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UNL, 1912 Yearbook

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   LIKE many of the best of human experiences, college life is best appreciated when the end draws nigh. The young man risks life and limb and everything with a smile on his lips. Life to him is a matter of course, and he seldom considers the possibility of losing it. The old man crosses the crowded street with slow and careful step, and makes every moment of his last years a matter of thought, for life has become to him the most precious thing in the world -- the only thing to which be would cling.
   So it is that the Freshman, whom we may consider as the stripling of the college world, often makes light of daily incidents and accidents that come back to him in after years with more of their true meaning. Even through the Sophomore, Junior, and a large part of the Senior year, the attitude does not greatly differ. We live this college life from day to day, and from check to check, carelessly, thoughtlessly; too often making mountains out of mole-hills and considering boulders pebbles. But at this time in one's college career he begins to achieve the view-point of the aged man. By far the major portion of college life has for him become college history, and he realizes that tomorrow he will be one, and only one, of the countless multitude that has stalked from the Campus gates in years gone by, flush and full of the spirit of youth and ambition, to vanish completely in the humdrum chaos of the greater life. He hangs upon these last days with longing and lingering, for he has begun to realize that the school time of life is past. He has, as it were, been a novice learning to swim in a shallow and gentle stream,

where the water was tempered and the sand soft. Splashing about, now swimming clumsily, now floating indolently with the current, he has traveled farther than he knew. The current has grown more powerful, the water more deep, and in the near distance already he hears the low rumble of that great ocean to which his little stream is one of a million tributaries. It is useless to try to escape -- the current runs too swiftly. It is vain to feel for the bottom -- the channel has become too deep. It seems that he is drowning. He gulps and gasps. Then there begins to run before him in a sort of disordered parade, the phantom phalanx of the deeds and misdeeds of his college life.
   His Freshman days, full of registration tribulations, rushing, delinquency cards, dances, initiations, calf-love affairs, and examinations form the first company. Here he sees himself drooping and weary at the end of a seemingly endless line that moves with snail-like precision into, and through the registrar's office. He feels again the catch in the throat, that accompanied his talk with the registrar, and the kink in his pocketbook put there by Dales. He remembers the pretty Sophomore co-ed who followed him in line, and whispered directions to his red-faced confusion. Then there is the occasion of his first call at a sorority house. Never had his feet been so large, his throat so small, and his tongue so rigid, and how fervently he had sworn "never again" at the end of that terrible half-hour. Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years follow in much the same manner, a strange and unordered mixture. Kiss and kick, honor and defeat, success and failure in all of the things that go to make up that delicious com-

bination of circumstances called college life. They fly by like phantoms in the memory of the drowning. They fly by and are gone. At once his mind is again clear and he turns his head toward the unknown body of water into which the current is so rapidly bearing him. He recalls the words of wisdom that have been gained from his superiors. A plan of action resolves itself in his brain, and with a strong arm and heart unafraid, he reaches out swiftly and far in the first stroke of life's great swimming race.
   At this time we can follow him no further. It may be that we have seen the last of him. On the sea he breasts, the waves are said to roll high, and the rocks to be many. Its shores and eddies are rotten with wrecks, and its sargasso impassable. But

many, too, are the powerful swimmers, who stem its tide with long clean strokes, head and shoulders above water, scorning the eddies, and laughing at the rocks. It may be that from the example of these he may receive new inspiration and added courage and strength, so that in years to come he may become such a swimmer. If so, then we have not bidden him farewell. He has not gone down with the weaklings. But rather, we shall see him again. Often pausing in his labors, he will rear his head to gaze backward, and as time goes on, more often will he gaze. For far astern, yet always visible, radiant and beautiful against the evening sky, will stand his Alma Mater -- and College Life the complete compendium of the early experiences he holds most dear.


