These are excerpts from a regular column in The Vector an informal, unofficial, and unheralded publication I edited during my years teaching at Lock Haven University. In response to overwhelming demand (a couple of people at least) these are being archived here for those strange people who enjoy wallowing in nostalgia. Some of the references to then-current events may be puzzling, but feel free to skip them, or relate them to more recent events of similar nature (which can always be found). References to internal politics at Lock Haven University may be easily transferred to situations at other academic institutions. A few explanatory comments have been added in square brackets.

    —Donald E. Simanek

Vol. 1 No. 2. April 1977


Last month we printed a modest proposal for a new major in "Trivial Studies." Reader response was invited; the responses which have trickled in are a mixed bag.

One respondent saw no need for such a program, because "schools all across this land have replaced their traditional programs with trivial studies, but have retained the old program names."

To the person who asked, "Will the exams in the Sexual Practicum course be oral?", we can only suggest that such inquiries be directed to the instructor.

A reader from Mansfield State College (yes, the VECTOR reaches that remote outpost of civilization) sent us a complete syllabus for a course he thought belonged in a program of trivial studies. The course is in mathematics, carrying course number 48√5 and is titled Sexual Hypotheses in Topology I. Its course description clearly indicates that attention has been paid to the latest concepts of educational theory:

"The course will be an optimal logistical projection of the standard topics in this field, emphasizing total organizational concepts and functional reciprocal options. Small group discussions will be used to facilitate responsive monitored capability. Also, popsicles will be served."

To ensure that students will have the ability to handle the course content, the prerequisites are "K through 6, or permission of instructor." Since this is an upper division course, it is limited to those having less than or equal to 5 arms." Mindful of the difficulty of attracting students to math courses, the syllabus includes the following catalog description:

"Bored? Tired of the usual routine of learning? Then—ZAP! POW! WHAM! This course is for you. Fun! Intrigue! Door Prizes! You'd better sign up fast, man, since a limited class size of 350 is desired. So go get truckin'!"


If it seems to you that the printing has gotten smaller on some pages of the vector, don't be concerned that you might be going blind. We've reduced the size of some text to conserve paper without curbing verbosity. It also makes the censors work harder to find something objectionable.


We often wondered why people are attracted to trite and trivial statements when they are expressed in poetic style. One reason may be that the visual layout of a poem is strangely seductive.

             Get the Point?

     This is not very interesting
     Or even rewarding,
     But if 	
     You have read this far already 	
     You will
     Read as far as this,
     And still
     Not really accomplish
     Anything at all.

     You might
     Even read on
     In spite of misgivings,
     Which brings you to
     The line you are reading now.
     And though by now
     You should know better
     You are probably still
     Dumb enough
     To keep right on
     Making a fool of yourself
     By reading
     All the way to the end.
[You know, we haven't seen this little classic anywhere since we used it here in 1977. We do note that the little card with "Please turn over" printed on both sides is still going strong.]


  • The College Bookstore will soon announce a new check-cashing policy: "In God we trust; all others pay cash."

  • The dining hail is now featuring a new delicacy: Napoleon Chicken—which consists of all the bony parts.

  • Prof. Settlemyer is hoping to make a lot of money with his new gimmick for marketing cigarettes. Each pack will include a pair of earplugs for those who don't want to hear all of the reasons why they should give up smoking.

  • We hear that the campus newspaper, the EAGLE EYE, plans soon to completely revamp and improve the paper. It's about time! It's a sad situation that at the present time the VECTOR is the only campus publication worthy of serious consideration; we will welcome the competition. The new EAGLE EYE is to cover campus activities thoroughly, be more interesting and literate, and generally more professional. We are eager to see a copy of this improved EAGLE EYE, but we don't know when they plan to begin putting them out.

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