Report of the President for the Year 1946-1947
The Chairman of The Board of Governors of The Memorial University College.
I have the honour to submit the following Report of some of the work of the College during the university year 1946-1947. Attached as an appendix is an account of the Summer Session, 1946. No financial statement is here given, for one is published by the Government of Newfoundland as one of "Other Public Accounts" in the annual "Revenue and Appropriation Accounts."
The Year. In this, the first complete year after the conclusion of the recent War, there has been much to affect and, we trust, to quicken the study-life of any seat of learning. The 450th Anniversary of the Discovery of this island should sharpen our sense of history, especially the story of our own country. Our National Convention may remind a student that political science is no mere academic pursuit. The growing desire of our people for higher learning should make us value our own good fortune and view our education as a trust, to be freely shared. The need to repair the material damage of war may appeal to the student of science and engineering. The probable uses of nuclear energy released by atomic fission must show even the youngest student how learning and skill may be either useful tools or dangerous weapons. The troubled state of post-war society may lead us to value more highly the things of the mind, the only stock-in-trade of a collegiate institution.
Changes. During the academic year a new Commissioner for Education assumed charge of this important department of Government. To the Honourable H. W. Quinton the College offers its respectful good wishes for a happy term of office, and thanks the late Commissioner, the Honourable A. J. Walsh, K.C., LL.B., for his interest and care.
Changes in the Faculty during the year include the appointment of Miss Shirley Thompson to replace Miss Dorothy Wilson, B.F.A., as sessional Instructor in Art, and of Miss Marion Peters, B.Sc., as Demonstrator in Chemistry to succeed Mrs. Brian Earle. To deal with the new subject of Geography we have been fortunate in finding Mr. H. B. Goodridge, M.A., F.R.G.S., late Lieutenant, R.C.N.V.R., willing to act as Special Lecturer. To cope with the large classes facing us in Engineering and Mathematics last September we were able to secure the services of Mr. J. M. C. Facey, B.Sc., late Electrical Lieutenant, R.N., as Acting Lecturer. During the sabbatic leave of Miss E. Baird, we have had a very acceptable substitute in Miss Dorothy Keeping.
The Department of Education has been strengthened by the appointment as Associate Professor of Mr. W. G. Rowe, B.A. (Dal.).
As Assistant to the Registrar Mrs. H. G. Garrett has given acceptable service for the year.
I regret to record the resignation of Professor A. G. Gillingham, a member of the Faculty since 1933. He is one of our own graduates, a Jubilee Scholar, a Rhodes Scholar, and both disciple and successor of Mr. Paton in the Department of Classics; as secretary of the Faculty, as special adviser to war veterans in College (himself a veteran), and also on personal grounds, the loss of Mr. Gillingham is a severe blow.
Benefactions. A gift to the College is not only a sound investment, but it is a mark of appreciation of our work and faith in the quality of the young people we serve. Benefactions of the year include:
The Rotary Club of St. John's, celebrating last year its Twenty-fifth Anniversary, set up an educational fund which the College will be asked to help administer as a student Loan Fund, a perpetual benefit.
Curriculum. The principal change in our courses of study has been the new programme for students of Education. The one-year Teacher-Training course set up in 1934 has been superseded by a three-year course in which the student takes in successive years an increasing proportion of general, as distinct from professional, subjects. Several advantages are hoped for by this plan, such as better general education for teachers who can take only one year in College, a more closely integrated student-body, and the facility of expansion into a four-year degree course. It was unfortunate, however, from the point of view of administration, that the change was introduced at the time when the College registration reached its highest level.
The new Education programme has placed a specially heavy burden on the department of English, since that subject is compulsory in the first two years of the course. Thus the English One class was increased to about 250 students, i.e., more than doubled because of the change. Instructors had to be seconded from other departments to teach English, the problem of accommodation was very difficult and like that of staffing, may become even more acute. The value of these English studies is, however, clear to be seen and is, indeed, pointed out by not a few of the students themselves. The number of students in mathematics has also risen sharply for the same reason and in several other departments the pressure is also felt.
