Tag Archives: college

Facebook Senior Names

Background: 

My informant, AK, is a 19 year old student at the University of Michigan. She was born and raised in Southern California and is studying engineering. While in high school, AK was an active member and team captain of her school’s swim team. She attended the school from kindergarten until she graduated and knew the place inside and out. (I’ll be referring to myself as SW in the actual performance).

Performance: 

AK: For as long as I can remember, it’s been tradition at our high school to make a fake name on facebook for senior year. Everyone would make a pun based off their name, referencing a movie or celebrity. When it first started, it was to protect people’s identities, so that of prospective colleges looked up students on facebook, they wouldn’t find their page. By the time we were seniors, there wasn’t really a need to do this because it was general knowledge that colleges didn’t really care, but our grade kept on with the tradition anyways.

Thoughts:

It’s interesting to understand where some aspect of folklore comes from, and to see how its meaning has changed over time. What started as a superstition morphed into a tradition that stood to be a rite of passage. Kids as early as freshman year would begin to think about their senior name, anxious to be done with high school and on their way to college. Senior names were a way of expressing yourself, while also engaging in a unifying experience across the grade.

Sorority Apartments

MAIN PIECE

Sorority Apartments

“A lot of Sorority girls at CSUCI have fought over who gets to live in a Sorority apartment building like most sorority girls at other schools would fight over living in the Sorority house.  To call something a Sorority apartment came from a stupid law in Camarillo from the olden days that prohibits more than ten unrelated women to live in the same house, so sororities have gone around the issue by leasing specific buildings in apartment complexes around the school.   That’s how the term came to be!”

BACKGROUND

SM is from Camarillo, California and has grown up in the area since he was born.  He says he knows this from his sister who went to CSUCI and was in a sorority that had to do this.   He remembers specifically being confused about why her friends would always call it the Sorority apartments cause on TV, people would always talk  about sorority houses,  but never apartments.

CONTEXT

SM is an old high school friend of mine.  I invited him to a  Discord server and I watched him play The Witcher.   He was open to talk about folklore of the area we grew up in during cutscenes he said he had already watched when he had played the entirety of the game before.

THOUGHTS

Folklore acting as a sort of counteraction against a law is nothing new, but the fact that it has stuck around as long as it has is impressive.  The saying of this word must come out of a unique sense of being and is probably not just specific to CSUCI sorority girls, but CSUCI students as a whole.  It must be somewhat nice for this folk group to know they get to say something that would seem a bit odd to the average person, but completely relatable and even political to those who knew the issue.

Drinking Alcohol to kill Corona

Main Piece: One myth I heard about coronavirus is that tequila or any hard alcohol kills the virus. This is something I’ve heard not just about the virus but when you’re sick in general. It’s based on the fact that alcohol is normally a sanitizing agent so drinking alcohol would sanitize your body. The joke would be set up when someone is feeling slightly ill. Then when someone else hears about the illness, they sarcastically say that they should go take a shot of tequila.


Context: The informant is a current junior at Cal Poly SLO. She is one of many students that were removed from her school due to the Coronavirus pandemic. She encountered the joke from her classmates and peers.

Thoughts: This joke shows off the stereotypical college experience in which people drink a lot. This joke stems from another folk belief that alcohol sanitizes your system for any disease. I think it’s just another excuse for people to drink alcohol.

“Beerio Kart”

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a conversation between my friend, identified as SK, and myself, identified as GK.

SK: I want to tell you about a game I have been playing with my buddies at college called “Beerio Kart”. It’s a drinking game that involves the video game “Mario Kart” and is super competitive. So the basic objective of the game is to be the first player to finish the race while at the same time finishing his/her beer. However the catch is that you must completely stop driving and drop your controller while you’re drinking the beer as it is illegal to drink and drive. So the game becomes pretty strategic because of this rule.

GK: So what’s the best strategy for this game?

SK: It really depends. I usually do all the driving first, so I know how much time I have to chug the beer. However, I have friends who will chug at the very beginning so they could play from behind the whole race and get the best items in the game because of it. There are also people who will take stops after each lap to drink the beer at a steady pace while keeping up with the other opponents in the Mario Kart race. I would say my strategy is the best, but to each their own. 

