I was cleaning out the hall closet that held a bunch of newspaper clippings and old school papers this afternoon. In the midst of yellowing newsprint more suitable for confetti than reading, I found this folder from my 1965 freshman orientation.
Poor Chief Sagamore had no idea that he and every vestige of his Indian heritage would be exiled only a few decades later.
Look to your left, look to your right
This was a listing of special events. I must have been taking notes on it so I could perform my duties as The Missourian’s campus correspondence. I drove poor editor jBlue crazy because I was supposed to be covering the school, but I spent as little time as possible on campus. Chasing sirens was a lot more fun.
All I can remember from the Houck Stadium Freshman Welcome was sitting in the bleachers and hearing some guy delivering the old lines, “Look to your left, look to your right. Next [can’t remember if he said “semester” or “year”) one of you won’t be here.
He was right. Two years later, I transferred to Ohio University, a school that wasn’t run like a Charleston high school. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the Student Handbook.
In case we felt like breaking into song, a small sheet of appropriate songs was included. I visited the SEMO website to find that the alma mater hasn’t changed (although the current version has another verse. Maybe ours did too, but they thought memorizing TWO verses might be too much for us frosh.).
The four songs contain seven references to “Indians” or “Braves.”
Give Me An “I”
The administration must have thought we more capable of cheering than singing because we were given a list of 13 cheers printed on canary-colored paper.
Give Me an “I” was a call and response where the cheerleaders would yell, “Give me an ‘I,” at which point we were supposed to echo “I” back at them. This was repeated for “N,” “D,” “I,” “A,” “N” and “S.”
To make sure we got it, the cheerleaders would ask, “What does that spell?”
The proper response was “INDIANS!” repeated louder three times.