Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/58

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46
IMPROVING OPPORTUNITIES.

are hard workers, and make the most of their opportunities; that they have no surplus means to spend in dissipation, and no time to spare for frolicking. One lecture follows right on the heels of another, with very little time for the student to get out of one hall and into the next; but the industrious

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INDUSTRIOUS STUDENTS.

ones manage it by going on a trot. The professors assist them in the saving of their time by being promptly in their little boxed-up pulpits when the hours strike, and as promptly out again when the hour finishes. I entered an empty lecture room one day just before the clock struck. The place had simple, unpainted pine desks and benches for about 200 persons. About a minute before the clock struck, a hundred and fifty students swarmed in, rushed to their seats, immediately spread open their note-books and dipped their pens in the ink. When the clock began to strike, a burly professor entered, was received with a round of applause, moved swiftly down the center aisle, said "Gentlemen," and began to talk as he climbed his pulpit steps; and by the time he had arrived in his box and faced his audience, his lecture was well under way and all the pens were going. He had no notes, he talked with prodigious rapidity and energy for an hour,—then the students began to remind him in certain well understood ways that his time was up; he seized his hat, still talking, proceeded swiftly down his pulpit steps, got out the last word of his discourse as he struck the floor; everybody rose respectfully, and he swept rapidly, down the