Vassar College Digital Library

Shipp, Margaret M. | to Family, 15 November 1903

VC 1905
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Sunday November 15, 1903
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie N.Y.
Dearest people,
I’m sorry I made you feel so abused by not telling you more about the debate but I was so tired of the whole business after it was over that I didn’t see how the subject could be interesting to anyone. And then it is a hard thing to describe a debate. The exciting part of it was the refutation of course


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and that is all ex tempore. You listen hard to what the person on the other side who speaks before you says, and then you are supposed to gather together those bits of your hand-accumulated knowledge of the subject, which will knock down what your opponent has sait. There are just about a thousand little points that you have to be able to refute—you can't overlook any point that by chance the opponent


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could turn to their own advantage—and what you say you have to prove by actual statistics. Betty is going to be on the next debate in about two weeks.
I don’t know when I’ve had such a good time as I did Thursday night when we went to see Miss Mann. In the first place just before we started we met a girl who had just come from Miss Mann’s room, and she said Miss Man had told her we were coming and that she was expecting to be much amused. Well-”Miss Wylie”,”Mephistopheles”, and “little Peggy” arrived at her door a little after eight. I knocked, the door was opened, and in we went. We acted our parts all the time and Miss Mann entered into the spirit of the whole thing in a way which was beautiful to see! I thought she would die laughing once or twice. Ruth was perfect. I never saw a part better taken.


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I did the [highawalks], and made Miss Mann play with my cauton flannel dog whose name, Lincoln-Doglas[Douglass], she greatly appreciated. In the course of the evening we took off all the faculty and—well, what we didn’t do isn’t worth mentioning. As we were leaving, Ruth, in her character as Miss Wylie said, “Now Muss Mann, I do hope you’ll come down to see me on my way Thursday afternoons” Betty


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(the devil) pops up and says “I shan’t venture to ask you to come down and see me, Miss Mann.” Oh, what fun! It was such a pleasure to see Miss Mann so pleased and gay—and so0me people think she’s an iceberg.
Miss Key’s has been quite ill with a bad cold since Thursday. I sent her some flowers yesterday. I do hope she’ll be well enough to be out tomorrow or next day.


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As for the junior entertainment last night—It was given in the gymnasium. It represented a ton through the first semester of freshman year. The freshmen, dressed as tourists, met in the 1st floor south corridor of Main Building where they were given tickets and programs in the shape of railroad times tables by girls dressed as railway officials. The tourists were divided into parties of ten and each party was entrusted to the guidance of a “courrier.” At intervals of two or three minutes these parties started for the gym. On arriving there they were blindfolded, and they were started off holding on to a rope, and escorted by the currier whose business it was to see that they picked up their feet when they came to stairs etc. The rope stretched for miles, up stairs and down and all around the gym. At different


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Points in it there were the Treasurer’s office, the Secretaries office, The Christian Reception, the Mathematics Department, the Sophomore Dance and Semester Exams. The freshmen were blindfolded you see so the appeals were made to their hearing and touch. My performance was the Christian Reception. As the party of tourists came along the line, each girl was seized by a member


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Of my committee and introduced to girls representing Prexy, Mrs K, and the president of [christians] of course the most ridiculous names that could be made up were used in these introductions. Then the rumor was spread that there were to be tableaux. The poor blindfolded creatures were made to sit down in a bunch on the floor. A bell [tumbled], there was the noise of a rising curtain, and the “tableaux” began. Of course there wasn’t really a curtain


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or any tableaux, but this is what there was—(at the last christian reception the tableaux represented scarves from “An Old Sweetheart of Mine[“], the verses being recited as the pictures were shown) I recited in the most heartrending soleful way a parody on Riley’s poem, called An Old Crush of Mine. I had to do it thirty times, through a megaphone because there were other noisy performances going on at the same time in the same room. It was hard work, but slews of fun. Edith Tallant wrote the parody and it is great. To day I’m as hoarse as a crow and very tired but most happy—Betty the angel, is making hot chocolate and toast for me so I can stay in bed where I’ve been all afternoon, and not have to go down to supper.
Well after the tourists got through their journey they were


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unblind-folded, and a short minstrel show was given, and it was as funny as anything of the kind I’ve ever seen. I mustn't forget to speak of now funny some of the tourists costumes were. The couriers all wore long coats trimmed in green, class [color] bloomers, and fetching little caps. Betty, Rudge, and Esther were all couriers. I met the interesting Mrs Atwater again for a minute.


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I got a lovely note from Mrs Underhill yesterday seconding Ruth’s invitation for Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to that, and to seeing Twelfth Night next Thursday! Oh this is such a nice world. Here’s my hot chocolate +++++
My, but it was good! Two large cups of it have I consumed and two goodly pieces of hot buttered toast!
Here is the parody—I wish I could read it to you.


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An Old Crush of Mine
A Fair Illusive Vision
An old, old Crush of mine:-is this her presence here with me?
Oh but a vain creation of a college memory?
A fair, illusive vision that would vanish into air
Dared she trust for sustenance to live up on the college [fare].
The First Meeting
I can see the old white sweater, and the raggéd, draggéd dress,
She wore when first I met her, and she gave me her address,
With the verbal declaration that “five flights I’d have to climb,
But oh, do come and see me-”. That dear old Crush of mine!
All’s Fair in Love and Latin
And so, I made her present in a really shocking way—
My precious [Livy] pony—I had flunked it too, that day —
But I followed her to Latin, her hand behind her, so—
And I slipped the pony in it—But miss Palmer didn’t know!
You can see for yourself how passionately this could be recited—oh it was great, and I enjoyed it, even the thirtieth time.
Slews of love


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[Bootoo] was twenty-one on Friday and her mother sent her a box of Haylar’s, part of which I devoured with much joy. I haven't been weighed lately, but I think I’m getting fatter every day, and I’m working like a dog too!
By the way, I have a doll about eighteen inches tall which I am going to


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dress for Jacob Riis. I shall do it during Thanksgiving vacation, and in the meantime if you can find any scraps of material I could use for its dress or under clothes I wish you’d sent them (in a letter). Preferably silk or soft thin material for the dress. Goodbye.


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Marrie’s dinner parties sound sehr gay!


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Debate [unclear] entertainment - Miss Mann
Mr Joseph P Shipp
MIss May Louise Shipp
1010 N. Delaware Street


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NOV 17
12 30 PM