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Professor Binns, sometime President of the American Ceramic Society, is one of the leading authorities on ceramics in this country. A thorough master of the theory of pottery-making, he is also an expert craftsman, and takes delight in demonstrating to his classes in the School of Ceramics the practical methods of the artist potter. He was born in England and was for many years connected with the Royal Porcelain Works of Worcester. His lectures to his students are notable for thorough grasp of the science, tech ogy and art associated with clay-working in
all its branches
After the students of the School of Ceramics have learned something of the art of molding pottery or “throwing' it on the potter's wheel, and then covering it with "glaze," their partly finished products are baked in the kiln, which is heated with the natural gas that supplies the town of
Alfred with cheap light and fuel
Alfred's "back yards” are so spacious that some of them amount to small farms. Professor Place, who obligingly posed for his portrait while at work in his big back yard, is seen with a contrivance made by himself for carrying berries. He conducts Alfred's classes in nature study and biology
Most of Alfred's people seem to have received the impress of its University-they are gentle, kindly, and well spoken, with a suggestion of "difference" perhaps due to the observance of Saturday as the “Sabbath.” On that day the stores are all closed, secular activities being resumed on Sunday, The University, however, observes both holy days. Even the small children know the distinction between the days. “Do you go to Sunday school?" a visitor asked a little boy. "No, sir," was the prompt reply; "I go to Sabbath school." The University has spread a circle of influence throughout the region in which it is situated that surprises and pleases the sojourner
who comes to Alfred for a summer holiday
BY MEL CRANE
o this day I have looked forward flect upon that vote and gain courage to much more than ever before. They seem often, always with a feeling of sor- believe that I may not be an altogether not only more interesting, but more userow, and sometimes with dread. hopeless ass, after all.
ful. “There," I say, "is something I must It has stood in my mind as the boundary When first the suspicion dawned on remember. It's a good line to spring on mark between the two stages of my me that perhaps I might not “do things,” So-and-So next time he starts to argue.” life, and the happier one the one behind. I was worried. When suspicion changed I make a note of it, and when next I It is my thirtieth birthday.
to substantial certainty, I was pro- meet my friend So and So I find that I Thirty is, in itself, the most unsatis- foundly depressed-depressed and mel- have completely forgotten it. factory of ages. At thirty one does not ancholy and spiritless. The depression argument starts, he, as usual, wins it have the matured judgment of middle lasted for several years—years that I by default. Nor am I at all chagrined; age nor the philosophic calm that is wasted in futile regret when I might it rather amuses me to reflect that he said to be the redeeming joy of senes- have had so much fun out of life. My is mentally classing me as a "crackcence. At thirty one's opinions have to regret now is for the wasted years brained parlor Bolshevik."
He uses be proved and not merely stated; one rather than for the vanished visions, "crack-brained" in preference to "longmay be listened to with interest or though, after all, it is a bit sad to haired” because, knowing what I look amazement, but not always with respect. know that with only one life to live like, he knows that the latter is an And, worst of all, at thirty one is youth- there is scant hope of making as much obvious misstatement. But what he ful but no longer young. out of it as one would like.
thinks, and in especial what he thinks No startling metamorphosis has taken Then came the war, and with it one of me, no longer matters. place since yesterday, when I was high adventure, one short romance, and Therein lies the advantage of liberaltwenty-nine, for, after all, a birthday is one great sorrow. The end of 1919 ism; therein also are the satisfactions only a date and not a reagent. Yet it found me still more embittered, disillu- of incompetency. For when one is a is a far different world from the one I sioned, and nearly lost to hope. I read liberal he believes in many unpopular used to know five years ago, and quite tremendously. I tried to write myself, movements, and adheres too passionately another thing altogether from what I and couldn't. I talked and worked and to none; if he did, he would cease to be thought I saw at twenty-one. I like it associated with radicals and reformers just a liberal and would be a Socialist, better. I have discovered what might be of all sorts. I became interested in or a Communist, or a Single-Taxer, or called the "satisfactions of incompe, politics and economics, subjects that I something else instead. And when one tency."
