IT is rather exciting to live in a small town like New Haven or Cambridge and to be aware of the fact that there is no field of human knowledge, no frontier of speculative thought, no department of the fine arts, where some member of the university faculty is not an authority. If you stand at one street-corner long enough, you will meet a fellow-citizen who can converse intelligently with Einstein, another who knows the latest discoveries in astronomy, another who can tell you about the electron, another familiar with the so-called prehistoric animals, another who can give an intelligent opinion on ancient or modern literature, another who can conduct a symphony orchestra without the score, etc., etc. The 550 members of the Yale faculty, for example, include experts on every department of knowledge. Any time I want to know anything about anything, I use the telephone, and I do not have to tackle the toll line. The amount of actual knowledge possessed by a group of men living in New Haven is almost as vast as the universe itself.
Sometimes, while my students in English literature were entering the classroom, I could not help thinking what an immense variety of instruction was to be imparted in various rooms during the next hour--in physics, chemistry, anthropology, economics, painting, architecture, law, musical composition, biology, zoology, botany, theology, metaphysics, ancient and modern languages, physiology, anatomy, calculus, drama, theatre, government, international