Editor: P. A. Timberlake.
The response to the appeal for contributions published in our last issue has been almost negligible. At the same time we continually hear boys in the School complaining that the Magazine is devoid of interest and lacking in variety. In order that the financial position of the Monovian shall not be dependent upon the number of sports subscriptions received, the charge for the Magazine is now made separately. This term the sales have decreased. Is the explanation of this failure on the part of so many boys to manifest any interest whatever in the fate of the School Magazine to be found in inability, or in unwillingness to support it either by contributing or by paying nine pence to read what others have contributed? We would prefer to believe that this complete absence of enthusiasm is due to intellectual poverty and to financial difficulty. But can it be that in a school of five hundred boys not more than five have the initiative or the originality to contribute to their own Magazine? Can it be that the two hundred orders received represent the total number of the boys who can afford to pay for a Magazine, and those who are determined to make sacrifices in order to buy one? If these things were so, this editorial would be unnecessary. But we have no reason to believe that they are. It may be, on the other band, that that same apathy which is prevalent in many walks of present-day life is gradually permeating the School and choking all interest in those things with which boys have no personal concern, and for which they need accept no individual responsibility. This view, though still less pleasant, is, we are compelled to admit, more probable. But we cannot bring ourselves to believe that either of these possibilities offers a true description of the situation, We do not think that the boys of this School are a horde of mental cripples. We refuse to believe that the School is sinking into apathy when we see eleven School societies all in flourishing condition, and multitudes of other activities, requiring unlimited energy and untiring effort, continually taking place in the School. We think rather that the poor support which has been accorded to the School Magazine is a result of a not uncommon schoolboy thoughtlessness, an unstudied negligence which can easily be overcome. For this reason we are endeavouring, first of all, to make the Magazine as attractive as we possibly can. The variety to be found in its pages is, we are convinced, as much as can reasonably be expected from the few individuals whose work it represents. We will, however, still welcome suggestions from those who do not feel able to contribute themselves. Secondly, we have introduced a new feature, a Literary Competition. If boys are unable to compose an original article and yet are anxious to show that they are not altogether indifferent to the fate of the Monovian, they can enter for this competition and stand a chance of winning a valuable prize.
We have received a copy of the Leyton School Magazine in which the editorial page is printed twice over. If the explanation of this is that the unfortunate Editor feels that his termly exhortation is not being read, we offer him our sympathy, and confess that we are in the same plight. In spite of the editorial appeals in the last two issues of the Monovian; in spite of a spectacular publicity campaign, made possible by the kind co-operation of Mr. Hayes and his art classes; in spite of a circular appeal to parents, Magazine sales this term are down still further. That the quality of the Magazine is not at fault we have the testimony of a number of readers, including no less distinguished a person than Dr. B. L. K. Henderson, the well-known author of Thirty Years' Hard. Comparing the last issue of the Monovian with other school magazines, Dr. Henderson, who is an experienced educationist as well as a famous author, described it as "one of the best I have seen." The Walthomstow Post, too, has a good word for the Monovian: "A well turned- out and readable production. . . a really excellent little journal." And indeed, many boys in the School expressed their satisfaction at the improvements we have been able to effect in recent issues. Surely, then, the Monovian is worth the halfpenny a week and the odd penny which go to make up a year's subscription. Nevertheless, at present, well under half the boys In the School subscribe to the Magazine. Yet we have some cause for rejoicing. If the reader will turn to the literary section of the present issue he will find a number of excellent contributions which were not written by the Editor: three of them, indeed, came from boys in the Junior School. Only an Editor can appreciate the encouragement that such an achievement brings to those whose responsibility it is to make a school magazine interesting. We sincerely thank our contributors, and trust that their example will be widely imitated.
Editor: P.A. Timberlake
"We should be preparing boys for the life they are going to lead after leaving school, and in this respect I believe we are making progress. Boys are thinking for themselves much more than they did in our day." It would be easy to write an editorial running into several pages on the subject-matter of this short extract from the Headmasters Report. Much has been said and written of the objects of higher education, and much more has been left unsaid. But there are few thinking people today who will maintain that it is possible for the individual to fulfil his obligations as a member of society before he has began to think for himself. The primary importance of independent thought is today generally aecepted. So if the ultimate aim of the education in this School is to provide boys with the means to fulfil their obligations as citizens, we cannot claim that our education is even beginning to be successful until we have evidence that it is leading boys to think for themselves, to think about things that matter, and to form their own opinions on them. A year ago we wrote in this strain. At that time the Monovian, which should be the organ of the boys of this School, had shown little evidence of independent thought. It has not shown nearly enough since. The boys fur the most part either have nothing to say or, if they have, are too lazy or too timid to say it. But there is some evidence. The last two issues of the Monovian contained articles, by Junior boys as well as by seniors which showed distinct originality of treatment: " The Pavement Artist," " The Houses in Between," and "A Dream" to mention only three, revealed something of that healthy independence of outlook which typifies the virile and responsive mind. In the present issue we print two articles under the heading, "War and Peace." Without expressing any opinion on the articles themselves, we suggest that it takes a good deal of mental courage and independence even to attempt to think seriously and honestly on a question of such vital importance as that of war. We trust that these articles will not be the last of their kind. We believe that it should be the first concern of the School to see that this spark of mental independence is not allowed to flicker out or to pass unnoticed, but that it is fanned into a flame. If this flame is once lighted in the minds and the hearts of the younger generation, they will never rest until they have fulfilled their duty as members society- in making the world a place fit for humanity.