Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/246

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of gauges and, later, the filling out of a printed blank form with the result of routine substitutions in formulæ. The obvious objection that there is not time in a technical course for a broader preparation and the existing superstructure is admitted, but it is to be met categorically by omitting the superstructure which can be easily supplied under commercial conditions by our industrial companies.

In the senior year, some time is spent on minor questions of the cost of engineering work. The larger question of costs, the whole field of modern economics, is in general passed by or alluded to in a brief introductory courses. In a day of economic questions, so many of which have direct connection with engineering, this failure to train the future engineer to assist in their solution is the second defect in the technical school. Many problems, such as those of public utility rates, of the conservation of natural resources, of the protection of workmen from industrial accidents, and of sanitation and transportation in cities, must ultimately be solved in conjunction with engineers. Men trained in the fundamentals of economics, possessing a knowledge of the economic history of our country, who are in touch with the practical engineering or commercial aspects, may be powerful forces for the public good. This second defect may be remedied by the student after graduation, but in the manner of human nature the chances are small that it will be.

The first defect limits the chances of success of the individual, the second more especially limits his value to society, and the third will be seen to determine to a large extent his social relations. The hours of the technical student are closely filled with laboratory, shop and draughting exercises, with classes and periods of study. His opportunity for acquiring social conventions and amenities are necessarily very limited, and, unlike the arts-college man of more leisure, the end of his course finds him but slightly changed by attrition with his comrades. While such training is not essential to the student who is favored with a socially alert family, upon the unfavored and favored alike the technical school imposes its third defect, by surrounding them with an atmosphere essentially devoid of all cultural interests of music, art, literature, or drama. The average technical-school graduate may be justly accused of being deficient in sympathetic points of contact with his fellow man. He is prepared for a too special vocation.

In regarding, upon the other hand, the arts colleges it is well, momentarily, to eliminate from the consideration those students to whom such an institution is but an intermediate step to medical, law, divinity, or technical schools, and to consider the normal college man whose days of study end with his graduation. There must also be eliminated all those whose college course is essentially a professional course, namely, those preparing to teach, whether or not their early intentions are toward graduate study. There remains the future states-