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frighten his freshman classes by unmerciful assignments at the beginning of the term, I would have suffered less. But that knowledge did not come until much later, when a number of the boys had dropped out, never to take Greek again, and when our assignments began to steadily dwindle until we were doing no more than an ordinary amount there was no excuse whatever for that first spurt. It was done in a bullying spirit, and harmed every member of the class, giving to some a permanent distaste for the classics. To me it brought a loss of physical stamina, two weeks of bitter discouragement, and a deep sense of injustice.
I had the same teacher in my junior year, and at that time he was careful and considerate, ample in explanations, and courteous in manner. It was only to freshmen that he was a boor and a bully.
We were a heterogeneous lot, we freshmen, no doubt very annoying, and yet I apprehend that the freshman is quite essential to the life of the college. Also, whatever may be the admission requirements (and that is something that needs to be talked about), he will always be, not the typical freshman of the popular imagination, given to neckties and socks, and desperately indulging in a glass or two of beer at a very late hour of the night, but the young boy, suddenly transported into an unfamiliar (and none too healthy) intellectual atmosphere, to which he is almost pathetically eager to adapt himself. The freshman will always be a problem, until it is recognized that he should be given the very best teaching that the University can supply. It is relatively unimportant what type of men lead the class-room work of the Junior or Senior years. These fellows have either learned how to get by without study, or have acquired habits of study that call for less from the teacher than these freshmen groups of thirty or
forty mental children. The waste of material in neglecting the freshman is one of the worst features of American college life.
But am I generalising from one unlucky draw of a poor Greek teacher? Not at all. My other teachers, in that freshman year were quite as bad, or worse, each in his own way. This is not my revenge-heavens no! As a matter of fact, I believe, that all but one are dead. It was all that long ago.
Our college was very religious. The theological student was favored in every possible way. He was helped financially by such teaching appointments as were available. I had one of these glorious intellectual leaders of our unhappy race as my instructor in mathematics. But him I tricked thoroughly and well. The worm turned, and very successfully. The "unit" went under the foolish designation of "University algebra." The study carried us somewhat beyond the entrance requirements in that branch of the science. There was nothing very occult, however, about our work. But what the text lacked in difficulty and complication was quite made up by the vanity of the instructor. He was a kind-hearted dub-an easy-mark, in fact. theologs almost always were.
he felt his oats as a teacher of "University" algebra, with the emphasis all on the "University." The subject was not difficult for me. We moved with unconscionable slowness. He must have drawn from many a heart the groan of the great Biblical sufferer, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel with words without reason." After some three weeks of this self-glorification of the young theological student, a really brilliant idea, in the way of collegiate cunning, came into my youthful brain. The head of the mathematical department in our college was a fine and scholarly old gentleman, and a clear and subtle mathematician. Oh, that we freshman might have been
under his care! He was not a very orderly man, in a business way, and kept but indifferent records, acting as a rule on the spur of the moment in all matters of his department. I conceived the idea of applying to him for permission to take a private examination forthwith and "pass off" the "unit"-pardon the academic slang. A payment of $5.00 gave us the privilege of a private examination. Far be it from me to insinuate that the faculty were not averse to this little side graft. I only know that they did not severely discourage the habit. I have no idea what sagacious elder put it into my head. Well, I crammed a few days on "University" algebra, and applied to the good old man for a private examination, which he gave me forthwith, and I passed the subject brilliantly. But did I tell my freshman instructor? Never a bit of it. I stayed right on in that class, waiting for a psychological moment to spring it on him when it would get under his skin to the most effect. But he was so easy and good natured that it was difficult to get him into a proper frame of mind for a real discomfiture. The best that I could do was to go to him, every kind of incorrigible absence having had no effect,-to go to him one day when he was obviously himself quite confused in a problem which he re-assigned so that he might have a chance to look it up before he should have to explain it. I displayed my long cherished certificate from the head of the department, and in reply to his amazed inquiry as to where and when I had done the work, informed him that 1 had studied ahead while we were going so slowly, and thought it best to pass it off at once. I never heard from the matter again, and supposed that my examination was duly allowed, and credited in the regis trar's office.
