STUDENT LIFE AND CUSTOMS. Student life and customs have varied so much in various ages and countries, and have differed so greatly according to the school, elementary, secondary or college, in which the students are, that it is necessary to divide and subdivide the subject for effective treatment.
Consideration must be given to ancient, mediaeval and modern times; particular coun tries in those ages; the grade of institution, whether elementary, secondary or collegiate, in each country; and the life of the student both inside and outside of the classroom or ac ademic precincts.
We lack sufficient evidence to make many statements about student life in ancient times. That which we do know has almost entirely to do with the teaching in the classroom (see EDUCATION, Hisroav or). Of the life of the student there, the connection between flogging and learning was the feature — "he that is not flogged, can not be taught?' With the Greeks much of the instruction given to the young was in the nature of that which we should call supervised sports. This being the case student life for the young was happy and entertaining. The Greek boy played ball, flew kites and rolled marbles, and engaged in similar recreations.
As he grew older, if he were not apprenticed to a trade, he attended the gymnasia, which were open air exercising grounds. Here he got in struction in running, wrestling, boxing, spear throwing, jumping and hurling the discus. Horse-back riding and chariot driving were also a part of his instruction. Oratory and music came nearer than other subjects to being aca demic work in our sense of the word, but to-day even these subjects are likely to be more thought of in the nature of student life rather than a part of the instructional work in our educational institutions.
The Roman schools partook a little more of the nature of actual classrooms, though in most cases they were merely a sort of pergola. School-boy life was enlivened with floggings, as with the Greeks, but seemingly more system atic classroom work was done by the Romans.
The latter did not give the time to formal instruction in sports that the Greeks gave, so that to the Roman boy and youth his amuse ments were much more his own. Marbles, blindman's buff, hide and seek and other games of childhood were played. Riding, swimming and wrestling were, however, a regular part of the instruction, and the Roman youth en tered them with a seriousness that made them less a part of the lighter side of life. With the Romans, therefore, the sports of student life tended to fall into the class of the pro fessionals.
For some centuries after the gradual decline of the Roman civilization until the beginning of those schools which grew up in connection with the Christian churches there is little evi dence of any kind of school life. When the church and monastic schools did begin to come into existence, they were looked upon as places where in general boys were to be prepared for the service of the Church. Even those who were not to be so prepared were given the same kind of training. In view of the severity of the ideal of preparation for the Church the school life of the boy both during the hours of actual instruction and outside of such hours was one of constant task and supervision. Al most every sport to which a boy of the time might turn was prohibited under the severest penalties. Flogging, even of young men of 18, was common. Unlike the schools of the Greeks and the Romans, those in the Middle Ages were frequently of the kind to which boys went to live during their period of school life. The only holidays he had were those of the Church.
In spite of the extreme repression of all youthful inclinations, the boys committed nu merous offenses in the schoolrooms and in chapel. Some, when they got a chance to get away from the strict supervision of the teacher, indulged in all kinds of prohibited sports, such as cock-fighting, gambling and fist fighting.