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THE YALE LITERARY MAGAZINE.-Conducted by the Students of
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inclusive; nine numbers form the annual volume, comprising at least 360
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A DEFENSE OF GRINDS.
T is a misfortune of language that it may not always be the vehicle of thought. There are certain ideas which can not be expressed in current phraseology, for popular usage has warped and limited the meaning of many words. Varied as our college dialect is, we have no term to describe the man whose defense is here un. dertaken. "Student" is applied indiscriminately to any one who has passed his entrance examinations, though how many students the University really has can hardly be learned from the catalogue. "Scholar" is commonly employed to designate the members of a preparatory school or those men who have made some special study their life work, or at least, part of it; and so can speak with authority. We are forced to fall back upon the word "grind." But in using it, there is a broad distinction to be made. There are two grinds, as widely separated as the poles; the common grind, and the man of this article, who is of finer mould and deserves another name, but either through a misunderstanding of his character, or the poverty of language, he is ranked in a class with which
he has absolutely no affiliation. When we speak of a grind ordinarily, instantly there arises before our mind a tall, thin, poorly developed individual, with a lean and hungry look. Neither his manners nor his general appearance are attractive; and though he has a careless attire, it is not that "sweet disorder in the dress" which Herrick praises. He cannot possibly be called a cultured man; he would make but a sorry figure in society. But every one must be judged by his motives; and it is precisely this that condemns the grind. His one thought is of his marks. He is a slave, not the intelligent pupil, of his books. He trains his memory but dwarfs his mind, and his aim is so low, his purpose is so pitiful, that perhaps the disfavor into which he has fallen is not wholly undeserved. He never studies to raise his intellectual life, but his stand. Such is the grind; undertake his defense for a moment. elective system, he seems to be dying out, are told that not until the final day will cease because they are few," it is to be hoped that the genus will soon become extinct in New Haven, at least.
we would not Thanks to the
and though we "the grinders
It is with relief that we turn to his opposite, a totally different being the grind (for so we must call him) of this article. He comes to the University with the primary purpose of studying, of reading, and of thinking; of making this his one object, yet not isolating himself from his fellow men, nor withdrawing from the life and movement of the class. He wishes to be broad and educated in the highest sense. He realizes that the time is short. Soon he will be in the active life of the world, with little or no opportunity for self-improvement. And so he spends many hours in the library and in his own room. Within the last decade there have come to Yale a new class of men, men who specialize in some branch of work. They will study Political Economy or History in its minutest details, in a way which might remind us unpleasantly of the genuine grind, did we not remember that they have a praiseworthy purpose. In their professions, or as teachers, they will need this special training, and so they have an
enthusiasm which has no connection with the Professor's marking book. These two classes are then included under the grind who is to be defended: the man who wishes general culture, and the man who specializes. We can easily recognize, with a little reflection, the differences in these men, and it is hoped that the distinction is perfectly clear between the ordinary grind and the grind (for so we must call him) to whom alone we have refer
That a defense is necessary in the strict meaning of the word, is manifestly an absurdity. That a man who enters Yale must expect to be ostracized if he studies too much, is utterly ridiculous. Yale, as an institution, moves slowly. She does not gather her forces and sweep from one strategic point to another. Every inclination in college sentiment is therefore of high importance. If we will be perfectly frank, we must admit that there is a tendency to look down on the grind, as that term is here used. is human instinct to cheer for a cut. We owe it to our depraved nature that it is easier to be lazy than industrious. And in speaking of natural depravity, we might remark in passing that the strongest argument against co-education is that when woman did actually lay hold of the Tree of Knowledge she brought destruction to the whole race. But, admitting that college men are of the earth earthy, and enjoy recreation and rest as well as the remnant of humanity, still this does not excuse in any way the slightest tendency to treat our grind with disrespect. That a tendency exists is seen by the fact that a man will never acknowledge that he has studied. It is not from a mere desire to appear brilliant, but from a lofty disdain of intellectual labor that we hear the repeated phrase "I have merely glanced over the lesson." This means anything from a quarter of an hour to two hours' work, and is always so interpreted. When a man says that he has not studied, we rarely believe him, and it is now a question how one could express himself if it were an actual fact. The salutatorian of a small but well known college, on being introduced to a company of ladies, made a profuse