Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 76

To the Girls of Colorado College in the Year Two Thousand,


It is easy for us to look back to the days of our great grandmothers, and wish we knew just what they did, one hundred years ago, but to choose the details of our life that will interest our own great-granddaughters is rather an uncertain task. So I am going to take it for granted that you are girls just like us, and that what we think is interesting will prove so to you. Here at Colorado College every effort is made to improve the surroundings of the girls; in fact much more is done for us than for the boys. For they have but one dormitory, and that an old one, while we have three: Montgomery Hall for the academy students, Ticknor Hall for the seniors and sophomores and South Hall for the juniors and freshmen. A matron lives in each hall to look after matters in general and to try to fill mothers' place as nearly as possible. The dean of women is final authority and she does all in her power to make things pleasant and helpful for the girls; although all of her efforts are not fully appreciated. That is because we do not understand what is best for us.

Each girl has her own room, which is well but plainly furnished. She must make it pretty and cheerful by her own devices, and this she does as every girl knows how to do. Naturally the girls who live in the halls and those from town form two different cliques. At times there is sharp rivalry between them, but usually it is good natured, for we all realize that girls are apt to be clannish when they live together for nine months in the year. The hall girls have the advantage of being in close touch with the real college life; while the town girls count themselves fortunate in being free from wearisome rules. There is another letter telling of these rules, so I need not enumerate them. They are generally obeyed without a great deal of complaint; still a few murmurs can be heard, now and then. Since the questions that arise over the relations between girls and boys are many and troublesome - to the authorities at the halls, at least - rules are deemed necessary to check any tendency to close intimacy. Most of us do feel though, that we are old enough to treat young men in a sensible way; very few of us come to college to cultivate love affairs. As a rule there exist between the young men and women of our college, a very helpful and pleasant comradeship, - not on exactly equal footing, for women still demand a certain amount of reverence and chivalric spirit in men. Perhaps it is needless to say that many little ways are found to break hall rules. Small parties of two and four, without any chaperone, often find their way downtown to a confectioner's store or café, or over to Manitou and the cañons. And no one is the worse for the imprudence.

Surely you will want to know how we amuse ourselves when study becomes irksome. Many of our social functions have become customs, and it is easy to tell of these. First of all is the afternoon tea given to the new girls by the Young Women's Christian Association, just a little informal affair, where we try to get acquainted with each other. Later comes the large reception at Coburn Library, to which all the students are invited - and a prim, stupid affair it is. We all stand around and try to talk entertainingly to people we never saw before, that is if we do our duty. Otherwise we find our old friends and have a pleasant time relating vacation experiences. There is always a big crowd and so much noise that one's throat aches from the effort to be heard. Downstairs refreshments are served, sherbet and cake or fruit punch, and then we go home with a sigh of relief. Receptions of various sorts continue throughout the year. The only ones we really enjoy are those given to the visiting football teams, or to our own Tigers when we think they need a little petting.

During the first four weeks of September, classes are organized and the first class parties held. The boys of the sophomore and freshman classes have an athletic contest, which is arranged by a committee of faculty members and students. This of course the girls do not share, except to encourage the boys, and to supply a little enthusiasm, and provide a fudge party for the victors or the vanquished. There are several joint class parties in the course of the winter. On Insignia Day the seniors entertain the juniors and bury class animosity. Later in the year the juniors take the seniors to the mountains for a picnic. The seniors also entertain their proteges the sophomores; the juniors do likewise with the freshmen; and the lower classes return the courtesy. Parties last from eight in the evening till ten or eleven; the latter hour if the hall girls may stay. Otherwise we go home at ten. Sometimes we dance, but generally the amusement takes the form of some game in which all my join. Often we go in fancy dress to represent books or famous characters, and we always have a Virginia reel or sing college songs before we leave.

On Hallowe'en the sophomore class treats the whole college to a barbeque in Washburn Athletic Field. We gather in the grandstand and listen to the eloquence of class and faculty orators; then the sophs bring out roast mutton and pork, apples, cider, and peanuts, and when we have eaten and drunk to our hearts content we go out and dance around the big bonfire that has been lighted on the field.

After the football season the team holds a banquet at some down town hotel, and happy the girls who have athletic friends. The two men's literary societies also have banquets and numerous spreads, to which they take their girl friends.

Then there are dances and skating parties galore, and fudge parties, where a few girls gather in one of the rooms upstairs, or a larger crowd of boys and girls is invited to the study room at Ticknor Hall; and fudge and pinouchi are made in chafing dishes. These you must know are two favorite dainties in college circles, and this is the recipe. As much sugar as you want candy, milk enough to cover, a lump of butter and some grated chocolate. Cook it all together until it is thick enough to stir into a cream. This makes fudge, while for pinouchi, the chocolate is omitted, and brown sugar with nuts is used instead of white.

