Dear Smiley: About dorm rules of the past:

Another rule that was strictly enforced in the Highland Dorm at LSU in 1961 was “no cooking in the rooms.”

Three friends and I decided to flout that regulation and prepare a feast for ourselves just before Christmas break, testing the rules, as well as our ingenuity.

We got a few ingredients at a supermarket in Tiger Town, sat on the floor of my room and began to fry a T-bone steak in butter in my electric skillet, intending to sop up the drippings with French bread.

Well, you can imagine how quickly that was discovered by our housemother as the flavors wafted down the stairs!

She came into the room, took a look around and told us to put all of the stuff away — as soon as we were finished eating.

Nice lady, our housemother.

Must have been a great steak because I remember it 54 years later.


New Iberia

Child teacher

Dear Smiley: Your many references to women’s dress on college campuses reminded me of when I went on my interview with my assigned master teacher, mentor and supervisor, Mr. Stevens, to student teach at Thibodaux High School in 1963.

During the interview, Mr. Stevens (whom I learned to respect highly and love dearly) reviewed expectations: Wear a dress, skirt and blouse, suit jacket, high heel pumps — all in black, navy blue, or brown — and flesh-tone hosiery.

No pony tails, rubber bands, exposed pins or barrettes, long hair cropped ear-length or pinned at the back or on top of the head. He suggested I cut my long hair to look older, which I did with no hesitation.

During my exit interview after completing student teaching, Mr. Stevens shared the following: “I encouraged you to cut your long hair because you looked 16 years old, and I was concerned with your ability to discipline students. However, when I saw you for the first time with your hair cut short, I thought, ‘Oh, my God! Now she looks 12!’”

I was 19 at the time, loved teaching, had the best students in the world and earned an “A” in student teaching.



Bayou diplomat

Dear Smiley: A very long time ago, I received a call from a dear friend who advised me that Pakistan had a new slate of officials, and one of his friends was the new ambassador to the U.S.

He said she was having a great deal of difficulty arranging meetings with two of Louisiana’s very powerful representatives, a south Louisiana congressman and a U.S. senator.

I was asked if I could help in arranging meetings, so off to Washington I went.

After lunch at the Pakistani embassy, we took off in her stretch limo with her security team.

Going to the congressman’s office first, I asked her to wait while I spoke to him. When I told him I had the ambassador with me, he said, “Right, now what’s the joke?”

At which point I introduced her, and she talked about her concerns with her new government.

Next, it was off to the senator’s office, following the same sequence of events.

He told me, “I have no idea what this is about, but the story of someone from south Louisiana bringing the Pakistani ambassador to my office will be one I’ll tell for a long time!”



Beat the bully

Dear Smiley: My three sons all attended Archbishop Rummel High School. When my oldest son was there, if there was an incident of bullying, the Christian Brothers who ran the school would set up a boxing ring in the gym, bring in the students to watch and put the bully in the ring against a student opponent.

Of course, both boxers were fully equipped with head gear and gloves, and there was an attending physician.

The first-round bell rang, the bully got a bloody nose, the students cheered and the bully learned a lesson.

Both the bully and the student he bullied shook hands, fellow students applauded and both boys went to McDonald’s for a hamburger!



Religious jargon

Dear Smiley: Almost every Sunday, after we attend Istrouma Baptist Church, I watch the Mass televised from St. Joseph Cathedral.

On Sunday, Oct. 25, Bishop Robert W. Muench preached about Jesus healing “Blind Bartimaeus” as described in Mark, Chapter 10.

As Jesus made his way from Jericho up to Jerusalem, Bishop Muench said, a blind man in the crowd kept shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

“Jesus asked Bartimaeus, ‘What can I do for you?’” Muench said. “Jesus knew, of course, what Bartimaeus wanted; he wanted to see, but Jesus wanted to give Bartimaeus a chance to tangible-ize it.”


Baton Rouge

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.