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Hidden in the archives of the school lies editions of the first school newspaper of Ricks College called The Student Rays. The first publication was in 1905. The pages are full of stories of encouragement and surprisingly sassy comments.
In this room, silence is a part of the atmosphere. In most other locations, silence is an omen of an awkward moment or a subject misunderstood, but here, it is the housekeeper. It welcomes you once you step through those glass doors and you enter the realm of history. The mahogany bookshelves of the BYU-Idaho archives proudly hold their captives: old books and yearbooks from the turn of the 20th century.
One of these articles, written by Elizabeth Spori, shared uplifting words about school from her mother.
“Learn that sometimes there is honor in failures,” she wrote. “Many times, it is by these failures and mistakes we rise, probably higher than we ever would have done had it not been for this same failure.”
On the other hand, another article blamed boys with crazy tempers on their mother giving them “too much rich food”, whatever that means.
The first editions of The Student Rays were published in a pamphlet, thirty or so pages long. The paper in these are old, stained yellow from the wear of the years. The discolored pages crinkle as they’re turned, and they hold the scent of crystalized history, mixed with stale glue and your grandpa’s shirt.
By the time I got to the November 1919 edition, there was a periodical printed as well. I felt like I was holding the Declaration of Independence like Nicholas Cage did in National Treasure. It was one sheet: about as large as a male torso and the creases had caused the pages to rip. The paper had lost it strength and flopped in my hand. The stories beautifully plastered the page in a confusing maze of words.
The Student Rays was published through 1933, when the newspaper then became the Purple Flash. The stories contained in these publications voice concern of faith in a failing world and holds messages of hope to those whose family members were involved in the first World War. There is a power in these words, even though the English is hard to understand sometimes. These articles are particularly crafted words that create an emotionally captivating image of the struggles of being a college student at the turn of the 20th century.
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