A College Fetich: An Address Delivered Before the Harvard Chapter of the Fraternity of the Phi Beta Kappa, in Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, June 28, 1883

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Lee and Shepard, 1883 - Classical education - 38 pages
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Page 5 - Such training as I got, useful for the struggle, I got after, instead of before graduation, and it came hard ; while I never have been able — and now, no matter how long I may live, I never shall be able — to overcome some great disadvantages which the superstitions and wrong theories and worse practices of my Alma Mater inflicted upon me.
Page 24 - In this way I amused myself for some time, but I found that if I looked a word to-day, in less than a week I had to look it again. It was to little better purpose than writing letters on a pail of water.
Page 28 - In these days of repeating-rifles, Harvard sent me and my class-mates out into the strife equipped with shields and swords and javelins," said Charles Francis Adams, Jr., in his remarkable Phi Beta Kappa address. "We cannot continue in this age full of modern artillery to turn out our boys to do battle in it, equipped only with the sword and shield of the ancient gladiator," says Huxley, using the same striking figure. Sir...
Page 4 - As a training-place for youth, to enable them to engage to advantage in the actual struggle of life, to fit them to hold their own in it and to carry off the prizes, I must, in all honesty, say that, looking back through the years and recalling the requirements and methods of the ancient institution, I am unable to speak of it with respect. Such training as I got, useful for the struggle, I got after instead of before graduation, and it came hard ; while I never have been able, and now, no matter...
Page 10 - Rome, so I hold there may be a modern road as well as the classic avenue to the goal of a true liberal education. I object to no man's causing his children to approach that goal by the old, the timehonored entrance. On the contrary, I will admit that for those who travel it well it is the best entrance.
Page 6 - ... contemptible, in that it is apt to invite defeat ; or, again, that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well; or, third, that when one is given work to do, it is well to prepare one's self for that specific work, and not to occupy one's time in acquiring information, no matter how innocent or elegant, or generally useful, which has no probable bearing on that work...
Page 10 - I am no believer in that narrow scientific and technological training which now and again we hear extolled. A practical, and too often a mere vulgar, money-making utility seems to be its natural outcome. On the contrary, the whole experience and observation of my life lead me to look with greater admiration, and an envy ever increasing, on the broadened culture which is the true end and aim of the University.
Page 15 - The business of those preparatory schools is to get the boys through their examinations, not as a means, but as an end. They are therefore all organized on one plan. To that plan there is no exception ; nor, practically, can there be any exception. The requirements for admission are such that the labor of preparation occupies fully the boy's study hours. He is not overworked, perhaps, but when his tasks are done he has no more leisure than is good for play ; and you cannot take a healthy boy the...
Page 7 - It is still its basis. But, following the theory out, I think all will admit that, as respects the fundamentals, the college training should be compulsory and severe. It should extend through the whole course. No one ought to become a Bachelor of Arts until, upon these fundamentals, he had passed an examination, the scope and thoroughness of which should set at defiance what is perfectly well defined as the science of cramming.
Page 25 - ... speaking plainly and directly to the point, with all his resources at his immediate command, — I think I may say he never met his equal in debate. Yet when in lectures and formal orations he mounted the classic high-horse and modelled himself on Demosthenes and Cicero, he became a poor imitator. As an imitator he was as bad as Chatham. More could not be said. That much he owed to Harvard College, and its little Latin and less Greek.

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