It is undeniable that the present marking system is productive of most pernicious results. We have this fact presented to us very forcibly at times, but never so forcibly as when one comes to select his electives for his next year's course. It is obviously absurd to say that men are governed principally by the consideration of probable marks and severity of examinations usually given, in selecting a course; but that with many this thought does have some influence, cannot be denied, and as long as there is no perfectly uniform system of marking adopted in the college, it is very reasonable that one should consider this factor in solving the weighty problem of electives, however unfortunate and harmful, theoretically, the practice may be. The marking system when in use at all should be merely a clerical devise for the classification of students, but when every instructor is permitted to ride his pet hobby rough shod over the necks of his pupils, and estimate work and standing by purely arbitrary standards, it is not very strange that men should in some measure attempt to equalize and justify the results each in his own particular case. It is not in human nature, even if it is theoretically expected under Harvard's system of instruction, that men should look after their best interests only, and with a single purpose, when incentives and temptations of all sorts, many of them placed there by the college itself in the shape of honors and rewards resulting from marks, should lie in their way.
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