Two or three of the girls often give afternoon teas in Ticknor parlors. We all put on our prettiest gowns, gossip, drink tea, eat wafers and other good things, lay our cards on the tray, say goodbye to our hostesses, and it is over. They really are not much fun, but it is an easy way to pay social dues in our busy college life.

The Glee Club concert is also quite a social affair, everybody goes. The girls' Glee is not so popular as the boys'. Until this year not much interest was taken in it, but the club of 1901 was quite successful, and we are hoping that in time, it will give as good music as the boys' and be quite as popular.

Best of all the fun we have, the impromptu jollifications in the Gymnasium and the picnics are the best. The streetcar line to the Cheyenne Cañons runs right by the campus, so picnics are generally held there. We start out with full lunch baskets and kodaks, ready for any fun. In half an hour the cañon is reached and then we fling dignity to the four winds and forget seminars and theses and exams for a few hours - even though we do "flunk" the next day. In the evening the boys build a fire and we sit around it, and tell stories and sing college songs till time to go home. The people who live along the car line are rudely awakened from their dreaming by a noisy crowd, for we make the air ring with College songs and yells: - "Oh! Solomon Levi" and "Merrily we Roll Along," and "Polly woly doodle woly day" and all the rest of the nonsense the next century will forget.

On February 22nd the girls on the campus give a colonial ball. Everyone dresses in old fashioned gowns or knickerbockers as she happens to be representing a colonial dame or gallant. Martha and George Washington are there with Dolly Madison and all the belles of 1776. Will you have balls in the fashion of the nineteenth century, I wonder, and will you try to waltz and two-step as we do?

Fraternities and sororities have found no place in our life, and we hope they never will. We have two literary clubs - Minerva and Contemporary, both are much alike. Their aim is to help their members to speak easily, and to think logically, and to be careful critics. Once a week we meet for an hour or so. Each program consists of short talks on various subjects - art and artists, books, current literature, politics, present day problems, anything of general interest to women. We devote some time to drills in parliamentary rules and to debates upon live subjects. Still the latter field is left almost entirely to the young men. We belong to the Oratorical Association, pay our dues, and cast a vote, but there we let the matter rest. Until now we have felt that such lines of work belonged entirely to men, and that public speaking is not woman's sphere. Lately however, girls are becoming more interested in debates. These two societies have a distinct social life; the Minerva society perhaps has more because it is older and has had more time to form customs. Its symbol is a white M in a blue circle; Contemporary's is a carnation. In May the younger club holds a large reception for the faculty and some of the students. The evening is spent in a musical or literary way, and is always enjoyed by those who are privileged to attend. In December, Minerva entertains by a musicale and luncheon; each girl invites a boy friend. The Minerva girls have many other pleasant times among themselves - spreads or dances and now and then a farce, to which admission is charged, but no men allowed. We do not have many theatricals, but what we do have are great fun. The seniors attempt a class play at commencement time, and one year we tried to reproduce a Greek play, with considerable success. But the college is not yet large enough for many things of this sort. There are so few students here, that nearly all the work in clubs and societies must fall on a very few energetic students.

In athletic as well as forensic lines, we girls leave the honors to the boys. Of course we go to the games, and get wildly excited over foot-ball, and wave our black and gold banners frantically, and encourage the boys all we can, and sympathize with them if they are hurt or beaten. Foot-ball is a royal game, we do hope it will not be out of date when you go to college. We have an Athletic Association, however, and a small field of our own, where we have many a scramble at basket-ball. A member of one of the teams has written the rules for you and I shall put them in this envelope. Gymnasium work under the regular instructor is required three times a week, and for those who want more out-door exercise, tennis, golf, and fencing clubs furnish an outlet for pent-up energy.

The Young Women's Christian Association forms no small part of College life. About one hundred girls belong, girls who stand for the best things here, and who are eager to create a deeply religious atmosphere about College. Every Sunday a prayer meeting is held in the Ticknor study room, and from this meeting the girls go out strengthened for the week's work. The organization at present is rather imperfect; the machinery is too prominent, so that committee work is given a little too much attention, and we are often so deeply engrossed with Association business that we forget the real aim of our work, and don't have time to stop and do something kind for someone else. One purpose of the Association is to encourage systematic Bible study, and as a result about sixty girls are enrolled in classes of five or six for this purpose. A few of the students are interested in the Student Volunteer movement. Will they realize their motto, "The Evangelization of the World in This Generation"?

While no rules are made for Sunday, every girl is expected to keep it from work-a-day duties. In the morning each one attends the church she prefers, at four in the afternoon we have the Y.W.C.A. meeting and after supper Vesper services. Thus the day is kept quiet and sacred. Of course there are always some who think they must study seven days in the week, but it has been successfully demonstrated by girls that this is not necessary.