In Latin, my, intellectual guidance was committed to a superannuated professor-one of the founders of
the school to whom gratitude was due, but for whom the state of the treasury did not permit the extravagance of a pension. He keenly felt the insult of being degraded to a teacher of freshmen. He meant to be faithful to his task, but his dreams were nearer to the front than the actual class-room work. We read Livy without comment, and five minutes with a pony was complete preparation for the poorest Latinist among us. No one flunked that "unit.' As for myself, I had been SO well grounded in elementary Latin, that I rarely even opened the book before coming to the classroom. Once in a while the old fellow would wake up a little and tell us something from the by no despicable storehouse of his scholarship. But these were rare intervals. This same old gentleman was also my disciplinarian. To him I "reported" once a week, and from him obtained permission once a week to do very much as I pleased. I was, in a short time, quite a wise little guy of fourteen years of age.
A bully, an ignorant and vain theological student, a valetudinarian -these were my principal freshman teachers. There was one other-my English teacher. That was a side issue in those days. It was before the great awakening. For English we were herded into a large class room twice a week and lectured at by an elocutionist whose principal duty at the college was to polish off the theological students in the great art of gesture! For us it was jes
All this, you say could not happen today, and could not have happened then at an Eastern school? I would really like to tell you of some of the things that I know about freshman teaching at a certain school separated by not so very dissociable a body of water from Boston. I could tell some hair raisers! As to the impossibility of its having happened in an Eastern college at that
time, I know that it would not have been the same kind of fatuity, but it would have been exactly as fatuous. For having completed my four years, and won my invaluable degree, I took a professional course in one of the greatest of the Eastern schools. It was the same story, under a new guise. First year men were shoved off onto the less efficient teachers. Many left in disgust, going to other schools, while from other schools came occasional disgruntled first year men to us. Both had had the same experience. They were no longer boys. They were in dead earnest. They were looking for real work, and they were carelessly assigned to pensioners and over-worked regular men ambitious to have charge of a graduate class. The work became serious enough later on. There was no complaint to be made of the subsequent years, but that first year work was the same kind of farce that it had been in my undergraduate days.
Of my college course as a whole, I have nothing to express but gratitude and appreciation, either in graduate or undergraduate work. But incidents that are frequently coming to my attention today have caused me to turn back to my own
freshman and first year experiences, and to note with anxiety that everywhere in America it is the same story. The freshman is the despised and neglected factor in college life, and when we have said that we have very nearly put our finger on the sore spot in American education.
It is clear to me that one of two things must happen. Either our colleges will take an entirely new attitude to the whole question of admission to college and treatment of freshmen, or the public high school will develop, under popular demand, and a pressure that cannot be resisted, into collegiate institutions, and our endowed colleges will be given over almost entirely to what is now known as graduate work. The line will be drawn at a point midway between the present Junior and Senior years at college. The point at which research work, and real independent study begins will be the beginning of University work, and all else will class as preparatory work, and be committed to our secondary schools, and public high schools. The present lax and wasteful method cannot endure the pressure of the enormous demand for efficient higher education, within the reach of all.
THE STORY OF A GREAT NEW
By GRACE AGNES THOMPSON
T is a matter of much pride to the Yankee heart that the first ship which sent the Stars and Stripes to its masthead after its transfer to American registry last fall performed this auspicious ceremony in a New England harbor. The ship was the steamer "Tivives" of the United Fruit Company's "Great White Fleet." The flag was hoisted September 10, 1914, just before sailing from Boston, while a crowd of spectators on the neighboring piers and elevated railway platform paid its tribute in lusty cheers.
Now of the three large enterprises whose fleets have come under United States registry, the United Fruit Company not only is a New England organization, but stands for what New England holds ideal in spirit, enterprise, purpose, achievement, and romantic environ. Moreover, it has already established a strong link between our part of the world and some of those Latin lands where we are bidden look for our greatest opportunities.
