The "Co-Ed," a Curiosity of Evolutionary Law?

A Leaf from the Diary of Darwin's Spirit

"A Leaf from the Diary of Darwin's Spirit" is a humorous poem written by H. Curran Wilbur for the 1902 Microcosm. Basically, Curran is writing as if he is Darwin observing the curious case of female students at college. He claims to have found "another product of evolutionary law...the "Co-ed" with her mortarboard and gown." Co-eds are a strange case to him because they are "supposed to be a woman, but it looks more like a man. It acts like one and talks like one, and tries whene'r it can, to mimic their swell swagger..." He further goes on to discuss the "masculinity" of the co-eds stating, "the blush is never seen upon the Co-ed's hardened cheek...against the foolish notion that woman should be coy, when she can walk and talk and climb and fight like any boy." He concludes his poem by proclaiming that he would rather have an "old time woman with a heart" than a "thousand co-eds" because she would rather be "content to act her part."