Our great-grandparents' college hijinks

By Akum Norder

pedagogue yearbook photos. Back when UAlbany was the New York State College for Teachers, the following poem appeared in the 1918 yearbook ("The Pedagogue"), with a notation suggesting that it had fallen out of a particular student's book:

My parents taught me not to smoke;

I don't.

Nor listen to a naughty joke;

I don't.

They made it clear I must not wink

At pretty girls, or even think

Of buying eats for them or drink;

I don't.

To dance or flirt is very wrong;

I don't.

I kiss no girls, not even one.

I do not know how it is done.

You wouldn't think I had much fun;

I don't.

(But he does.)

(Gasp!) That last line! The scandal of it! Tee hee hee!

The poem was one that was making the rounds in the late teens and early twenties; you can find it in other books. It's interesting to note that for the college yearbook, a couple lines of the poem were changed, taking out references to "intoxicating drink" and a line about "pleasure, wine and song." This was, of course, the Temperance Era. States were in the process of ratifying the Eighteenth Amendment, which enacted Prohibition. New York was one of the last states to ratify it -- and one of the first to ratify the Twenty-First Amendment, which repealed it in 1933.

At which point the Kegs & Eggs riot was a mere 78 years off.


awesome! nice fine. ualbany still has a yearbook to this day, now called Torch Yearbook and entirely student produced. over 100 years running!

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