For the record, I am a child of the 50's and 60's. I went to college from 61 to 65 in Harvard Square (or just outside of it). My contemporaries served or died in Vietnam. My female friends burned their bras, yes, they did and marched for the ability to obtain birth control, not abortion, birth control. Do you believe it? Abortion was later. We tip toed around sexual freedom and drugs were a huge unknown out there on the horizon believe it or not. We smoked, just cigarettes, and on occasion snuck a drink with a fake ID. We had curfews, yes we did.
Our schools were all female or all male and when co-ed, the dorms were all segregated by gender. We had rules upon rules upon rules most of which were designed to allow us to reach adult age without ruining our lives. When the rules abound the rebellions are fairly harmless. We didn't have to do much to break a rule since there were so many. We wore bermudas on campus even though they were not allowed during the week. Yes! We did! We talked during study hours and left our dorms to smoke cigarettes on the grounds even though, you got it, it was not allowed. Oh yes, we were the scamps and rebels. We were safe though! During the 4 years of college we knew of one pregnancy and that resulted in a wedding. We talked about everything unlike our mothers who never shared the truth with anyone most of all not with a family member. We would have known about any huge issues, there were, after all, only 85 of us in our class. We all knew each other and although we had our separate groups, we all interacted, if only to talk about each other.
We didn't have cell phones or phone lines in our rooms. Each floor of the dorm had a pay phone and believe it or not, in our three story dorm each of the pay phones worked on the same number so if one was in use on one floor neither of the other two would work. They were extensions of the first phone. How did we survive? Yet we did. One TV in the common room on the first floor. Imagine getting everyone to agree to watch one show? We learned how to co-operate or do without. Actually I don't remember watching much TV. Mostly we gathered in the smoker and talked forever.
We gathered and talked but not about much. We talked about tests coming up weekend festivities or boredoms. We talked about people places and things. I don't recall much going on in the political arena and yet we lived through the Kennedy assassination, the Great Society and the evacuation of Saigon. Most of our friends were engaged to or married to boys of draft age who either enlisted to avoid total loss of control or pursued diligently student deferments. There were none, that we knew of, who skipped to Canada or joined the Kerry nonsense.
I don't know about you but during the Watergate fiasco I turned the radio and the TV off and walked away from just about every serious discussion since somehow, without delving into the political scene, I knew the playground scene. Yes, I was trained to be a teacher and I could see the bullies on both sides. The side that won had the big microphone and they are still pounding on it. They protect their own and pig pile on the other side. It's been going on for centuries and it is still going on. I was tired of it back then and boy am I now. I could go on and on (and probably will later) but for now.....I have a bagel burning and coffee to drink. Later.