As you walk through Excellence Hall with laptop and Tim Hortons coffee in tote, do you ever wonder what a school day was like for those graduates pictured on the wall? As we begin another winter session, perhaps you wonder what it was like for those students who first walked through the freshly poured concrete of the Andrews Building in 1966? Archival photographs, oral testimony, and popular media from that period all illuminate the academic and social life of a UTSC (or ‘Scarborough College’ as it was then called) student in 1966. Here’s what ‘a day in the life’ of a female Scarborough College student in the winter of 1966 might have looked like:
7:00 am: You roll out of bed, turn on your radio and hear the sweet sound of the Shirelles…
7:15: You call up your classmate Carol to see if you can catch a ride with her to Warden Station, but your phone’s party line is currently occupied. When will we get a private line??
7:30: You pick out your outfit for the day: a wool skirt and beige turtleneck. Even though it is -2 degrees out, you will only wear pants over this skirt on your way to campus. Once at campus, you will discreetly peel these off and stuff them in your bag. The rest of the day will be spent in a skirt.
8:00: The headline in the Toronto Star that morning commends Liz Taylor’s and Richard Burton’s performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as the “Most Powerful Battle Since Adam and Eve.” It makes you want to see the film all the more (just don’t tell mom and dad)…
8:30: You arrive at Warden Station so that you can catch the Bluebird bus to Scarborough College.
9:00: You arrive on campus, peel off your layer of pants and coat, and hurry off to your HISB35-36 Seminar: The American Response to Industrialism.
11:00: Your next class is not until 2:00 pm, but as the Bluebird bus does not run often, you will stick around campus the entire day. You head to the Meeting Place to sit around with your peers until lunch…The campus librarian walks by and tells your friend that his library book is two days overdue (wow, this is a small campus…).
12:30: You head to the campus cafeteria and eat your packed lunch. You line up to grab a coffee from the cafeteria serving station. You wonder when the cafeteria will switch to plastic or Styrofoam cups (you are sick of having to bring up the ceramic cup to the dishes station…) The group of guys you are sitting with hide their cafeteria trays under their coats. They head to the nearest exit and use their cafeteria trays to slide (“traybogganing” ) down the snow-covered hill into the valley… (how have they not broken an arm yet??)
1:00: You attend Prof. Sheps’ office hours to ask for book recommendations that may be useful for your upcoming essay on early American industry.
2:00: You attend your last two classes for the day. It’s a bit of a dull lecture and you notice that a few of your classmates are beginning to doze off…
5:00: You stop by the library to pick up the books Prof. Sheps recommended…Librarian John Ball quickly locates these materials for you.
5:15: You make a quick stop by your classmate’s fencing match…it makes you nervous, so you decide to leave.
5:30: You finally get to put your pants on as you head back outside to catch the scheduled Bluebird bus back to Warden Station. Your friend mentions that she wants to see Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – you make one last stop for the evening…
Zeldin, Arthur. 1966. “Most Powerful Battle Since Adam and Eve.” Toronto Star, August 4, 1966. B28.
Lee, Nancy, Amelia Ainsworth, and Edward Dunsworth. 2019. “Interview with Shirley Criscione.” Oral history conducted by Nancy Lee, Amelia Ainsworth, and Edward Dunsworth, Stories of UTSC, University of Toronto Scarborough. https://ark.digital.utsc.utoronto.ca/ark:/61220/utsc10679.
Scarborough College, University of Toronto. 1969. Calendar 1969-70. Toronto: University of Toronto. https://utsc.calendar.utoronto.ca/sites/default/files/PDFs/1969-79/UTSC_Calendar_1969-1970.pdf.
Scarborough College, University of Toronto. 1968. Yearbook 1968. Toronto: University of Toronto.