During Customs Week in the fall of 2009, I remember being bombarded with all sorts of information intended to guide me as I embarked on my 4-year journey. I promptly forgot the bits of advice that I considered pointless (who cares about having a balanced class schedule or knowing all the important academic deadlines of the semester?) and focused on counsel that struck me as the most instructive, e.g. the low down on the locations and nuances of all the vending machines on-campus, the inside scoop on the best place to buy socks in Suburban Square and the list of unofficial graduation requirements (any Quakers in need of a black eye, or info about the Friendly Association Papers, should contact me at email@example.com).
A few days ago, I was musing on how the list needs to be updated with new requirements. That same day, while idly browsing the records of the class of 1915 in the History of Haverford College section on triptych, I came across an article that provided me with the idea for one such requirement (did Special Collections read my mind? Far-fetched, but possible) :
The article reports the suspension of six Haverford seniors after they were caught serenading beneath the windows of a Bryn Mawr dorm at midnight. I was more than a little amused when the article noted that “there was an intimation that the singing was off-key” and the suspension infringed on “the unalienable right of college men to sing college songs on their way home from class gatherings”.
The thought that the article was a hoax never crossed my mind until I read the alleged telegram exchange between the presidents of the two colleges presented as exhibits. It seems scarcely believable that president of Bryn Mawr would send her telegrams from “the beanery” and would sign off as Emma Scarey. It seemed even less likely that M. Carey Thomas, a prominent suffragist from the early 20th century, would complain to President Sharpless that her “poor dear lambs were disturbed….much to the detriment of their needed beauty sleep”. There are numerous other gems embedded in the article that indicate this article is a century-old precursor to the Bi-Co (on A Budget) website.
There’s also a possibility that the article itself is chronicling an event that really happened but the telegrams are fabricated to poke fun at the administration in a more subtle way than this comic that follows the article:
In any case, I’m inspired by the antics- real or imagined- of the class of 1915 and I will endeavor to copy them towards the end of my senior year in order to be considered truly worthy of graduating from this great institution.
Triptych contains a wealth of such material and I urge readers to go on a treasure hunt and find similar gems from the college archives. It’s a much better procrastination tool than facebook, which is evil incarnate anyway.