Background: The informant knows of this game from college. He says that his roommate during his freshman year taught him the game, and that they would often play with the other guys in his dorm. Due to the fact that the new Mario Kart is on the Nitendo Switch, up to eight people could play at once. The game serves as a fun way for the informant and his friends to compete with one another while drinking. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this game over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: This game, in my opinion, serves as a great way to compete with friends while at the same time expanding the entertainment of Mario Kart even further. The courses start to get boring after a while, so adding a whole new aspect to the game really spices things up. It also illustrates the rise in popularity that video games have taken amongst the college demographic. For the longest time, I always thought video games were mainly played by children, and when they were played by adults, that those people were weird. However, with the creation of platforms such as Twitch, video games being played by older people have become more acceptable in society. I also believe that the multiplayer aspect that the Nintendo Switch offers makes the game more appealing to college students living in a dorm because they can compete with one another easily. 

100% Successful Pickup Line

Main Piece: 

The following is transcribed from a conversation with the informant, CZ.

CZ: So here’s how the pickup line goes: “If I was to ask you out right now, would your answer to that question be the same as your answer to this question?

GK: I don’t really get it

CZ: It’s a bit confusing, but here’s how it works. First of all you need to split it up into the two questions because it could be a bit difficult to explain. So in this case: 

Question #1 Question #2
“Will you go out with me”? “Will your answer to (question #1) be same as the answer to this question”?

Question #2 will be the answer she gives you, because that is, in essence, the question you are asking her. And as it turns out, the answer to Question #1 will always be “yes”. Here is why:

Answer Answer in terms of Question #2 Interpretation Answer to Question #1
No No, the answer to you asking me out will not be the same to the answer I just gave you.  She said “no” meaning the answer to Question #1 is “yes” because the answers won’t be the same Yes
Yes Yes, the answer to you asking me out will be the same to the answer I just gave you.  She said “yes” meaning the answer to Question #1 is “yes” because the answers will be the same Yes

Background: The informant is a 20 year old college student from Indiana. Like a lot of people his age, he likes to use pickup lines to hit on women either in person or on dating apps. He says to have found this one online, and has has used it on Tinder before. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this pickup line over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: This pickup line is interesting because I feel like it breaks the mold of most other pickup lines. This one really makes you think about it, while other ones are cheesy and are easy to pickup on. That makes me wonder about the success that this has, because it took me a while to figure out what he meant by this. I would be inclined to think this would be more successful on a dating app because you are not talking to the person face to face, which gives the recipient more time to think about the question. If you were to try this pickup line in person, I feel like it would lead to an awkward silence, due to its complexity. This pickup line also made me reflect on how technology has influenced dating amongst a younger generation. People are now able to swipe on profiles, making it way easier to find love connections. I feel like this is bad for society because it takes away the human interaction that was needed to accomplish this before the rise in dating apps.

The Romantic Exchange of Notes at Spoofer Stone

Main piece:

“Spoofer Stone is a rock located on the campus of University of Arkansas outside the building known as Old Main and it was used back when the campus was divided by gender for lovers to exchange notes by putting the papers in the cracks of the rock. SInce then, it has become a spot for romance and the campus has special events there and even been proposals there for people who have gone to University of Arkansas”

Background:

The informant for this piece is a woman in her late 40s who lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was born in Joplin, Missouri but moved south to Fayetteville and has lived there for almost 18 years by now. Fayetteville is a college town as it is adjacent to the University of Arkansas. Due to the proximity of the town to the Ozark mountains, the Ozark culture influences the town alongside the culture of those going there for college.

Context:

The piece was shared with me via a phone call with the informant. This exact topic was brought up in response to my general question looking for local folklore of the Fayetteville area. 

Thoughts:

I think the Spoofer stone is interesting in how it has become accepted by the University. The stone used to serve as a meeting spot for couples, as the school was originally divided by gender and disallowed the men to mingle with the women. This was gradually changed over time, but originally, the stone allowed people to interact behind the official authority of the school system. I feel like this is often the intent of folklore, to go around typical restrictions of the system. In this regard, the stone is a rebellious use of the student’s abilities to circumvent the system. Now, the stone has been accepted as a historic part of the campus of University of Arkansas. As such, it still remains folklore, but the people involved have changed from the students to the students and the administration. This is not to say that this shift devalues the stone, but instead it is interesting as it shows how folklore can change meaning over time.