had detested in college. And in the end is an incompetent he too may be acutely By "incompetency" I imply the alter- I arrived somewhere just where I do interested in many things and actively native definition according to Messrs. not know. When one in his rambles involved in none. Only those whose Funk & Wagnalls—"lack of the special comes upon an unexpectedly lovely spot, help is valuable are called upon to spend qualities required for a particular pur- its name is unimportant.
their lives in helping; only those who pose." I can do many things fairly well; It is somewhere in what I have heard have accomplished somethirg does any I have even been able to make a very described as “the twilight zone called one bother to slander. decent living under more than com- liberalism" that I now am, and I find it The path of the incompetent, there. monly agreeable conditions. But none very pleasant. Excepting other liberals, fore, is easy. If he be an incompetent of all the dreams and hopes and aspira- there are few who care what a liberal who once dreamed dreams, he may entions that I had at twenty-one has been thinks, and still fewer why he thinks it. joy vicariously the fruits of another's realized, or ever will be. I lack the The reactionaries class him with the success without the accompanying pains special qualities to do any one thing radicals, and the radicals class him with of travail. The spark of divine disconthoroughly well.
the dubs. My own friends think that tent that once smoldered within him has I had dreams in my early twenties, I am a bit crazy. It leaves me free to flickered and gone out, and there are rather fine dreams, of the things that I form, and occasionally to express, my left only a few gray ashes-gray ashes was going to do. Some of them come to own opinions without the obligation of and a few pale ghosts of unborn desires. me still—wistful, waifs that sometimes explaining them, a thing which I do But they are pleasant ghosts withal, hover about when I cannot sleep o' very poorly indeed.
and if sometimes the ashes seem too nights and look at me a bit reproach- We who stand here in this twilight gray he may warm his hands at the fire fully. But if in their vague shapes zone like to think that we see things a more competent person has kindled. there is a little of sadness for what from the proper angle. People who The genius has fame, but the incompenever was, there is also a deal of the stand elsewhere also like to think the tent has fun. beauty of what might have been. They same thing, and we all have the privi- And so to-day, at this milestone, I are rather agreeable ghosts to have lege of thinking the other a fool. Yet feel that life has not used me so badly, haunt one.
for myself, I know that in other days and that the world is a rather decent Perhaps I hoped for too much. In I never experienced the keen pleasure of place, after all. With a body that is the early twenties a mild form of ego- discrimination that I experience now. still young, I have already secured some tism is almost a virtue, and, in any It makes even the daily newspapers in- of the compensations supposedly reevent, I was inoculated with it, for at teresting.
served for old age. For, once my high that age I had just left college, where a As random examples of what I mean, ambitions had faded. I came to feel, not goodly measure of success had been I have learned to appreciate, almost that nothing matters, but that nothing mine. I had entered, an unknown fresh- automatically, such things as the vital matters much. man afflicted with an offensive shyness. difference between Lloyd George and Is this an immoral philosophy at When I was graduated, I had become Jan Smuts, while not lost in complete which I have arrived? I do not think one of the "big" men of the university. and rapt admiration for either, or be- So. By undergraduate standards I had tween Henry van Dyke and Edgar Lee To know one's own limitations, so that achieved everything worth trying for Masters. It is, by the way, in literature one need no longer doubt; to have hopes save the 'Varsity letter in athletics. To especially that this new discrimination that are strong but not consuming; to cap the climax, in the spring of senior gives me its chiefest rewards. Some au- discover that one's weaknesses are measyear, when so many other inconse- thors I now cannot read at all, but, on ured only by another's strength-these quential "statistics" are compiled, I was the other hand, I can these days enjoy are the satisfactions of incompetency. voted “the brightest man in the class.” the ancient works of Plato and Marcus To-day I am thirty, an admitted inI went out into the world with great Aurelius quite as much as a new book competent, and I am beginning to enjoy curiosity and few doubts. Even now, by Zona Gale or Rose Macaulay. And life again after ten years of futile diswhen things go particularly badly I re. the books that I do enjoy I enjoy so content.