The Ubyssey

After graduating from Maple Ridge Secondary School in Haney, B.C. in 1966, I didn't immediately go to university. Instead I took Grade 13 at MRSS, also known as "senior matriculation." This was actually not a good idea, because, given my background, I really should have pursued a musical education, but at the University of BC (UBC), you had to take a four year program in music including first year music in order to get a degree (or so I recall).

When I arrived at UBC for my second year of post-secondary education in September of 1967, I didn't waste time in visiting the student newspaper, The Ubyssey (pronounced like "UBC"), where I convinced them to publish one of my piano pieces, Nicola, on the front page of the weekly arts supplement, Page Friday on October 6th. The art work was done by Arnold Saba, whom I knew from the creative writing class which I was taking that year.

Another piece, Summer & Fall, which I seemingly composed around the same time, was in the paper on on October 27th. I have no idea how I wrote this piece, whether I used the crappy piano in my residence, for example. But that's all I did for The Ubyssey in my first (actually second) year.

The following September, I became the music critic for Page Friday, which enabled me to get free tickets for things like the Vancouver Symphony concerts. I did more than just classical music, though. I also did pop concerts, records, movies, and books. I did a lot of reviews during my third and fourth years at UBC. In the latter, I started using the pseudonym of Mark Jacques. I don't know if this was because of one article I wrote where I accused a local stereo store of ripping off their customers, which resulted in a hasty apology by the paper's editor. Even after I graduated in the spring of 1970, I still showed up around the paper periodically, helping out the new editors and writing articles.

The Ubyssey, which started in 1918, has been digitized and you can access it on line. If you click here, you will see a list of my articles (all of them). Click on the dates in the left column to read them.

By the way, if you want to know the exact URL for any of the articles, right-click on the picture and there should be a pop-up menu with a line like "Copy image address." Paste this into the URL bar at the top, or into some word processor like Notepad, Write/Wordpad, etc.

For the last issue of 1970 (March 26), I worked on a parody of Vancouver's underground newspaper Georgia Straight (where I wound up being employed soon after this). I think that in the last issue of The Ubyssey every year, there was a parody of something, because in the last issue from 1971 when I was still hanging around The Ubyssey as per the above, there was a parody of the Vancouver Sun's "women's section" to which I contributed this article.

The Straight parody archived at UBC is missing some stuff, however. Only the last of three pages of the parody are archived, plus a full-page ad on the back of that. The first two pages are not. There are 30 pages of this issue of the paper archived, which doesn't make sense, because the pages in the paper were printed in multiples of 4, i.e., there should be 32 pages. So pages 1 and 2 of the parody are missing. You can see them all here (warning, some of this is potentially offensive).

I think the missing first and second pages were actually the first and second pages of the issue of the whole paper, because they would have to "wrap around" all the other pages (or else alternatively be in the middle of the paper).

Here is a picture of the Page Friday staff from the March 28, 1969 issue.

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