having anything to do with the insiuceie, unbiKtiuess like
foolishness of intei collegiate oraloiical contests. Theie is
tonsuloiablc fun, the wiiter admits, in going olf somewheieon
a tiain, tooting yoiu horns, and yelling your university yell
and rattle-brained clnss, yells. Hut such a pieceeduie should
be ch.uacteiistie of foot ball games, and not of oiatoi).
Between the two theie is a gieat diffeience. Foot-ball comes
undei the domain of spoit. People look upon it as spoil. It
flffects only the spotting sid.e of uuiveisity life. Oiatory
comes under the domain of business just as do history, chem
istry or botany. It effects the educational reputation of the
uuiveisity, the faculty, the curriculum, the thoioughness of the
work done. That students and public 'class both together
must be piejudicial all mound. The wiiter fails to see how
it can be any thing else. The less you believe, or think you
believe that college oratory is piolitable, sincere, and business
like when in your hearts you know it is not, the sooner will
this intcr-eollegiatc-oratorical-contest foolishness die its pre
This business pi esonts another phase: Most ofyouheaid
the inter-state contest two yeais ago. In, addition the writer
heaid the inter-state contest of thiee yeais ago. One who
heais much of this cannot but be stiuek with the great similar
ity in all college orations. How they icck with convention
alities! Nine out of ten refer in some way to the American
eagle, and the stars and stripes, (whoop) the Mayflower, the
Kiench Revolution, Egypt, as Chinch would put it, cut a
pietty wide swaith. In college oratory as in something else,
I forget what, nil loads seem to lead to Rome. If there ever
was a college oratei who meant what he said in his oration,
the writer will gladly pay his railroad expenses for the pleas
ure of seeing him. The orator may have meant in an arti
ficial momentary way what he said. Put to mean it in a sin
ceie, Unions, permanent way, with your whole soul,' is a veiy
diffeient thing. It is only the lattei sort that counts, and to
have anything to do with the othci pvioleehnie variety in the
wi iter's opinion do not pay.
Why all of you instinctively admit this. Let a boy make
a speech on business in your debating club, your athletic 01
riusiT.uiAN meetings, 01 in fact anywheie, and make it with
the oiatoi ical contest style of articulaiion and gesture, and
ou would laugh him down in short older. You always do it.
Yet the same ridiculous mannerisms applied to "oratory" arc
looked upon as the pink of perfection. How there can be
any sense in cultivating a style of speaking, for the sole pur
pose of gaining a little cheap glory, when tle same style
applied to serious business affairs makes them ridiculous, Jhe
wiitei, in his obtuscness, fails to see.
The wiiter in conclusion, also fails to see how anyone of
a sound mind can advise the university to have anything more
to do with this oratorical-contest foolishness. It tends to make
the university ridiculous. It has by your own tacit cvery-day
admission no practical benefits. You yourselves do not look
upon it as a sci ions matter. The writer who has been there
can testify fiom experience that it docs not pay in any sense
whatever. He knows that three of the four university repre
sentatives would advise you to quit.
The writer suppose nay expects that a laige number of
inconsistencies will be shown up in this by some razor-edged
intellect. Very sincerely, t (li:o. W. Da.wt.rs.
A icccnt lcllei fiom "Ilaron" Stoughton now at Haivaid
divinity school may lie of interest. There seems to be a
slight vein of homesickness in some portions ol it. He does
not think theie is much enthusiasm at the divinity school nor
energy enough in the people of Cambridge to build sidewalks.
Hut one thing that all will be glad to hear is that our univer
sity beais a most excellent reputation among the post grad
uates of Ilaivard.
"I woiked all acatio.i on a topic' for the Ilebietv litcia
luic class. I jist finished it to-night, though I shall have to
add my bibliography yet. My subject is the first six chap
ters of Joshua. I have to sepaiate them into the various doc
uments, of the patching together of which the nanative is
made. It is veiy badly mixed, up a,n,il I, hay? not cleaned,
up any, of comse,"
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