Several new subjects were offered this year. In line with a modern trend, which we consider sound, geography has been treated as a university subject. The number of students doing Geography I and Geography 2 was, for first introduction of a new subject, not unpromising and it is proposed to expand and enrich this study, which, in a country like ours, appears to be specially valuable. Subjects introduced this year as part of the new Education course include: Education 3(a), dealing with methods in kindergarten and primary grades; Education 4(b) and 4(c), each a one semester subject, dealing with child psychology and adolescent psychology, respectively; Education 5(a), a semester's study of administration and supervision; and Education 6(a) (one semester), concerned with educational testing. All these are valuable but I emphasize the importance of the subject of school administration and supervision, intended for school principals, because the principal teacher in schools with few grades needs such preparation in order to become more than simply a teacher of the upper grades.
Numbers. The College served this year 434 undergraduates, 339 men and 95 women. The First Year had 287, the Second Year 94, and the Third Year with some special students 53. The School of Navigation gave instruction to 115 men during the twelve-month period. In other extension and evening classes there were 128 persons. (The 1946 Summer Session -- see the Appendix -- had 533 students).
The larger ratio of men to women students this year (36 to 10) as against last year's (26 to 10) appears mainly in the Education course, where we have a welcome increase in the number of men going into the teaching profession. Then, too, the war veterans in College are nearly all men.
The increased registration this year, 434 from 364, has imposed a severe strain on all our resources. As an illustration we may take the department of chemistry, though almost any other would serve which offers three different subjects. For Chemistry One the laboratory accommodates 72 students, in three sections of 24 each; this year it had to hold 107 students in four sections; next year's enrolment we cannot tell. For Chemistry Two the same laboratory can accommodate 32 students in two sections; this year there were 40 students; next year we expect not less than 50. For Chemistry Three the accommodation is 16; this year we had 30, who had to be taken in a single section and next year we expect still a few more.
An indication of our need for space is the fact that our largest room, the Assembly Hall, holds comfortably hardly more than 280 persons, while our student body alone numbers 434. Hence our general assemblies, so valuable a feature of College life, must be infrequent, held in a borrowed or rented hall some distance from the College.
In addition to straitness of space, equipment and staff, the large enrolment has multiplied greatly the difficulties of general administration. It may be enough to mention some of the tasks, such as helping students to find rooms and board, arranging for the health and X-ray examinations, handling disbursements for veterans, reorganization of records, preparation of reports, preparation and conduct of examinations. Now that a full-time Assistant Bursar has been appointed, in the person of Mr. P. A. Winter, a gentleman of experience, relief in the matter of accounts and supplies will be felt.
Guidance. Most undergraduates need constant help and advice. In my first year as president it was barely possible to know the students well personally. But now we have two and two-thirds times as many, hence the student-adviser system is a necessity. Two special groups are the women students, who have the Dean of Women, Miss M. G. Mansfield, to turn to, and war-veterans, who have had in Professor A. G. Gillingham a counsellor they will now greatly miss.
The Dean of Women's report notes that the proportion of women to men is this year smaller than usual; but that we have 95 women-students of whom 56 come from outside St. John's. Two are ex-servicewomen. She has got to know them all and conferred with each of them several times especially with the women charged with student self-government. Letters were exchanged with some parents and others visited her in the College. Living accommodation for out-of-town students was sometimes a very acute problem to which the provision of our own hostels seems the only solution. Steps were taken to improve the women students' Common Room. I thank the Dean of Women and other ladies of the Faculty for their service to our female undergraduates during the year.
Only the chief points of Professor Gillingham's valuable report on veterans in College can be touched here. We had some 69 veterans, 23 of them in engineering, 14 in pre-medicine, 9 in education, the rest with a variety of aims. Their general level of achievement was high in spite of such handicaps as, in some cases, having to crowd their secondary school work into a short space of time before entering College, with inadequate preparation in sciences and languages. The 1946 Summer Session made it easier for several of them to do our First Year work.
The veteran student has been a good influence in College. Though organized into a society he (or she) has not been aloof from the other students but has shared in the general College life. The Library section of this Report gives proof of the veteran's interest in his College and appreciation of its benefits when it reports the ex-Servicemen's Club's gifts to the Library. A serious attitude to work and uniform good conduct are after all what we might expect from those who came forward to serve their country's need.
Ten of these are married men. Rising costs, in spite of increased grants, may offer them a serious problem, but we hope they may be able to finish their courses, for they include some of our best students. In general we believe that the progress of the veterans in College will continue to justify the benefits offered them in the Civil Re-establishment programme.
