Brief Anecdotes from 1965

By Josephine Evetts-Secker, Professor of English

When I first came to the University of Calgary as a sessional instructor in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, I came from a university founded by Jeremy Bentham and not much changed since its founding! Courses had titles, but course numbers were unknown to me. So imagine my surprise when, on arrival on the first day of the academic year, I was recruited by my Department head, Dr. Earl Guy, to go over to the Gym, the Gold Gym, in order to assist in enrolment for students with whom the new computers could not deal. I was instructed to "manually sectionalize rejected students departmentally." In multi-sectioned courses, we had to allocate students to empty spaces! That instruction, manually sectionalize rejected students sounded ominous. It has stayed with me, as you can see. How the computer world has changed in 50 years!

Another amusing anecdote from those early days of the university. An advertisement was put in the Exciting New University. Accompanying the advertisement was a picture of a caveman, and the caption, "We might be young, but we are not primitive." This caused not a little embarrassment to many professors.

Another early memory is of going over the campus to teach at 8am in the Engineering department and on the return to Calgary hall an hour or so later, finding that trees had  suddenly appeared where there was only dust and space. Or that the odd tree that had been there had been moved! Nothing was stable it seemed, trees being shifted around soon after planting. A bit like Macbeth’s Birnam woods!

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