   SINCE first we came to college we have heard on every hand that Nebraska lacks college spirit. In evidence of this sad fact, we have heard it stated, time and again, that there are no college traditions upon which to found such spirit as envelops the campus of a Harvard, a Yale, or a Princeton. It is true that we have no class societies to which it is considered any particular honor to belong; we have no drinking clubs, no boarding clubs, in which membership is a claim to fame. Our Commencement week possibly is not surrounded with the sentiment of a Class Day at a privately endowed school, and, all in all, there are a number of things which we do not have at Nebraska which are enjoyed by the students of other colleges. But we do have traditions, and such as they are they are most excellent. It is the fault of none but ourselves if Ivy Day, Charter Day, Commencement, Sneak Day, the Shirt-Tail Parade, the Barbecue, the Trail, the big class dances, and a hundred other annual functions and frolics are not as dear to the heart of the Cornhusker alumnus as is his Class Day to the Yale man. Former generations of Cornhuskers have established these traditions, and we are doing our best to maintain them. They are perfectly good traditions -- just as good as any one's. The trouble is that Nebraska is at least one hundred years younger than most of the colleges famed for their traditions. Few of us, of this generation, have

fathers who went to college at all, and still fewer of them to Nebraska. But such will not be the case in the future. And when the years draw nigh when our Bills and Emmelines come down to college, then these same traditions, now perhaps saplings, shall have become great trees, with mighty ramifying branches, their huge trunks shrined and glorified with the mosses of memory.
   But it is incumbent upon us now to keep these trees well watered. Such water as is needed for the nurture of Traditions is mixed from rare elements. Into it go a few drops of the Elixir of Youth, a quart or so of Tears, a large quantity of the extract of Laughter. some essence of Pain, a dash of Regret, a generous cupful of Perspiration, and any amount of Hard Work. The mixture, poured without stint about the base and roots of the Tradition, with a thorough application of Hope, and the growth of the Tree is accomplished. This is the task that confronted the founders of these few Traditions. hereinafter-to-be chronicled. They who have gone before have labored well. They planted the Century Plant of Tradition, which bears no fruit till a hundred years. We must not fail to keep alive and growing the seed which they have sown, that those who come, even after our children, may enjoy the fruit thereof -- for it is all for the good of old Nebraska and the new Nebraska Spirit.

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IT was only a few hours after the wonderful Michigan game, before any one had time even for a moment to forget the great defense Nebraska put up against the Wolverines, that fully one thousand of the students and alumni of Nebraska and Michigan who had yelled themselves hoarse on the scene of conflict a little while before, were assembled at the annual Cornhusker Banquet held at the Auditorium, November twenty-fifth. This was the first banquet co-eds have attended since the inauguration of this impressive event, where the warriors of the gridiron are praised for their loyalty and good work. While it is true the presence of co-eds to a certain extent changed the general idea of the occasion, along with the massive festoons of scarlet and cream, their numbers lent color and effect to the surroundings.
   There was a hum and bustle about the banquet hall which fairly permeated the atmosphere, and which seemed to inspire enthusiasm in the heart of every man and woman there. There were more than a few blithesome souls seated beside the long board of smiling faces who proved to be

over-enthusiastic. It is our sincerest hope that none of the "fairer sex" will have an occasion "to put the shoe on," for we fear that this alleged overenthusiasm was due to some outside influence involving the question of, "what made these souls become so infused with Nebraska spirit?"
   The toasts, rendered by some of the members of our team, a few of our Faculty and alumni, and also by a few of the Faculty and alumni of Michigan, were great! One or two of the talks seemed a little too long, but their supreme eloquence far discounted their length, so everybody managed to keep in a good humor just the same. The two teams seated at tables behind the speakers, the frequent roar of "U-U-U-n-i" or "Rah, rah, rah, Michigan," and the inspiring strains of military music which poured forth with great gusto from the horns of the Nebraska University band, lent enchantment to this genial flow of oratory. There is no doubt that every football enthusiast and supporter of the Cornhusker banquet, after five hours of a royal good time, went away feeling that the affair was a grand success.

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© 2000, 2001 T&C Miller