Friday, July 19, 2013

Humors and Rumors: The Funnies of The Mount Holyoke News

     We, at Mount Holyoke, are often known for our quick wit and sly humor. This isn't a new trend brought on by a new generation. Mount Holyoke–perhaps under the radar–has been one sassy school for the past hundred years and perhaps longer.

     How do we know this? In the College Archives we have the entire collection of The Mount Holyoke News, the campus newspaper. The paper was started the fall of 1917 (how's that for a tradition?) and while it includes the expected news articles, a letter to the editor section, and department notes, it's most memorable and humorous section comes from it's "Humor and Rumor" section. Not only does it provide us with a look at the style of humor of the students of the time (witty and sarcastic, much like ours today) but also at what issues they were dealing with at the time. These snippets below were all pulled from the first few issues of the newspaper.

     If you reads a significant amount of the "Humors and Rumors" you will be able to pick up on the heavy use of knitting jokes. There has been a resurgence in knitting on campus. You will find students knitting in dining halls, in the library, and even in lectures! This was not an uncommon sight in 1917 though and as such, it is a common topic seen in Humors and Rumors.

     We're not quite sure what the seniors were trying to do by snake dancing down the chapel aisle. Let's hope this year's seniors don't get any ideas!
     This poem was turned into a song to the tune of "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone". Writing songs used to be a huge part of Mount Holyoke tradition, but now takes less precedence.
 Being in a lecture we often find ourselves joining in a witty repartee with professors.
 As music was a part of campus life, it is not surprising to find music jokes.

 Even then students sometimes found themselves questioning how teachers graded their papers.
 We often find ourselves finding entertaining things to do to put off our work. It seems that that may also be a tradition at Mount Holyoke.

Mount Holyoke women pride themselves on their quick wit and sarcastic humor. Looking at these newspaper clippings, do you think this is a new trend, or another one of our many little traditions?

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