Hail to Thee, Okoboji U! A Humor Anthology on Higher Education

By Mark C. Ebersole | Go to book overview

Off to College

Teresa Bloomingdale

When I went away to college, a generation ago, I took a steamer trunk to hold my clothes and a shopping bag for miscellaneous items such as an alarm clock, an umbrella, a radio, and a tennis racket. I remember my father teasing me about "taking all that stuff to school," and my arguing that these were all "absolute necessities," though I suppose it was a bit much, especially since I was also toting a typewriter, an extra coat, and a huge stuffed animal to which I was not particularly devoted but which was definitely de rigueur in a girl's dorm room in that era.

A generation later, when our son John went off to college, things were a bit different. John took a shopping bag to hold his clothes (his entire wardrobe consisting of two pairs of jeans, a couple of T-shirts, and twelve sweat bands) and a U-Haul for his miscellaneous items: refrigerator, recliner, hot plate, sunlamp, television set, full component stereo system, typewriter, tape recorder, ten-speed bike, and numerous boxes of records and books, some of which were expensive college texts that he had managed to purchase secondhand during the summer.

"You can't take all that stuff to school!" I admonished John, with much less humor than my father had shown me twenty-five years before.

To my surprise, John agreed.

"You're right," he said. "I'll never be able to store all this stuff in my dorm room. I'll have to sacrifice something."

And he did. He gave up the textbooks.

Like dutiful parents, we accompanied John to the state university in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had been assigned a room in Abel Hall. There is an excellent branch of Nebraska University in our own Omaha, but of course John was not about to go there; that would mean living at home for four more years! John wasn't too happy about our "tagging along" ("You didn't take me to kindergarten; why should you take me to college?"), but like all college alums, I was afflicted with "back-to- school fever" and was determined to spend at least a few hours reveling in the nostalgia which would surely be aroused by the familiar aura of a college dorm.

I was first aware of just how drastically things had changed when

-18-

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Hail to Thee, Okoboji U! A Humor Anthology on Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • A Short History of Higher Education 1
  • Solemnity, Gloom and the Academic Style: A Reflection 7
  • How to Get In 10
  • The Rich Scholar 14
  • Off to College 18
  • Gather Round, Collegians 21
  • Hail to Thee, Okoboji! 26
  • Wherefore Art Thou Nittany? 27
  • University Days 29
  • University Days 34
  • Taste of Princeton 39
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 41
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 45
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 47
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 51
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 57
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 63
  • Professor Pnin 72
  • The Rivercliff Golf Killings 76
  • Two Limericks 84
  • Professor Tattersall 86
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 93
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 105
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 107
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 112
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 114
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 117
  • Handy-Dandy Plan to Save Our Colleges 122
  • Jocelyn College 128
  • Reforming Yale 133
  • The Groves of Academe: Deep, Deep Words 135
  • Survey of Literature 143
  • Shakespeare Explained 144
  • The Shakespeare Interview 147
  • Professor Gratt 152
  • The Cliché Expert Testifies on Literary Criticism 153
  • Great Poets 158
  • Webley I. Webster: Wisdom of the Ages 164
  • The Immortal Hair Trunk 166
  • How to Understand Music 169
  • 1776 and All That. the First Memorable History of America 172
  • If He Scholars, Let Him Go 183
  • The Truth About History 185
  • The Truth About History 188
  • The Universe and the Philosopher 191
  • My Philosophy 193
  • My Philosophy 196
  • My Philosophy 198
  • My Philosophy 199
  • My Philosophy 200
  • Science 203
  • Philosopher 205
  • Mr. Science 208
  • One Very Smart Tomato 210
  • Botanist, Aroint Thee! Or, Henbane by Any Other Name 212
  • Nonsense Botany 213
  • Book Learning 218
  • Prehistoric Animals of the Middle West 219
  • Prehistoric Animals of the Middle West 224
  • A Pure Mathematician 228
  • Thinking Black Holes Through 231
  • The Purist 234
  • Theoretical Theories 235
  • Professor Piccard 235
  • How Newton Discovered the Law of Gravitation 237
  • Parlez-Vous Presidentialese? 252
  • The Secret Life of Henry Harting 255
  • Marshyhope State University 265
  • The Degree 276
  • President Robbins of Benton 282
  • My Speech to the Graduates 286
  • Graduationese 289
  • Grooving with Academe 292
  • An Old Grad Remembers 294
  • The Cultured Girl Again 297
  • Alumni News 299
  • Twenty-Fifth Reunion 302
  • The Final Final Exam - A Sentimental Education 304
  • Turning Back to the Campus 314
  • Improbable Epitaph 316
  • Acknowledgments 317
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