The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 570
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
game with myself, going over in my mind possible topics that
could be assigned to Roy Bedichek that would confine him to the
narrow bounds of that particular subject. Alas, it is a hopeless
game, for his is a mind meant to soar, and I have little doubt
that he could take the statistical recapitulation of, say, a tennis
match and come up with deep philosophical meanings before
he turned those statistics loose.
We have here another instance of Bedichek on the wing, as
he forever is whenever he takes pen, or typewriter, in hand. Given
one topic-the story of the University of Texas Interscholastic
League-he has written two books. Offhand, the history of the
Interscholastic League sounds like a natural subject for a doctoral
thesis in education, of interest to professional educators but not
to many others. But before one finishes the introduction he is
aware that here is no ordinary recounting of the year-by-year
growth of a remarkable educational agency.
Here instead is a wide-ranging probing into what makes Junior
tick in school. To some so-called progressives Bedichek would
belong to another generation, but by the time he has finished
examining the motivations of people, the plea he makes for in-
centives for students, for standards, and for competitive endeavors
is hard to resist. He does not sermonize; he does not exhort. With
classical allusion he simply reaches back and looks forward to give
an urgency to his thesis that life is an unequal contest and that
the sooner we academicians quit concerning ourselves with the
median and instead try to set goals a little beyond our students,
the sooner we will produce the leadership which this world so
Every page deserves quoting in part, whether Bedichek is
writing of early state examinations in China, "the oldest record
of the use of formal competitions to inspire and direct scholastic
endeavor." Or of John Cavanaugh, "the greatest hand-fives player
who ever lived, . England's truest sportsman," who had "no
other thought from the moment the game begins, but that of
striking the ball, or placing it, or making it ... and he never
flung away the game through carelessness and conceit, he never
gave it up through laziness or want of heart." Or his whole chapter
on "Do Winners Continue to Win?" Or of the necessity for
choosing declamation subjects that will avoid those audience
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/620/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.