A Student's Life
Students had a strict schedule and observed many disciplinary rules during the early 20th century. In addition to their studies, they found time for activities including plays, orchestra, patriotic events, May Day, and even jazz music.
Life at St. Procopius was very regimented during the World War I years, as illustrated by this highly structured schedule for the students' school days.
These Rules of Discipline were published annually in the Student Announcements. This set is from 1918-1919, and includes, among other restrictions, silence at all times except during the hours allocated for recreation.
Students had the option of participating in the arts. This photo of a play shows the actors in full costume. There is at least one female present, but as the student body was entirely male at the time, men often had to assume the roles of women in school performances.
The Orchestra was another popular activity enjoyed by Procopians during the WWI years. Students with a musical talent had the opportunity to participate in the Orchestra and all students were treated to concerts.
As WWI ended, America started to swing into the 1920's. The "Roaring 20's" as they became known are noted for the popularity of jazz music.
This photograph of the Jazz Band and that of of the Orchestra above show that some students may have belonged to both ensembles. The serious fellow with the saxophone in the Orchestra photo above (second row, first on the right) - could he be the same fellow with the swingin' clarinet in this photo? Also, the student in the Orchestra photograph with the partially obscured instrument (second row, second from the left) - could he be the same person who is playing the saxophone in the Jazz Band? Unfortunately the names of the men in these bands were not recorded by the photographer.
This tongue-in-cheek quip from the Studensky Listy of January 1924 shows the popularity of jazz on campus.
May Day was a popular event held each spring. The Spring 2004 issue of Voices described it as being "...a day spent in the woods. The date of that celebration was at the whim of the Rector (chief administrator). Awakening on any bright, sunny May morning, he had the class bell rung before the first period. It led to mayhem for all students recognized that bell. The school band escorted them into the woods for field events, athletic contests, scores of awards and prizes. A horse and wagon hauled hot dogs from the kitchen to the field of activities. A similar outdoor event was held on Columbus Day. It did wonders in settling anxieties and tensions."