Leaving EIU from Ives's Autobiography
From his autobiography Wayfaring Stranger, published in 1948, Burl Ives tells about when he left Eastern.
The following can be found on page 108-109 of the book.
"I had done pretty well with my grades the first year. In my sophomore year a greater interest in football, girls and other pleasures distracted my attention from the pains of Pillsbury's Psychology and other "academia." One day in English class, during the last semester of my junior year, I was listening to a lecture on Beowulf. There was a large map on the side of the wall, a map of the United States. As the teacher's voice grew dimmer, the map became more luminous. In my imagination I saw the mighty mountains, silver rivers, and wide sweeping plains, magnificent cities, a nation of people I knew nothing of. How I longed to see these things; how I longed to see the Liberty Bell and walk on the streets where Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin had walked.
Before I realized what I was doing, I rose and started for the door. The professor shocked me from my reverie by the remark, "Yes, Mr. Ives, I think you better go home and sleep."
I stopped and gazed on the little dull man who was being paid to he a teacher of teachers. I turned and walked to the door, slammed it closed with a bang, and broken glass crashed to the floor. There was uproar behind me in the class, which did not interest me at all. I went to my room and packed a change of clothes, got my banjo, and started walking down the road.
Soon I found myself on the open highway headed east. The cool wind blew in my face and all at once I felt as if I had shed dullness from myself. Before me lay a long gray line with a black mark down the center. The birds were singing. It was spring. My heart jumped for joy. Life, excitement, experience was on this long road.
I became a "Wayfaring Minstrel."