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DIVISION 10
by Eva Pasco

  

 

The year 1969 has afforded me much to write about, allowing me to revisit my year as a freshman at Rhode Island College yet once more.  The summer prior to, my mother bequeathed me her '66 blue Chevy Nova coupe fully loaded, undoctored save for my touch of baby moon hubcaps.  The price for regular gasoline was $.35 per gallon in '69 so cruisin' to Scarborough Beach nearly every day that summer was quite lucrative. Life was grand and I was tanned from slathering a high octane tincture of baby oil.  What we didn't know about collapsing collagen or skin cancer didn't kill us.   

  

Moving past the freshman induction ceremony in Roberts Auditorium serenaded by The Youngbloods' Get Together, I'd say bubblegum Sugar Sugar by the Archies pretty much characterized my first semester as a full-fledged member of "the division." Division 10 seemed to be separate and apart from the political and social issues brewing into a tempest, i.e. the first draft lottery since 1942, the growing movement against the Vietnam War, women's equality, and Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick plunge to cite a few.

  

Division 10 was just one of the ensembles of students the college threw together for the first semester--a Rat Pack hell-bent on becoming elementary school teachers at the end of four years.  We attended most classes together, and hung out with each other.  I still can recall most faces and the names to match: Phyllis, Denise, Leslie, Pam, Paula, Pat, Eileen, Linda, Gary, Leo, John, and John.  The guys were definitely in a minority in both the division and on campus of primarily a teacher's college with only a smattering of buildings at the time.  Eileen had a breakdown halfway through but returned.  Paula invited all of us to her bridal shower.  Gary had trouble staying awake in class because he worked the night shift to defray the cost of tuition.   

  

I'll never forget Biology 101, a course where the final was a televised exam. The test had to be scrapped because through the snowy reception no one could determine the gender of a crayfish/ rock lobster. Though the prof held the lobster by the back of its carapace with the tail facing its receptive audience, it was impossible to detect small pincers on the rear pair of legs to render a "female" verdict.

Rock Lobster

Division 10 often made a pilgrimage in separate cars to Tweets Balzano's restaurant in Bristol when it was a chicken coop.  We could spread out over the length of a banquet table covered by a red and white checked tablecloth and order spaghetti and meatballs by the pound.  Alas, when the first semester ended and many of us diversified, we scattered and went our separate ways, never breaking bread again.  By the end of 1969, you would have been the man in the moon not to be sucked into the most pressing political and social issues of our time.  ...Or perchance, a rock lobster... 

 

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

 

 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

 

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