The Library. The year has been one of growth, in service as well as of book-stock and space. Many new books were provided for students in Education, who now follow a new course, and the needs of other departments were met as far as our budget allowed. With more students in the College more periodicals had to be subscribed for. We could take up again, after the lapse of war years, the important matter of the binding of several files of periodicals, in order to make their use more permanent.
The Library was this year the happy recipient of several fine gifts. The French Republic, through the Consul, M. Bonnave, has recently given us several works by modern French authors and the promise of further generosity. Through Doctor G. J. Bond's bequest, we have received books from the library of the late Right Honourable Sir Robert Bond. The Pilgrim Trust gave us E. M. Tenison's Elizabethan England, a splendid work of several volumes. A heart-warming gift came from our own Veteran Students' book collection which we shall name and preserve in their honour. Other kind donors include James Baird, Ltd., The Christian Science Committee on Publications, the General Electric Company, Mr. J. G. Higgins, Dr. A. C. Hunter, Mrs. A. C. Hunter, Miss H. Lodge.
A notable event of the year was the extension of our library space, for which our thanks to the Department of Public Works are most profuse. We now have a fine new reading room under the Main Reading Room and joined to it by an oak stairway, as well as a new small office and a work room. The furniture, being surplus war assets, cost little and adequate shelving, etc., make the new room a place where a goodly number of serious students can always be found engaged in quiet study. These new facilities, long a necessity, are most opportune in view of our large student enrolment.
The annual report of the Librarian, Miss S. Organ, thanks the Library Committee, Professors Hunter, Hickman and Smith, and praises the work of the library prefects; says that the libraries have never been better used than they have this year; recommends a further "orientation" service at the beginning of the College year; and points with pride to the quality of our books, in whose selection the possible expansion of the College programme has not been overlooked.
In the Library of Memorial University College, with more than 15,000 well-chosen books, taking in more than 80 good periodicals, using three fine reading rooms, and serving about 500 persons, Newfoundland has a truly valuable asset.
Education. In 1934 the College set up a Teacher-Training Course. It was of one year duration, the students might vary in academic level from matriculation to baccalaureate, its content was almost entirely professional in character, and it offered no choice to persons wishing to teach in different grades in the schools.
In 1946 a new course in Education was adopted. Its duration is three years, being in fact part of a proposed four-year plan, based on matriculation; its content strikes a balance between professional and general courses, all being of college standard; and it offers a choice to persons wishing to qualify for high school, elementary school, or kindergarten and primary school teaching. This new departure has presented several difficult problems, of staff, accommodation, time table, and the like as well as providing for persons who had already done work equivalent to some of the subjects of the new course.
The head of our department of Education, Professor G. A. Hickman, in his annual report gives an interesting survey of a good year's work. In First Year Education there were 135 students, Second Year 25, and Third Year 21. Included here are 14 war-veterans who are meeting well the difficulties of adjustment. The return to College of so many experienced teachers of good quality is also a promising sign for the future of our schools. Students in Education have taken a full share in our general College life, and their Education Club, referred to elsewhere, has had a good year. Guiding also (see later) has been a valuable training for some.
For the second year now the enlarged programme of practice-teaching has been followed and its value deserves more than this passing reference. The principals and staffs of the co-operating city schools are here thanked warmly for their generous help. Professor Hickman also puts in a word for a "laboratory school" of our own.
Other matters referred to in Professor Hickman's report include: the good work of the Teachers' Service Bureau, a voluntary aid to teachers in service; intelligence testing of all students in College; a Grade XI course in Latin for a special group, a plea for a full-time physical training instructor; the co-operation of our staff with the School Supervisors in revising some elementary school courses; the good service, referred to elsewhere, given by officers of the Department of Public Health and Welfare; and an appreciation of the work of his immediate colleagues.
Engineering. This is a standard three-year course, requiring two more years abroad for a degree but a good education in itself. The number of students taking it this year is the largest on record, numbering 42, 22, 15 in the first, second, and third years respectively. They include 23 war veterans. Professor Carew reports an excellent spirit throughout. The drafting room is in use in all "free" periods, and on Saturday afternoons. Additional staff was found necessary and Mr. J. M. C. Facey, B.Sc. (Elec.), has given good service.
