Monday, December 4, 1972 TH£ SALtMITE Page Three oquy "THE OUESTIOH IS...” P ON WASTED TIME by James A. Michener (A one-time professor, editor, Jorld War II serviceman in the %uth Pacific, and PulitizerPrize Mnner, James A. Michener has moaght a whole new dimension to the world of literature. One of the most prolific and exciting writers of the last three decades. Mr. Michener has authored such iest-selling novels as Hawaii, Caravans, Iberia, and The Drif- : Don’t be too calculating. Don’t be too scientific. Don’t let the shrinks terrify you or dic tate the movements of your life. There is a devine irrelevance in the universe and many men and women win through to a sense of greatness in their lives by stumbling and fumbling their |;lvay into patterns that gratify them and allow them to utilize heir endowments to the maxi hum. If Swarthmore College in 1925 had employed even a half way decent guidance counselor, 1 would have spent my life as an isistant professor of education m some midwestem university. ^ icause when I reported to col lege it must have been apparent to everyone that I was destined for some kind of academic ca- |eer. Nevertheless, I was allowed to take Spanish, which leads to German, which as everyone knows are important languages Itudied by serious students who fcsh to gain a Ph.D. 1^ 1 cannot tell you how often I ^as penalized for having taken a frivolous language like Spanish ^stead of a decent, self-respec ting tongue like French. In the end, 1 sacrificed my academic areer. Instead, I continued to putter ground with Spanish and found a deep afmity for it. In the end, I was able to write a book about Spain which will probably live N longer than anything else I’ve bone. In other words, I bhndly backed into a minor masterpiece, pere are thousands of people pompetent to write about France, and if I had taken that ( language in college I would have peen prepared to add no new ideas to general knowledge. It 'as Spanish that opened up for le a whole new universe of con cepts and ideas. I wrote nothing until I was forty. This tardy beginning, one ( (night say this delinquency, stemmed from the fact that I pent a good deal of my early pie knocking around this coun- p and Europe, trying to find pt what I believed in, what Mues were large enough to en list my sympathies during what I sensed would be a long and -onfused life. Had I committed 'yself at age eighteen, as I was ncouraged to do, I would not even have known the parameters the problem, and any choice I ight have made then would '6 had to be wrong. It took me forty years to find out the facts. As a consequence, I have nev er been able to feel anxiety about young people who are fumbling their way toward the enhghtenment that will keep them going. I doubt that a young man - unless he wants to be a doctor or a research chemist, where a substantial body of spe cific knowledge must be mas tered within a prescribed time - can waste time, regardless of what he does. I believe you have till age thirty-five to decide final ly on what you are going to do, and that any exploration you pursue in the process will in the end turn out to have been crea tive. Indeed, it may well be the year that observers describe as “wasted” that will prove to have been the most productive of those insights which will keep you going. The trip to Egypt. The two years spent working as a mnner for a bank. The spell you spent on the newspaper in Idaho. Your apprenticeship at a trade. These are the ways in which a young man ought to spend his life ... the ways of waste that lead to true intelli gence. Two more comments. Throughout my life I have been something of an idealist-opti mist, so it is startling for me to discover that recently I have be come a downright Nietzschean! I find that the constructive work of the world is done by an ap- palingly small percentage of the general population. The rest sim ply don’t give a damn ... or they failed to acquire when young the ideas that would vitalize them for the long decades. I am not saying that they don’t matter. They count as among the most precious items on earth. But they cannot be de pended upon to generate neces sary new ideas or put them into operation if someone else gene rates them. Therefore those men and women who do have the en ergy to form new constmets and new ways to implement them must do the work of many. I be lieve it to be an honorable aspi ration to want to be among those creators. Final comment. I was about forty when I retired from the rat race, having satisfied myself that I could handle it if I had to. I saw then a man could count his life a success if he survived - merely survived - to age sixty- five without having ended up in jail (because he couldn’t adjust to the minimum laws that socie ty requires) or having landed in the bobby hatch (because he could not bring his