Some years ago Dr. Elmer Homrighausen, a Princeton professor, gave me a helpful idea that has served me well ever since. He pointed out in a lecture that most counselors and psychiatrists who write books of case studies tend to amplify their successes and minimize their failures. This is only human, of course, especially when a man is writing a book telling the rest of us how to do it. Naturally he wants to make the best possible case for his own case study.
The reason why this has all been so helpful to me is that my own role as counselor and guide has ended up almost every time in abject failure. I don’t seem to get the successes these other men write about (which is probably why no one ever asks me to write a book on counseling and guidance). Some of my recent forays into this field will illustrate my thesis. For the life of me I hardly know where to begin with the following:
CASE NO. 1. Our teen-ager, a sophomore in high school, takes a course entitled “World History and American History.” I would guess that the class has to move pretty fast to cover that subject in a year. Her teacher has a reputation for being a front-runner, avant-garde, and one expects that she is “up” on all the latest methods.
The students, according to the style of our day, do independent studies. The last independent study reported on by our teen-ager was a girl who researched the Broadway play Hair. Since this is a family magazine I will not review Hair for you, but I would like to suggest that it is impossible to report on Hair to a high-school class without engaging in what people used to call “indecency.”
How such a thing gets into a history class evades my mind. It might be sociology; it might be drama; it is more likely comparative anatomy. ...1
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