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Page 52 text:
Agriculture as She is Taught. WE have found it ! We have unfolded and are about to present to the public a fact, which but for the very observing powers of the class of ' 91, might and probably would for centuries to come, have remained among the many mysteries of science. But we should do great injustice to ourselves if we should develop so valuable knowledge without relating what vve experienced in acquiring it, for no one can truly appreciate the worth of a contribution to science without knowing something of its cost ; so it well becomes us to give you simply an outline of the troubles we were called upon to endure. On the morning of March .5th, 1889, the class of ' 91 was a happy body ; happy because the winter term with its confinements was nearly over, and soon to be followed by one which suggests to the minds of every student one more suited to out-door sports than for the study of books; but above all, happy when they contrasted their present condition with that of those students who in the earlier history of the college were obliged by the college authorities to work a certain number of hours each week upon the farm ; a practice which was not slow in showing its foolishness. But upon entering Prof. Brooks ' s recitation j-oom on that day all was changed for as we saw him standing, chalk in hand, writing upon one corner of a large blackboard, which still remained unmarked, we fairly shook at the idea of copying so much into our note books. Words cannot describe our astonish- ment and no one who was not there can even imagine the expression which sprang to our faces when Prof. Brooks moderately informed us that what we observed upon the board were the rules and regulations to be followed in the cultivation of one-sixth of an acre, which, as he said, was to be set off west of the dormitories for that siiecial purpose. Tlie pride of each man was abased, and was not only superseded by a feeling of anger, but (strange to say) each man could not help wishing that Japan had not allowed to have slipped away from her an idea peculiarly adapted to inexperienced agriculturists. Having recovered from our first attack, we were told that we should be com- (30)
Page 51 text:
THE INDEX. 29 cises prevents us from meeting on eitlier the stairs in the old chapel or on the botanic museum path. There has been but a very little of the usual room stacking. And as for hazing (that terror of Freshmen), none whatever has been indulged in, we are bappy to say. Some of our number have already undergone those unlocked for tortures and withstood the fury of that mysterious goat, and are now enjoying unexpected pleasures and privileges. But let us pass from these, our trials and tribulations, to the real purpose of college life. Most of us very likely have entered college with a purpose in view ; let us then ever keep this purpose before us and especially let us make a good beginning, " for a thing well begun is half done. " Many a student has failed in attaining his purpose in college simply because he did not work in the beginning, and finding himself behind, did not have the courage to make good the deficienc y. Then let us take heed, so that after having spent our four years here, we can look back and see that we did justice to ourselves and Professors. And if we do justice to ourselves we will become worthy alumni of the M. A. C, and also worthy citizens of the Commonwealth. C.
Page 53 text:
fim li DF.t. 31 pelled to prepare plans, containing our system of work intended in detail, which must be handed to him at a short time hence. During this discussion, Prof. Brooks even dared to poi-tray a man in full dress tugging away upon a plot a second season, should he fail to attain a certain standard the first year. He informed us that the profits would be divided into two unequal parts, two- thirds of these to be again divided among the entire class, while the remaining one-third was in turn to be separated into three prizes — first, second and third — to be granted to such members as held these respective places in this work. He said the land would be free, the tools furnished, and that he saw nothing to hin- der us from making a fortune even while attending college. At last the bell rings, we during that hour, having passed through the success- ive stages of amazement, provocation, anger and fiattery, were glad to see the outside of that room again. Although we would not for an instant have any one suspect that a member of this class when not excited could break the third commandment, we fear as we now think of it that the pure air was tainted with words, during the remainder of that day, not to be found in a dictionary. For a few successive days each man made an experiment in the ground of fallacy, to see if he could find a reason satisfactory to Prof, by which he might escape the common law, but each man attained the same result, viz: — " as seed sown upon a poor soil " for whatever the Professor in charge agreed to, the President was sure to veto. Strange questions naturally arose as we went into the agricultural recitation room from day to day ; sonie wishing to know how any one who is working his way through college can spend his time upon such nonsense, while one man even dared ask who was going to do the work upon the plots. At last the day for the plans to be handed in dawned, and with them came a variety of ideas. Each one showed marks of great thought on the authoi ' s part in securing that crop which would require little or no labor. Quite a number select potatoes, one selects beets, others ensilage corn or field corn, while Brown is fully persuaded that nothing short of a good plot of corn would warrant to him the first prize. Hull and Field can imagine nothing more beautiful than a field of squashes, while Lage thinks there is an immense hid- den pasture to be disclosed only when his would-be crop of rice is grown. Gay thinks that a slovenly culture is well-suited both to the conditions of himself and to those of a crop of pop corn, so he wastes no time in selecting that crop. Paige having dreamed of beans for three nights in succession, forthwith chooses that. At length the land is fitted and seed-time is at hand, but not a student ap- pears upon the plots. Finally, Johnson, fearing lest his conscience would be- come irrecoverably hardened if he should much longer disobey its teachings, went down and dedicated the field on a Saturday morning and by the next Tuesday night one care-worn man is stricken from the list of would-be-planters. Duiing
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