Contagious
Folk Beliefs
Magic

The Luck of the Draw

Informant Info: The informant is a 21-year-old male who was born and raised in Chanhassen, Minnesota. His parents both moved to America from India when they were in their twenties. He is currently a student at USC studying Electrical Engineering.

Interview Transcript:

Interviewer: As a student, have you ever had any lucky objects or rituals that have helped you succeed?

 

Interviewee: Ya know — I had a lucky pencil last year, that I lost in October… and it was the saddest day of my life… I failed that midterm. But I had it the entirety of freshman year and used it for every test, and I always passed. I don’t know why it was lucky… It just was really nice. But fear not — now I have a lucky pen. It’s a space pen!

Interviewer: Has it replaced your pencil?

 

Interviewee: No never, that pencil was sacred. It got me through all my classes. This is just a nice pen. I won’t test with it, but I carry it with me everywhere.

Analysis:

In this case, the informant seems to be very attached to his pencil, but the superstition that it was lucky seems rather loose. He just happened to use it for everything, and so he grew a bond to it. Losing the pencil likely wasn’t the reason he failed the midterm, but it would be ironic if it was.

 

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