Author Archives: Jenna

Mudd Pies

“In elementary school we used to make food out of mud and dirt to make mud pies.  Used to pretend I was a witch and they would mean things if you eat them. Over recess we would leave the pies them out to bake.”

The informant thinks this is about children starting to explore their cooking abilities and their wish to have supernatural powers.  The informant watched lots of tv so she was exposed to the idea of magic from a young age and assumed it was not impossible to harness.

Shows that the kids in Irvine believe in magic and that they watch lots of tv and believe what they see.  There may be stronger belief in witch-craft and people may be more tolerant of supernatural ideas.  I also believe this act was children imitating their parents and trying to cook like them.  Perhaps children are baking to copy the people they admire, such as their parents.


“Students flooded Hospitality with emails to protest the reduced hours at TroGro, and Hospitality responded favorably within a week.

Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality, promised to hold discussions with students and administrators to determine whether or not TroGro will continue its 24/7 operations next year.”

By Rebecca Gao through the Daily Trojan

Student input is a healthy ingredient

Although the official name is for the 24 hour snack stop at USC is called Trojan Grounds, everyone at USC refers to the place affectionately as “TroGro.”  Like many things on college campuses, this name got abbreviated.  Students commonly abbreviate because our life styles are so fast paced and they are ready for things to happen immediately.  Being the internet generation, students instant message and text message their friends in short hand.  For example, people will type “brb” instead of be right back.  This slang is so common that it is expected for people to understand.  Thus, shortening names of popular locations is a natural next step.

Shabu-ya cheer game

“I was a cheerleader in 11th and 12th grade and on the way to football games with the football players we sang the song shabu-ya.  In it, you say the name of someone on the bus and then the rest of the bus calls back “hey.”  You then say a set of rhymes ending with something personal that makes everyone laugh, these are often insulting.  This song was only performed on the way to games not on the way back.”

My informant thinks this song was meant to build up cheer before the football games.  Her high school was over 100 years old and football was a huge tradition and this song goes all the way back to the founding of the school.

The insults may rile up emotion better than just normal cheers.  Also the insults may be a way of bonding because when everyone gets broken down together they share that moment and grow stronger together.  All of this attention just to get people ready to cheer at the football game proves that football is a big deal in Irvine.

Dance of the lemons

“In Milwaukee, the so-called “dance of the lemons” occurs, where bad teachers are passed along from school to school in the hopes of minimizing their damage.”

The dance of the lemons is an analogy for passing off a bitter partner.  However, only lemons are dancing, so one is guaranteed to end up with another bitter partner.  Although Milwaukee is not known for producing lemons, it is a common fruit known for its bitter taste.  Perhaps this phrase implies that Milwaukee may have more than a few bad teachers.  Although many states have some poor teachers, it is bad sign that so bad teachers needed to be traded that people started naming the practice.

This quote is published on the following website and the article was written by Blake Neff

Slovenian Chalk

“My mother told me if I have an upset stomach I should eat writing chalk.”

The informant thought that her mother thought calcium is like the drug “tums” so same it is the same idea.  Her mother is Slovenian.  She though the chalk would be impure and gross so she never tried the chalk.

Slovenia is known to have many natural chalk streams in the country.  All the natural chalk must be in abundance so the people must utilize it as common resource.  Because of its availability, some people might have used the chalk as a calcium supplement.  I am not sure however, how calcium is supposed to make someone’s stomach feel better.

Opening Day

“The sights and sounds of summer are approaching, and with them come hot, long days and more lacrosse jersey-clad people than you could have possibly known existed. The warm spring air has lazily descended on our lovely campus, and accompanying this seasonal change is my favorite day of the spring semester. Not only is it my favorite day, it is also one of the great traditions at this university: the opening of the outdoor pool on Maryland Day. It is a glorious day, when students from across the campus and beyond come to unwind around and in the shimmering pool.

It is almost as if students hear a voice calling their names, telling them to drop everything and come bask by the chlorinated water. Students abandon their books, researchers leave their lab coats and goggles in the lab, athletes ditch their pads and sticks, and homework assignments are brought to be completed at the pool on North Campus at the Eppley Recreation Center.