personality into harmony with the personal ities of others.” I believe this now without question. Income, position, the opinion of one’s friends, the judgement of one’s peers and all the other traditional criteria by which human beings are general ly judged are for the birds. The only question is, “Can you hang on through the crap they throw at you and not lose your free dom or your good sense?” I am now sixty-four and three-quarters, and it’s beginning to look as if I may make it. If I do, whatever happens beyond that is on the house ... and of no concern to me. by Karen McCotter There is one issue in America today that has yet to receive a proper definition, or even to find a suitable perspective, here at Ho-Hum U: Women’s Libera tion. Before you groan, “Oh, not again,” let me say that even at Salem College Women’s Lib deserves some consideration. Here, at the home of the Wake Forest Co-eds arch-rival, the Carolina commuter, the pseudo hippie and other varieties, you may be faced with the problem of defining your stand, either femininely or feministically. I have found that most Salem students belong to one of three groups: the all for it’s, the com pletely against it’s, and the ma jority, the in-between apathetics. The first two groups don’t have to worry about how to answer the question, “So, how do you feel about women’s lib?” The first will launch into a catalog of its virtues and the second will perish at the thought. However, it is the third group, the indeci sive group, that will probably stutter. This is readily under standable as it is difficult to ex press an opinion about some thing controversial that might fray one’s security blanket. Another reason that the un decided have trouble with the question is that it is usually being asked by their dates. To avoid ridicule and to ensure a second beer, most girls will deny any feminist ideas categorically. But if you feel a little guilty or un comfortable when you take up verbal residence under that mag nolia tree, then perhaps you are not destined to remain an apa thetic fence-sitter. If so, do your-' self the favor of finding out what the movement is doing for you and to yOu and take a posi tion. It is easier to say Yay or Nay when you believe it. Leg Board Min November 27, 1972 I. The meeting was called to order by Christina Spence. II. The Dean’s Coffee will be held on December 8, 1972 from 9:30 to 11:15 in the Club Dining Room. III. Items on the agenda for the November 28th SGA meeting were discussed. IV. With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. Respectfully submitted, Mary Ann Campbell SGA Secretary GHIIFOID OFFEIS DISCODNI ID'S Guilford College News Bureau Money-saving International Student Identity Cards good through Dec. 31 of 1973 now are available to all bonafide col lege students in the area from the Office of Overseas and Off- Campu^ Studies at Guilford Col lege in Greensboro, N.C. Coordinator Claude C. Shotts said the ISIC can be an invalua ble asset to the American college student studying or traveling in Europe, and is becoming increas ingly invaluable in other areas of the world where student conces sions are being developed. The card entitles the holder to discounts and student reduc tions at concert halls, shops, most museums and some thea ters, he said. “Holders of the ID cards also are eligible for the money-saving services offered by the European national student travel bureaus, Shotts pointed out. “Of particular interest are in tra-European charter flights, stu dent train and ship information, low-cost tours and holiday cen ters, accomodations in student hostels and meals in student res taurants,” he added. The ID card can save “tre mendous amounts of money on the intra-European student char ter flights - as much as two- thirds of the regular commercial fare,” the veteran traveler stated. Shotts, whose office at Guil ford is the area representative for the Council of International Educational Exchange, said the applicant must be a full-time ma triculated student, enrolled for the current academic year. Sept. 1972 until June 1973. Since 1957, Shotts has con ducted 10-week Seminars A- broad each summer, taking col lege students through 11 differ ent countries of Europe. They meet with college students in the various lands and hold rap ses sions with political figures. Enrollment in the student Seminars Abroad is not limited to Guilford College students, but is open to all college students. Shotts may be contacted at Guil ford College for details. Mary Dashiell, junior, demonstrates a spindle used in weaving at the April Arts Crafts Seminar last month.

Page Text

This is the computer-generated OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It may be empty, if no text could be automatically recognized. This data is also available in Plain Text and XML formats.

Return to page view