The year in this department has been full of interesting features, such as the showing of geological and technical films; visits to Fort Pepperrell, the Housing Project and the Nail Factory and Foundry; talks by visiting engineers and others such as Mr. G. H. Desbarats, Professor G. Vibert Douglas, Mr. Grant Jack, and Mr. P. Meschino; Mr. F. R. Emerson's delightful musicale; and the annual banquet at which Honourable H. W. Quinton gave the principal address.
To equip this growing department is a problem; we have managed to get some new tables and lockers and special articles, but it is still hard to get certain goods from abroad. Gifts received during the year included magazines from Messrs. H. Etheredge and G. R. Hanley and three transits, useful for practice and demonstration, from the Department of Public Works' Engineering Division.
Household Science. In the regular two-year course of Household Science we record this year a welcome increase of first-year students. This is a most valuable course in itself and with our foreign affiliations can also be carried on to degree status. Miss D. Keeping, locum tenens for Miss Baird, would have liked more students in Education to have selected the subject Household Science 7 because a large part of it deals with nutrition. We may agree, but all students in Education take the subject Health, a considerable proportion of which deals with Food. We shall consider giving more time to the subject of Clothing which forms part of Household Science 5; as it is, good work was done here, shown by the fine exhibit of students' design and sewing held last month.
Among the projects of this department was a special week in February when the students planned, prepared and served all their meals inviting members of the Faculty as guests -- and judges. The students also visited the dietetic departments of city hospitals.
During the winter a course of evening lectures was given for workers in the Government Department of Health and Welfare.
Art.The subject of Art for Schools, now optional for students in the new Education course, was selected by about one-third of them. Its content is much the same as in former years. Use was made of suitable projects such as design of class pins, decorating for student affairs, and the making of marionettes. Two puppet-shows were held near the end of the term. In the second semester five veterans joined the art class.
The Saturday-morning class for pupils of some local schools was conducted again this year, with profit and enjoyment for our young guests. An exhibition of the children's work held in May, showed that progress had been made and also indicated some real talent. This class gives also some practice-teaching in art.
In the field of Appreciation of Art much use was made of the fine collection of reproductions which we call the Carnegie Art Set. Weekly exhibits with helpful notes were placed on view in the Monitor Room. The selections this year were by countries, Spanish, French, etc., with special showing of pictures of the Nativity and the story of Easter.
Music. The subject of music, now optional for students in the new Education course, was chosen by about one-fourth of them, and they were given sound regular instruction by Miss Jennings in theory of music, rhythm, singing and methods of teaching music in schools.
During both semesters a course in the appreciation of music was given by Mr. F. R. Emerson. All who wished to join could not do so but some 120 persons, taken in two groups, attended the lectures, which treated in a very attractive way of some of the great composers, with interpretations of their works; reference was made to our own folk songs. The College is grateful to Mr. Emerson for giving up his time to share with our students his gift of musical understanding. For next year he plans to give also a more advanced course.
Other musical opportunities have not been lacking. At College assemblies we have had recitals by Miss E. Lawton, Miss J. McNamara and Mr. S. R. Godfrey. Miss Jean Watson, contralto singer of the Community Concerts organization, volunteered to give our students a recital, which was a great delight. M. and Mme. Graudan, cellist and pianist of the same organization, kindly gave us an hour of music we shall not easily forget.
Health. Our students, being expected to study hard, should be well and strong. No less important is their state of mind, for the distraction of modern life is inimical to concentrated thought. The College owes much to the Department of Public Health for the thorough physical examination of our students at the beginning of the year, and for the continued care and advice given them. This is a splendid service. To the students of the course in Education Dr. L. Miller, Director of Medical Services, gave lectures on Public Health and Miss Russell, Advisor on Nutrition, on her special subject. Moreover, the principles of good health are taught directly and indirectly in other parts of the College curriculum.
In my opinion the time is ripe for a national movement for general physical fitness, perhaps along the lines of one begun in England a few years ago or the present Canadian campaign for physical fitness. I believe the Headmaster of Bishop Feild College and others have recently raised this vital matter. The enterprise shown by the Anti-Tuberculosis League deserves emulation, with perhaps the more general aim of improved physique of our youth. Any such steps will receive all the support we may be able to give. For ourselves, I wish this College could employ two full time physical directors, one for men and one for women students.