Ten years ago these facts would have had value among North American readers no farther than they were picturesque in narrative. Even five years ago we paid no heed to the counsel of a few sages who tried to turn southward a channel from the stream of youthful energy that has been flowing West so long. But today the most conservative share with optimists at least the visions of Pan-American business expansion, cherishing, in spite of adverse legislation after half a century of neglect, the belief that our mercantile marine may yet become renascent. And New England expects to lead the van. Sub-con
sciously, but effectively, we are taking account of stock,-estimating what we possess in commercial strength, marking whither the feet of pioneers have led beyond Key West, gathering data for new enterprises, noting when and how we may take inspiration; for American sagacity always finds a way once it undertakes the search in earnest.
Thus the story of the United Fruit Company becomes a valuable study. Its history reaches back almost to the days of the clipper ships and covers the whole field of experimentation in modern types of ocean craft. Now there is a splendid fleet of ninety-five steamships, built and put into successful operation without subsidies, concessions, or any other of the government aids popularly supposed indispensable to a merchant marine. At the same time it is a point in line with our study that until Congress remodeled some of its navigation laws on account of the European war, not one of these fine ships which had done so much in opening up the American tropics to the world could fly the banner or claim the protection of Uncle Sam. Of course the United Fruit Company was not alone in the awkward necessity of foreign registry; many other American-owned ships were in a similar predicament. It is the irony of such a situation that appeals, with special force in this case. 1913 Willis J. Abbot wrote in his book, "Panama and the Canal":
"The United Fruit Company would welcome the opportunity to transfer their ships to American registry, except for certain requirements of the navigation laws which make such change hazardous."
Again early in 1914 Frederick Upham Adams, writing of the United Fruit Company's "Conquest of the Tropics" in the Doubleday, Page and Company series of romances of Big Business, emphasizes the same
Last September the new ruling was not many days old before twenty-five of the Fruit Co.'s steamers were recorded upon United States registers.
I suppose there is no large corporation more animated by real American esprit than the United Fruit Company; surely none has accomplished creative work at once so difficult and so beneficial to our body politic. It is the account of this creative work that I want briefly to tell here, because it brims over with inspiration, and uplift must be ministered faithfully in tonic doses. for some time to come if the people of our land are to be stimulated out of their lethargy and set to planning new destinies for themselves.
From remarks I have sometimes heard, I think it is not generally understood that the business of the United Fruit Company is fundamentally a vast agricultural project which furnishes bananas and sugar to the world. The words "United Fruit" seem to have caused a notion that they are a transportation agency only, bringing all sorts of fruit North from the tropic and semitropic regions. No: the word "United" was assumed at the time of incorporation in 1899, when Andrew W. Preston, president of the Boston Fruit Co. and its several branch banana importing and distributing companies, and Minor C. Keith, president of three banana companies operating in the southwest Caribbean, with their associates, and some new capital, subscribed a sum sufficient to place their interests on the kind of legal footing that would provide for investors and thus make adequate expansion of the enterprise possible. By 1899 the
period of pioneer experiment in cultivating, transporting, and distributing bananas had passed, and it had been demonstrated that no such industry could be permanently successful unless financially equipped to insure a widely scattered and very extensive acreage of plantations, speedy ships well refrigerated, and means of swift distribution of each fresh cargo to the many consuming centers. It was felt, too, that this nutritious and palatable fruit ought to be supplied constantly, in volume to equal the rapidly growing demand, and at a rate within reach of the smallest purse. A prodigious undertaking, you discover when you investigate the subject. It makes you proud of your generation. Just fancy! one of the most perishable of fruits, against which jungle, drouth, flood, or storm are ever conspiring, gathered almost three thousand miles away and laid fresh and sweet on your table every day for a far less price than you paid for some of the apples that grew in the township next your own.
But Mr. Preston and Mr. Keith had always worked from potential benefit to triumphant fulfilment. The United Fruit Company has worked the same way. It was organized to overcome great obstacles,-not to make a lot of money, but to build up a valuable industry.
A good parenthesis here quite in line with our study is a memo that very fair dividends follow, and most rightly, any business undertaking intelligently chosen and systematically conducted which has honest. worth for its foundation, efficient service for its purpose and righteous growth for its method. President Wilson says: "I am not jealous of the size of any business. I am not jealous of any progress or growth no matter how huge the result, provided the result was indeed obtained by the processes of wholesome development, which are the the processes of efficiency, of economy, of intelli