Jersey Journal/1930/College Days

College Days  (1930) 
by Naida Muriel Freudenberg

The short story, College Days, by Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) published in The Jersey Journal on April 26, 1930.

College Days
By Naida Muriel Freudenberg
9 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

The words "fire fire!" rang through the Westly College for girls. Anne Dillon and Ada Kohlman, roommates, jumped quickly from their beds. "The first fire we have had since the college was built," whispered Anne and Ada nodded in assent. Footsteps rushing down the corridor made the girls hustle and leave their room. Still the call of "fire, fire," kept up. Then "you girls hurry the building is about to fall." "Its Miss Wayne, she had better get out of the building herself," several girls said as they marched orderly down the stairs. Outside the air was clear and the boys college stood outlined against the sky. The boys had evidently been aroused by the commotion for there were signs of the students in their windows. The girls looked in vain for any signs of flames but none could be seen. The Principal Miss Saye sent Anne and her roommate in search of Miss Wayne. The two girls wandered upstairs. "She is on this floor, [here] she comes." Anne and Ada craned their necks in curiosity. Down the hall came an elderly woman. Wrapped in a white flannel nightgown, red night cap on her head and red slippers on her feet. She was crying "fire, fire," and Anne said "she's having a nightmare." Ada grasped the teachers arm, "Miss Wayne, Miss Wayne, wake up." The teacher startled by her touch sped along the corridor. Anne quickly caught up with her, Ada at her heels. The repeated calls, must have reached the teacher's ears for she awoke as suddenly as if she had been shot. "I say girls what the matter? Go back to bed this instant. I will report to Miss Saye for rousing the pupils." "But Miss Wayne you had everyone upset." "Me?" Inquired the teacher me amazement "What nonsense, I surely will report you for this disorderly conduct and impertinence." "Well Miss Wayne, Miss Saye wants to know why you are calling 'fire, fire' and exciting the whole school. All the guys and teachers are out on the campus searching for the invisible flames. "Oh I feel ill, tell Miss Saye I have retired. Goodnight girls." Anne burst into laughter, "Come on lets tell the girls," and they explained to the teachers and students. The incident was forgotten however with the approaching event. A costume ball was to held in the girls dormitory. The students from the boy's college were invited and Anne hoped secretly that Arthur Lake would come, while Ada planned for August. It had been decided that each person would pick a slip from a box, to see what costume they should wear. The boys had a separate box to pick from. Anne got "Queen of Hearts" for her costume and she wondered if Arthur Lake would get the "Knave of Hearts". Ada picked the "Peasant Girl" and hoped August would pick the partner slip. Friday night, ball night. The boys kept coming in, [and] Anne searched for her partner. Everybody was masked but Anne prided herself on the fact that she would know Arthur in the midst of a thousand people. A tall fellow strode into the room. "Its Arthur and he is my partner. Well i'll see if he recognizes me." Anne hailed him, "Say Arthur, I've been waiting a long time and I wouldn't dance with anyone else." "Oh hello Anne. Gee you look fine, permit me to have this dance?" "Now Arthur, you know I always let you have the first dance." The face under the mask beamed broadly. Out on the floor the coupled-danced gaily. "There's Ada I do believe she looks disappointed." Then "you aren't Arthur. After me tilting you all this silly stuff." Anne's face flushed, she looked up at the boy, "Who are you?" He shook his head. "Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies." The music died away. Some of the couples wandered out on the campus, which was brilliantly lighted, and others found seats on the porch that ran entirely around the building. At twelve o'clock the word "unmask" rippled through the crowd. Anne scanned the faces about her for Arthur. Sure enough there he was, as Ada's peasants boy. "Well Arthur, how is everything?" "Oh gosh if it isn't Anne, where have you been all the time? No first dance for me to tonight. Why I danced with someone whom I thought was you." "Anne where is your partner and who is he?" Ada asked. "I don't know myself, oh here he comes now. Why its August. Why don't you tell me who you were before?" "Well if my queen will permit me saying so I wanted to surprise you." "You certainly gave me as earful all that sweet stuff about, Art—." "Oh August please, don't, that isn't fair." Then Arthur had his say: "Quite right, I agree with the lady, this is not the, right place to tell those kind of things. Our room is the place for that. Don't you dare forget to tell me all about. Looks like we're mixed up a bit. August, you belong over here and I belong where you are." "That's true" August said and promptly took his place by Ada. As the music again stalled Arthur brought Anne to him and-danced off. The night was one that never would be forgotten. At one thirty the two girl were in bed. "Gee it was great" Anne's eyes sparkled. Then "Ada I think I'm going to have a sore throat tomorrow my throat feels queer." Oh Anne that will be awful Arthur's counting on taking you to the football game tomorrow." "It seems I always get ill at the wrong time. But I had tonight, and I'll remember that forever. Well goodnight Ada and pleasant dreams." "Night Anne, same to you." Morning dawned and Ada rose from her bed, "wake up Anne we haven't any study periods and Miss Wayne will raise the roof when she finds out that you haven't done your lessons. Then as Anne sat up. "What is the matter? You look as if your neck was swollen. So it is, You must have swollen glands." Whatever it is, it hurts frightfully." "I'm going to go down and get the nurse," Ada said, as she watched her chum. Ada ran down to get Miss Kelt who was just leaving her office. "Nurse will you please come to room 152. My roommate Anne is ill and I think she has something wrong her glands." The nurse stifled an exclamation "I know what it is. Then are several girls confined to thee rooms with the same disease." Ada knew from experience that it was a wise child who asked no questions from Miss Keit. Without further delay she led the nurse to the room where Anne lay. "Well Anne are you trying to help the mumps society? They don't need aid. Four students are down with it." The doctor said Ada had contacted the disease so she was sent to bed. Two weeks of imprisonment and then liberty, Anne and Ada went joyfully about their studies. Just to able to be present in classes was wonderful compared to lying in bed. Ada and Anne were Seniors so was Arthur and August. The Senior Class always gave a play. All the graduating students took part. The play was entitled "Winter Courtship." The day of Graduation soon came. Ada and Anne were all excited.
Programs were distributed among the audience. They looked something like this.
The Graduating Class of 1923 Presents A Play: Winter Courtship