Games. A joint committee of staff and students arranges the programme of athletics. lts chairman is Professor Carew, other Faculty members are Miss E. Brinton, Mr. W. G. Rowe, Mr. H. B. Goodridge, and the student members are Miss C. Goobie, Mr. J. Ryan and six others. The games played were football and ice hockey for men, field-hockey for women, and basketball, badminton, boxball and volleyball for both. Some other physical training was given. New equipment included a wrestling-mat, badminton racquets and nets, some uniforms for men's hockey and women's basketball, hockey gear and "bleacher" seating. Trophies were donated by the Old Memorials, the Faculty and the Student Representative Council. A very successful Sports Day was held. Thanks are due to Mr. H. B. Goodridge, Mr. G. R. Hanley, Miss M. Noel and Messrs. H. Lilly and G. Wells for help in coaching, and to the Reverend President of St. Bonaventure's College and the Athletic Directors of Fort Pepperrell for much generous assistance. It is the opinion of the Athletic Committee, and I concur, that there is need for a full time salaried athletic director.
The state of our grounds, so strongly deplored in last year's Report, has now been much improved. I thank the Department of Public Utilities very sincerely for attention to its fencing and supervision. No doubt the present summer will show still further restoration of this fine piece of national property.
Guiding. The Cadet Company (First St. John's) carried on again this year. The class met weekly with Miss E. Fowlow once more as Captain, and students, Misses A. Billard and L. Young, as Lieutenants. The number (18) given instruction was not large but good work was done. The Chief Commissioner, Miss C. Furlong, visited the College for the Enrolment Ceremony on February 26th, and encouraged the Company's efforts.
Out of Class Activities. Besides the regular classes, the non-credit courses and games, our students have been busy in many ways. These doings are controlled by the Student Representative Council, chosen by the whole student body in a carefully regulated election. The Council is to be complimented on its tactful and careful management of student affairs, including the administration of a Union Fund of more than two thousand dollars. This year's Council was made up of Mr. M. G. Green (president), Miss Mary Dawe (secretary), Misses Mary Henley and Irene Sharpe, Messrs. D. Newbury, A. Noseworthy, T. F. Seviour. Other useful members were Messrs. D. Bishop, W. J. Davis, H. Lilly, C. Seviour in the first year and F. H. Compton, R. C. Crewe, F. Newbury, C. C. Simms in the second.
The student magazine Cap and Gown is now in its seventeenth year; the editor, Mr. K. Barron, with his associates, deserve our thanks for such a fine production in the midst of a busy year's work. Reference is made elsewhere to the student's athletic programme and I acknowledge here the help of their Athletic Union. Social events have, most of them, been managed by the Representative Council directly or by authorized groups of students.
Student societies have helped to provide a variety of interest and means of self-expression. The Arts and Science Society (president Mr. W. Ford; secretary, Miss June Miles) used debating, a travel-talk, the ubiquitous "quiz," social gathering, discussions and the like to make up an agreeable year's programme. The Education Society (president, Mr. C. V. Moores; secretary, Miss Clarissa Sheppard) was well managed and with debates, films, questionnaires, music, two parties, and not forgetting fellow-students in hospital, can look back on a profitable year, the first in its re-organized form. The doings of the Engineering Society (president, Mr. H. Lilly; secretary, Mr. R. Gilbert), a most active group, are mentioned elsewhere in this Report. The Pre-medical Society (president, Mr. D. Smith; secretary, Miss Irene Sharpe) reports one of the most active years in its history with talks by doctors and other guests; film-showings, amusing and entertaining programmes' and prowess in games. The Ex-servicemen's Club (pres., Mr. J. R. Wood; secretary, Mr. J. P. Collins; treasurer, Miss Mabel Noel) has its own organization and indeed a small club-room, but its policy is that each member join also some other College society; social activities of the Club include the capable management of the annual Christmas Party. The International Relations Club (convenor, Mr. H. L. House; secretary, Mr. G. P. Devereaux) carried on the usual varied programme, with some special attention this year to Newfoundland affairs.
