learned something from this poem... or maybe I re-learned one of
the many things taught to me that have been forgotten - the definition
of a vinculum. Well, actually, I had to look it up after seeing
it. How about you? Do you know what a vinculum is?
June 1944 QST
of Contents]These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the
ARRL's QST magazine. Here is a list of the
QST articles I have already posted. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
is a horizontal line placed over a number or numbers to indicating
repeating groups (7/11=0.63), or
for negation in Boolean equations (d=a-b+c),
and it is also the dividing line between the numerator and the denominator
See all available
vintage QST articles.
by Simpson Sasserath, USNR
'WHEN I was in boot
training I met a specialist C.
Who whispered that Pre-Radio
was just the thing for me.
I listened to that sexless wave, that
smooth GI Iago.
I took a test, I took a train - and now I'm
With a pencil in my pocket, a slide-rule in my hand,
And notebook full of formulas I do not understand.
Oh, for the life of a qunnerl Oh, for· the life of a cook!
They do their jobs, those lucky gobs, and never open: a book!
Oh, to be a lieutenant - I'd settle for Junior Grade-
It's algebra each morning and it's algebra each noon,
And homework every night until my head's a big balloon.
always in my shaky hands I hold my little slipstick
an aging chorus girl would clutch her rouge and lipstick.
fractions, roots and decimals I'm trained to fight the Japs
And I wrestle with equations from reveille till taps.
Oh, for the life of a striker, who sails o'er the bounding sea-
Not giving a damn about any exam, his mind is clear and free.
A man named Ohm once wrote a law to solve for any circuit.
They know it's true; I know it's true - and still they make
me work it.
They give me wiring diagrams that cross in all directions,
And then I go into the lab and make the right connections.
Resistor board . . . resistor board . . . give me your answer
Oh milliamp, you little vamp, my future rests with you.
only care to comb his hair and polish up his braid.
George Washington received applause crossing
And Hannibal, who crossed the Alps, gave Ancient
Rome a scare.
J. Caesar crossed the Rubicon to make Pompey
a bum -
But all I get is zero when I cross the Vinculum.
Those poundings in my temples do not come from
They're memories of powers of ten I didn't change
Oh, to be a Coast Guard - or else a
gallant Marine -
Who need not pain to make his brain into an
May Heaven please forgive me, that
I've hurled such dirty names
At Volta and at Ampere and at Mrs.
Watts' boy James.
I've passed my comprehensives and my sleeve
has one more stripe.
Do you think my woes are over, that I've
no further gripe?
Well, now in recognition of my industry and
They're sending me to Primary - and that is even harder!
Oh, for the life of WAC or SPAR! Oh, for the life
of a WAVE!
They wear white roses; they powder their noses, and
never study or shave.