Recitations for the day commence at eight thirty; each one continues for three quarters of an hour. At nine fifteen, a short pause occurs - Chapel time. The exercises are held in the auditorium of Perkins Art Hall, and the long line of students begins to cross the campus as soon as the bell rings, for everybody must be there and on time. The services are simple, the organ is played until all are seated. Then the President repeats a verse of Scripture, we all rise to sing a hymn, and remaining standing through the responsive reading and chant. Then the President offers a few sentences of prayer, and we repeat the Lord's Prayer. Once a week Pres. Slocum gives an ethical talk. This is one of the few occasions when the seniors wear caps and gowns; it is hard work to persuade the boys to wear them at all. Recitations begin again at nine forty-five and last till one o'clock. The afternoon session is from two-thirty till five. The way in which the day is spent depends entirely upon the student. Some girls spend every minute in hard study, some pass a great deal of their time on the Library lawn or in an alcove gossiping or flirting, until the Librarian tiptoes around the corner of the alcove, and puts an end to the fun. And then there is the girl who works hard when it is time for work, plays with her whole soul when it is time for fun - and she is the one who does the best work in the classroom. The College Catalogue offers the best explanation of our studies, but doubtless they will seem exceedingly simple and elementary to you, and if you could find some of our antiquated textbooks in a musty corner of the library storeroom, they might afford you considerable amusement. You see we are expecting the girl of the next century to be a marvel in wisdom. However we don't expect you to outgrow Plato and Euripides, or Shakespeare and Milton, or Goethe; and we also think we have discovered a few of the truths of science and philosophy in this century, and the two thousand years or so preceding it.

The larger part of this letter has been about our fun and interests aside from real College work, but the average girl is here, first of all to learn, not that she wants to be a "new woman" and to be equal with men in the outside world - far from it. She only wants to get the best training to make her a good and useful woman wherever she may be. Her athletics, her glee club, her society work are all secondary to her classroom work; but into them all she enters enthusiastically, with a purpose to get the best from everything. It is impossible for us to prophesy truly what the woman of the next century will be. Doubtless she will enter public life more than we, her college course will be far more advanced, and her work done in a more scientific way. But the girls of today hope that, however old fashioned our lives may seem in one hundred years, and however many new spheres of action and greater advantages the girls of the next century may have, that still our life purposes may be the same - to be womanly women in our own place - home. This is the best wish we can send to you across the century and we send it with all our hearts.

Sincerely yours, in the love of our alma mater,

Ella Lorna Graber,

For the Colorado College Girls of nineteen hundred and one.

Colorado Springs, Colorado. August third, 1901

Colorado Springs, Aug. 3rd, 1901

To the Athletic Maidens of a Century Hence:

It gives me great pleasure to thus acquaint you with our way of playing the game of Basket Ball, and I thrust you will consider it as a duty devolving upon you to revive an interest in it even as we have done toward the old Olympic games, for we can guarantee to you, from our own experience, a lot of happy hours in its pursuit.

[little drawing]

The above is a diagram of the field; the teams are composed of six players each, two centers, two guards and two goal-throwers. One team I have represented by X and the other by O, showing the respective position of each team at the beginning of a game. The ball used is a pig-skin one, inflated with air, about 10 inches in diameter.

The field is generally from fifty to seventy-five feet long, and at the ends of each, or rather, at the middle of each end, baskets are suspended from ten-foot poles. The ball is thrown in at the center from the side by the referee and the object is by successful passes from one player to another to get the ball in a convenient place for a try for goal. The field is marked off into sections as indicated and no player can overstep her boundaries. The violation of this rule is a foul, and as a penalty to the guilty team, the opposing gets a free throw for goal from a ten-foot line - that is with no one opposing. Every successful throw for basket counts two, except in case of a free throw allowed as a penalty for making a foul, which counts one. In case a throw from a foul does not go into the basket, the ball is immediately in play again. After every basket or successful throw, the ball must be thrown into the center again by the referee. The following are also held as fouls; rough playing, knocking ball out of another's hands, talking to officials, running or stepping with ball, or holding longer than five seconds. The game is usually played in halves of twenty minutes each, with five minutes intermission. The officials are the referee, who puts the ball into play, an empire for each side to call fouls against the opposite side, time-keeper and score-keeper. The players are not allowed to talk. Each team has its captain and these are the only ones to whom this privilege is given. They also have the power of calling fouls. Players can be ruled from the field by the umpire for rough playing or unseemly conduct of any sort, but I am sure in your enlightened day and age, such a rule is superfluous.

Trusting I have been explicit enough and yet have not wearied you, I am
Your humble servant,
Lillian May Johnson
Member Colorado College Basket-Ball
Team 1896- 1900

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