Evening and Extension Classes. The Navigation School, a special project of the College, is now set up in more spacious quarters on Duckworth Street. The chief instructor, Mr. A. G. Parrott, assisted by Mr. L. E. F. English, M.B.E., seconded to us from the Adult Education staff, has worked hard during the year. Intensive instruction in navigation was given to as many as 115 men, of whom 83 (a few more than last year) have passed the government examinations and so earned certificates of competency, 70 as mates and 13 as masters. Coastwise "tickets" earned number 45 and foreign (British Board of Trade) 38. There are 25 men now studying in our Navigation School. Of the 115 mentioned above some 45 were registered through the Department of Civil Re-establishment and nearly half of these found subsequent employment. Altogether 50 men of this year's list have become ships' officers. Six of ours were navigators in ships of this year's sealing fleet.
Other evening classes were cut down somewhat this year. But we were able to provide accountancy (elementary and also more advanced), taught by Mr. J. Hyslop, C.A.; engineering drawing, given by Professor S. J. Carew, as requested by some of the Housing Corporation's staff; a set of lectures on Trade Unionism, delivered by Professor A. M. Fraser; a class under Mr. J. Dooley in lay-out for boiler-makers and sheet-iron workers, suggested by R. M. Thompson, Esq., and a set of lectures on nutrition, given by Miss D. Keeping, chiefly for public health and welfare workers. Beside these classes two courses in chemistry were given by Miss M. Peters of our staff to classes of nurses in training.
The College buildings are regularly in use by night as well as by day. Not only is the College library open in the evenings and our gymnasium regularly in use, but as far as possible we try to accommodate outside groups of serious persons. Once again we have been glad to help the St. John's Players make their fine contribution to the cultural life of this city. A veterans' co-operative class, a university women's club, a teachers' organization -- these are some of the bodies to whom the College has been a willing host.
The College continues to act as guardian of some of the material of the Newfoundland Museum. One of our rooms is also the repository of the library of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Newfoundland Branch).
Alumni. Graduates and past students hold a firm place in the regard of their Alma Mater. It is good to observe that so many of them begin to fulfil the bright promise of their undergraduate days. Some are good citizens of our own country, while a small number have carried abroad, we believe, something of our own national ethos. The membership of the National Convention now in session includes three of our graduates and several others with close links with the College. Our alumni are very willing to give voluntary public service; for example, on the Public Libraries Board there are nine of our alumni. One of the well known British Council travelling scholarships has recently been awarded to Mr. E. Lear, a graduate of 1931, now on our staff.
When Old Memorials advocate the extension of the College to university status it indicates not only their foresight and their faith in this country but also, we think, their appreciation of what, within our limited range, this College has tried to give them.
There is an alumni society known as the Old Memorials' Association (president, Mr. R. Bartlett; secretary, Mrs. E. P. Kendall), which provides an annual scholarship for a promising and deserving present student.
The honourable record of our former students in the recent war must not be forgotten. Since it has not yet appeared in my Annual Report, I beg leave to insert here the list of the 29 men, once registered here who, in time of war gave their lives for their country:
Life in College. Until suitable hostels are set up the corporate life of the College will lack much. Nevertheless we have had a year of good companionship, if not quite the "felawschipe" of Mr. Paton's favourite song. Social events arranged by various groups of students, all properly chaperoned, have been spaced well throughout the year. The women students held again the annual Christmas Tree for children from less well-to-do homes. My wife and I have been glad to hold a few receptions during the year for College groups and others friendly to the College. During the year interested friends visited the College and saw the students at work.
For our general Assemblies we went to the Pitts Hall on Harvey Road. The Assembly Committee of Faculty arranged good programmes of music and speeches.
Almost every subject of study was enlivened by special projects, such as field trips in geology, excursions of many kinds, gramophone records in foreign languages, a classical periodical for students of Latin and Greek, as well as the many activities mentioned elsewhere in this Report.
Altogether I feel justified in reporting that the College year 1946-1947 has seen good work well done and much enjoyed.
Thanks. I offer respectful and sincere thanks to the many persons who have helped the College during the year. The list is a long one and includes: His Excellency the Governor, to whom we also express our best wishes for Lady Macdonald's speedy restoration to health; the Honourable Commissioners for Education, the Chairman and members of the Board of Governors; my colleagues in instruction and administration: parents of students, benefactors and kind friends; principals and assistants of city schools and colleges; alumni and the present undergraduates, my dear young friends.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
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