I want to first start off by answering some of the concerns I’ve read on other people’s blogs about the men in class. There were veterans on campus through 1953-1954, so it shouldn’t be too hard to accommodate the men in our class.
I think we should try to capture as much of the material aspects of the 1950s classroom as possible to make it feel real. If possible, I don’t see Monroe as the appropriate setting with its modern interior. Even if we try to recreate a history class, we should try to find an available classroom in the few buildings that haven’t experienced as much renovation. I haven’t been in DuPont in two or three years, but I remember some of the classrooms felt rooted in the past. Trinkle, even if it housed the library during the 1950s, would feel better than Monroe.
Clothing would be difficult, but if we were truly trying to represent the 1950s, a time of fashion that some people even try to recapture today, we should attempt at least more demure clothes with high necklines and long skirts. Piercings should be kept to the lobes only. Girls should try to powder up faces and look respectable because no girl would be seen without a proper appearance.
We could easily find books, I’m sure, but I don’t think textbooks would be necessary. Notebooks, no laptops of course, would be acceptable.
To work in the social aspects of MWC during the 1950s, we should definitely set up some “topics” that people should be discussing if they have a chance to chat, like the late-night fire drill, who stole the Goat flag and hid it, or how excited a senior was to finally live in Ball.
Since we’re throwing ideas out there, we could also do Senior Day, given our recreation will be later in the semester. There’s a lot of information on how underclassmen should act and treat seniors on that day. “Seniors” would wear a cap and gown and could order the underclassmen to do almost anything they want. They would carry books, etc.
For the class/discipline, we should try a history class. I think, given the time, it would be interesting to have a class without the hindsight we have today; for example, on the Red Scare—how would the 1950s history classroom tackle that?
As a member of the 1950s group, I see us using the Battlefield, the course catalogs, and the interviews. Those sources are where we found the greatest depth and breadth of information.