University of Alabama Game Day

Main Piece:

Game Day at the University of Alabama are like nothing else. It is a school defined by football, and people take it seriously. You wear a mix between your Sunday Best and Going Out outfit, but more modest than going out. Typically it is a mix of Crimson and White clothing. First thing people do is head to the quad. You find your friend or your sorority sisters and begin tailgating. Sometime you go to your sorority house, and her EG, her house is right next to the stadium. You go to the stadium an hour before the game, go to the student section and stand. Sitting rarely happens during these games. After every touchdown the crowd sings the fight song. At the end of the game, bearing that the students are still there, they sing Rammer Jammer, a classic song of the school. Many students don’t stay for the whole game as Alabama typically gets a huge lead over their competitors, and they typically leave before the fourth quarter making them miss this tradition.

Context:

EG is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, and has attended football games for the past two seasons. Both of her parents attended the school and are also avid fans of the team. She was raised an Alabama fan her whole life and has never been otherwise. This was taken from a conversation at our house.

Thoughts:

As EG is my twin sister, I subsequently was also raised an Alabama fan. We have been to make games over the years, but I am the only one to never have gone to a game at Bryant Denny Stadium, Alabama’s home stadium. The only thing I can compare it too is the USC Game Day experience. From picture’s I have seen from theirs. It is similar in ways and different in ways. When she came to Los Angeles for family weekend last fall, she noted that the atmosphere in the Coliseum was different than in Bryant Denny. As I have not been to an Alabama game, I cannot understand what she means. While we also have traditions at the fourth quarter and end of the game, they are much different than at Alabama.

Green Doors at Loyola University

Main Piece:

TF, a freshman at Loyola University Chicago, explains the lore of the Green Doors at Cudahy Library.

“So there are these green doors to our library and they only open on the first day of classes and on graduation every year. So on the first day of classes, freshmen will walk through them into the library. Then on graduation, the seniors will walk through them out of the library.”

Context:

TF is a freshman at Loyola University Chicago. She is a relative of mine and is in her first year in college. As a freshman she would have participated in the Green Door tradition very recently.

Thoughts

As a USC student, we do not have many traditions like this one. These is not many things or places that we can only go at certain times in our education. The concept of going through the doors represents how they are starting and ending their education through the same doors of the university. What this reminds me of is my college tours during my junior and senior year of high school when tour guides mentioned similar things such as seals and places that you are forbidden to go with the risk of not graduating if you go there. For Instance, Boston University has a legend where stepping on the university seal can put your graduation at risk (see http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/boston-university-seal/).

Mertz til it Hurtz – Loyola University

Main Piece:

TF, a freshman at Loyola University Chicago, stays in Mertz Hall, a dorm at Loyola Chicago. One tradition they have there is “Mertz til it Hurtz”. TF explains: “There is a Freshman tradition called Mertz til it Hurts. This is named after the freshman dorm Mertz. The floors compete against each other in various challenges. The competition is where students climb the 18 flights of stairs of Mertz tower as quickly as possible. The “Hurtz” comes from your shins hurting. ”

Context:

TF is a freshman at Loyola University Chicago. She is a relative of mine and is in her first year in college. As a freshman she would have participated in the Green Door tradition very recently.

Thoughts:

At USC, due to zoning codes and safety, we do not have very tall dormitories. The dorm I stayed in, Marks Tower, only had 8 floors, so this idea of a competition to get to the top floor was not an idea that we had. What this shows is the spirits and effort that Loyola Chicago students have towards their dorm’s competition. Since TF mentioned how people are very competitive at it, it shows how even over a small things like climbing 18 flights of stairs, Loyola students are very competitive and devoted to their craft, even in times of stress on them.

“Coastie”

MAIN PIECE

“Coastie”

“When you call someone a coastie, it is more often than not seen as an insult.  We use it, probably more in the sorority systems, to describe someone who is from the east or west coast of the United States.  We usually say it when somebody doesn’t understand Wisconsin issues such as the weather  or the lack of warm beaches.”

BACKGROUND

DA, is from Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in the state all her life.  She knows this from being in the sorority system and being explained as to what a coastie was.  She had never hear it before when she lived in Milwaukee, so she assumes it’s specific to U-W Madison.

CONTEXT

DA is a cousin I have that goes to college right now.  We sat down and I invited her for a zoom call.  She seemed a bit stressed about her finals, but she was very elated to talk and take a break from studying for her chemistry exam.

THOUGHTS

To see a piece of a folklore that is used in a way to not identify members of said folk group, but make fun of ones who aren’t is thought-provoking, but not unique to this folk group.  I believe it’s used in this more derogatory manner because most of the people who go to U-W Madison, from looking at their statistics, are from Wisconsin themselves, making these “Coasties” far and few between, as well as easier to pick on in a joking manner.