Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Cigarettes & Knickers:  Forbidden

Source: Parsons Daily Republican (Parsons, Kansas) 12 Nov 1922, Sun Page 4

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 30, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1920s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

The screaming baby in the classroom prank

I don't think this would go over well nowadays. From the Iowa City Press-Citizen - May 12, 1975:

As a pediatrician [Dr. Charles Johnson of the Iowa Medical School faculty] gives a lecture on child development. It’s scheduled for 1 p.m. The students are sleepy, not only because the subject doesn’t send them but because they’ve just finished lunch.

To liven them up Johnson does this:

“I start the lecture by playing a stereo recording from Sesame Street, which awakens about a third of the audience. I briefly outline the two-hour lecture and then, on cue, in comes the first patient... a newborn in a wheeled isolette pushed by a nurse.

“For the pediatrician,” I announce, “this is where it all begins.”

The baby then starts to scream. As it gets louder and louder Johnson becomes more and more annoyed.

At first he rocks the isolette gently, then with more vigor. Finally, in a fit of anger he flings open the glass top, seizes the infant, and throws it out into the audience.


“When the hysteria dies down I state: ‘Infants are helpless parasites. They can be and are battered.’

“Most of my other pearls are soon forgotten, but rarely does the student forget the ‘helpless parasite’ flying into the audience. All that’s needed is a straight-faced nurse, a good tape recording of an infant yelling — and a life-size doll.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 07, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Babies, 1970s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, Pranks

Silence Class

I wonder if it was possible to fail silence class. Perhaps by asking too many questions.

(left) Latrobe Bulletin - Feb 19, 1968; (right) Tampa Tribune - Feb 18, 1968

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 03, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: 1960s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Anti-Puberty Pill

In 1969, British health officer Dr. J.V. Walker proposed the development of a pill "to give young people to delay the onset of sexual maturity until they leave college and could earn their own living." Walker felt certain "it should not be difficult to develop a hormone preparation for the job."

Such a pill would certainly change the college experience for most people.

Akron Beacon Journal - June 1, 1969

A bit of research revealed that this J.V. Walker was Joseph V. Walker, health officer of Darlington. I couldn't find a fuller description of his anti-puberty pill, but I did come across a letter he sent to the Health Education Journal (March 1, 1970) in which he worried that young women would develop into "promiscuous addicts" if they didn't preserve their virginity until marriage. I suppose his pill would help with that goal as well.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 13, 2018 - Comments (10)
Category: Health, 1960s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Policy by slime mold

Artist Jonathon Keats has checked in with news about his latest project. He's helped arrange for some plasmodial slime molds to become the "first non-human scholars-in-residence" at Hampshire College. The slime molds are being put to work analyzing various complex issues, such as immigration and drug policy, so that we can all benefit from "the unbiased insights of slime molds."

The slime molds have already recommended that cannabis should be legalized:

Slime molds were charged with investigating how availability of soft drugs such as marijuana might impact dependency on hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin: to determine whether cannabis is a gateway to dangerous chemical addiction or a gateway from addiction to well-being. Confronted with a binary choice between a highly-addictive chemical and a nutritionally-balanced meal, slime mold populations consistently choose the former, with consequences that can be fatal. However when presented with a chemical gradient between the addictive substance and nutrients – equivalent to availability of gateway drugs in a human environment – P. polycephalum has shown a tendency to migrate away from the hard stuff but not the opposite. Although the results are still preliminary, they were so remarkable that consortium secretary Jonathon Keats communicated them directly to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, sending a letter stating the slime molds' position that "cannabis and its chemical derivatives should be legalized by the United States government."

More info: The Plasmodium Consortium,

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 07, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

The editor who featured herself

The undergrads at Tampa University had major complaints about their 1967 yearbook. For a start, all their yearbook photos were destroyed in a warehouse fire. So they didn't appear in it at all. And then, the yearbook they got was dominated by pictures of one person, the yearbook editor Carmen Gonzalez. Her picture appeared 24 times in it, including a six-page spread devoted to her as yearbook queen.

When people complained, Gonzalez explained, "I got into every section because I was in everything." She elaborated that she was not only yearbook queen, but also belonged to at least 10 clubs, was named a member of Who's Who, and had the highest scholastic average at the university. Therefore, it was only natural that she gave most coverage to herself.

The students responded by holding a rally at which they burned 500 of the 2000 yearbooks that had been printed.

Sounds to me like Gonzalez was a woman ahead of her time. She would have thrived in the age of social media.

Racine Journal Times - May 27, 1967

The Tampa Tribune - May 27, 1967

Battle Creek Enquirer - May 27, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 07, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: 1960s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Sti-Yu-Ka Oatmeal Ritual

Sti-Yu-Ka, a well known tradition at Springfield College, started as a variety of activities planned in celebration on the eve of Stepping Up Day, Springfield College’s way of marking the academic accomplishments of students as members of each class advance a year in their college careers. It is held during the end of the school year. Sti-Yu-Ka was founded in 1961 by Dr. Irving Conrad, then president of the Student Government Association. The name Sti-Yu-Ka seems to have come from the Springfield College club Hosaga, a club that performed Native American traditional ceremonial dances and songs. The name seems to have come from a dance that was performed on the eve of the achievement of adulthood and meant “The Coming of Age,” an appropriate name for an event on the eve of Stepping Up Day.At the time of its creation, Sti-Yu-Ka events started on Saturday at around 1 p.m. and went until the late night/early morning hours on Sunday. Conrad tried to create events that would take the focus away from alcohol. Such activities included a pig roast, canoe races, pie eating contests, square dancing, egg tossing, Jell-O wrestling, roller skating, a greased pig chase, fireworks on Rally Hill, and even the act of smashing a car. However, drinking did become a part of these activities and over the years the Office of Student Affairs increased the official Sti-Yu-Ka events from one weekend to one week, its present length. Again, this was done in an effort to keep students on campus doing activities that were social in nature, and to allow students to spend time with their peers and to try not to focus on alcohol. Although new events are thrown into the lineup, some staple events that have remained as Sti-Yu-Ka tradition over the years are the comedian on opening night, the Campus Activities Board’s Midnight Bingo, Residence Life’s Taste of SC, and the Greased Pole Climb and Oatmeal Pass.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 17, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Ceremonies, Education, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, Food, Regionalism

Edward Seese Memorial Scholarship

When millionaire real estate investor Edward Seese died in March 1995, he left instructions in his will to fund a $4.5 million scholarship at Broward Community College. The recipients of the scholarship, he instructed, were to be high school students who earned a C average. He felt that scholarships typically went to high academic achievers, so the C students had been "left out in the cold."

The scholarship still seems to be available to those who qualify.

Tallahassee Democrat - June 21, 1995

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 28, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Education, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, 1990s

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