Seeing the pool on a spring day is a pretty amazing sight. At any given moment you can see people doing crazy acrobatics on the diving board, more girls in bikinis than Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition and me throwing down dunks at the pool basketball hoop on unsuspecting defenders. There is music pumping from the speakers as friends reunite in the water, new friends are made and crushes develop. The pool reaches capacity and, soon enough, a line forms. The unlucky outsiders are left with the same feeling of injustice as the Butabi brothers had while getting rejected from nightclub after nightclub in A Night at the Roxbury.”

Since the University of Maryland is a cold climate most of the year the chance to lay by the pool must be very exciting for the college students.  This tradition must symbolize the start of summer and more outdoor activities.  It is also clearly a social activity that brings people together who might not have mingled together otherwise.  Perhaps this is a chance to spark new love or create new friends with a different mix of people.

This article was written by Cory Kutcher and can be found in the link below:


“While the Haggadah, the symbolic foods of the meal and seder plate remain fairly consistent (and have for hundreds of years), the main course and side dishes are based on family traditions and preferences.

Take, for example, one side dish that we ate—charoses. It symbolically represents the mortar the Israelites used to bond bricks when they were slaves. But that’s where the symbolism ends and family tradition comes in. My friend’s version had apples, golden raisins, honey and cinnamon. Another guest of the meal brought charoses made with mango and cranberries. Both were absolutely delicious. Many versions include other fruits, walnuts or almonds.”

Since chorses represents the mortar that the ancient Israelites used to make the pyramids in the story of Passover, the food can be made of any stable.  While fruits and nuts are common, the type of fruits and nuts used usually reflect the most popular fruits and nuts in a given area.  The guest who brought charoses made from mango probably comes from a tropical place where mangoes are a staple fruit in most people’s diets.  The author is from Illinois so apples, golden raisins, honey and cinnamon must be common.

This article was written by Kristin McCann and can be found in the link below:

New Years

“This is a town tradition where I’m from.  Every year to celebrate new years a group of about 20- 30 people uhhh gathered together below a restaurant on the river in the town where I’m from.  And jump into the water.  Its called the polar dip.  The restaurant is called the Gateway, not known for any specific foods but its one of the only restaurants open in town.  They have hot chocolate and blankets for all the participants who are brave enough to jump in the freezing water.  Done at 9am on new years day, not done at the traditional liminal period.”

While it’s never been said what it represents, it looks like a symbolic refreshment or renewal.  The informant thinks the tradition is sort of a new baptism where you jump in the water, solidify new years resolutions and begin the year anew.

I agree with my informant’s analysis.  This tradition seems like people cleanse themselves of their past sins of the year and start the new year fresh.  Although 9am is a unique time point, perhaps it is for practical purposes since most people do not want to jump in freezing water in the middle of the night.  Also, new years night traditionally involves champagne, so drinking and swimming may not be the safest combination.

Abominable Snow Man

“The abominable snow man he um lives in the Himalayas.  I heard this story from mother and the creature is a carnivore and eats humans. I do not actually believe in the abominable snow man.  The snow man comes and attacks people if you come in its territory.  Abominable snow men rule three mountains a piece.  They are white, hairy, bigger than life, 10feet, like a linebacker.”
Although Karen does not believe in the abominable snow man she still knows that the story scares little children.  She heard this story from her mother when she was little.  She is not sure what the significance of the story is, other than to serve the purpose as a ghost story.

This story seems fairly general since it is about a giant white snow creature living in the mountains.  Perhaps its original purpose was to warm people to not wander into the mountains, there are probably wild animals there.

Yodeling Joke

“I heard this from my little sister who is 13 years old um she heard this on the playground.  Ok so it goes knock knock, who is there? Little old lady.  Little old lady who?”

Trying to imitate the sound of yodeling.  Making the “yodele-he-who” sound.  Jordan believes when kids are younger and in the developing age, there is a sense of curiosity about the world and finding your abilities within societal norms.  By attempting to yodel or in fact thinking that you can yodel kids can feel like a part of something that you would otherwise be disconnected from.

I think little kids like to trick people, so this trap of a knock knock joke easily accomplishes the task.  The original “yodele-he-who” sound is northern European, something heard in the Swiss Alps.  Since the teller of the joke is Caucasian she may be from European dissent and this could be a way to relate to her ancestry.