  • Dolly - Anne Dillon
  • Robert - Arthur Lake
  • Jimmy - Augusta Blunt
  • Helen - Ada Kohlman
  • The "Jolly Jumbo Club" members — Students of Graduating Class
  • 2 Facts about Slenderness by Ada Kohiman.
  • 3 Dance - Girls of Graduating Class
  • 4 Military Training - Boys of Graduating Class
  • 5 Recipes Tried In My Own Kitchen - Anne Dillon
  • 6 Benediction by the "Reverend Birklo"
College Days by Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) in the Jersey Journal on April 26, 1930 (crop).png

The play went along fine except at the final bow when August put his head out a little too far and the curtain came down, leaving his face protruding outside the curtain. The audience controlled heir mirth except the Freshmen. Then Ada recited:
Facts about Slenderness
It is the style to be tall and slender. Assume a virtue if you have it not and you who are short fat, don't grow any shorter and fatter. The following obesity rules will prove very helpful to my correspondent who signs herself, Miss Rosy Round:

  • Stand up for twenty minutes after meals (If you must have meals.)
  • Eat no potatoes.
  • Eat no bread.
  • Avoid all starchy food.
  • Avoid meats of all kinds.
  • Fish is fattening.
  • Never touch sweats or pastry.
  • Eat no fruit for fear of uric acid
  • Never drink water with meals. but between meals do nothing but drink water, all the time that you can spare from the gymnastics that must be kept up to keep down the disfiguring fat.
  • Always Leave the table hungry, but take a pickle with you, a large dill pickle is the best for your purpose. Eat a great deal of pickle; it may ruin your complexion but a good complexion is only skin deep while fatness goes straight through.

Sleep in your stays if you can, but if can't just don't sleep. Sleep is a fattening habit at best. Keep a pickle under your pillow and take a bite when you think of it. Lose your temper on all occasions, as nothing is more conductive to stoutness than placidity. Stop speaking of yourself as a fatty, and begin to speak of yourself as slender. Remember the power of mind over matter. Lead a lean life and think thin thoughts, dress in diaphanous gauze, make hair-splitting distinctions, talk and think much of your slender purse, walk the narrow way and have ever in your mind the eye of the needle through which you shall finally have to pass. Before you know it you will lose pounds and pounds of flesh. This recital was received with enthusiasm and Ada was applauded grandly. The girls dance was carried off and was a great success. The boys Military Training created a sensation among the audience they received a great deal of credit. Then Anne gave some fine recipes:
Recipes Tried in My Own Kitchen. A Westly Club Sandwich.
Take two tender new pupils (Fresh man preferred, Juniors out of the question), stick them together in a corner, with a thin slice of reserve between them, season to taste with some juicy gossip and a little lollapalooza. After a year in a cool place they will be fit to eat.
Brown Betty A La Faculty
Take two crusty members of the faculty and let them grate each other until both are reduced to crumbs. Place in baking dish a layer of crumbs and a layer of tart apples of discord, well chopped. Sweeten well with high toned politeness, veiled with sarcasm. Serve piping hot with the same kind of sauce you give to the gander.
French Dressing as Served at Westly.
Let the ingredients stay in bed until ten minutes before breakfast, then in a wild scramble cover a thin layer of clothes without the formality of bathing or even taking off nightgown, then breakfasting en famille. Do hair with a lick and a promise and beat all the other girls to the table.
The minister's benediction brought tears to more then one listener. Back in their room Anne and Ada sat thinking. "Don't cry Anne I feel terrible myself. I know is hard to leave after four years." Anne sighed and looked out of the window. "School life seems nothing to some students and I'd gladly give four more years of my life to be able to start all over again in this college." Her eyes traveled mistily over the room, "I love it so."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.