Author Archives: Alexandra Dickerson

Bands, Bands, Bands, Bands

Sara is a very gossipy, religious, fun girl. Sophomore at USC, she’s in the Helene’s and a sorority. She’s from Anaheim, California. And she has an incredibly interesting memory and past.

No not bands like music bands. Bands like the one you wear around your wrist. When I introduced folklore to Sara, and I talked about weird games or silly gestures this came to mind:

Took place in middle school: The new fad in the early 2000’s were these very cute plastic multi-colored bands. Very easy to put on, cheap, and stylish (for some reason). After the trend settled in, boys started coming up with ways to use this new fad to their advantage. There were several colored bands. They thought – what if each of them meant something. Then they came up with the game. When a boy comes up to a girl if he manages to break or “pop” the band, the girl would have to act out what ever action was attached to the color of the band. Green meant hug, pink meant a kiss, and eventually the list goes to: black means sex.

Analysis: Whether or not middle school-aged students were doing who knows what with those bands, I definitely remember seeing girls at my school wearing them. That goes to show the multiplicity across state borders. Sara and I didn’t go to the same school. IN fact, she was in California and I was in Pennsylvania. Games like this were very popular in middle school. Middle school is an age of experimentation. Especially with our sexuality. Middle school, while it may be a very painful time for some of us, is where we start growing into a more permanent person.  Phases and hats tend to lessen in high school where cliques and identities are formed.

SFW Porn

Steele is one of my friends I train in the ROTC program. Very interesting character. He is a freshman at USC. In his spare time he reads The Prince by Machiavelli on the Realism; an International Relations school of thought. He dates 5 women at a time and loves clash of clans.


It’s bad enough walking in on a friend or boyfriend watching porn at home. But walking into a workplace is even weirder. The ROTC program has a room called the “wardroom”. It’s got a couch, a table with ten chairs for work, a computer table and printer. So porn is really a topic of conversation in this place. Until:

Steele: “this is totally MY porn.”

Friend: “What, thats bull sh**, look at mine…”

Steele: “Not even bro. Look at her. In red. Hips. Perfect.”

When I saw what was on screen though, I was shocked. They were only looking at cars. I asked him what they were doing calling it porn.

Steele “It’s SFW porn, Ms. Dickerson”.

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Steele: “SFW porn. Safe for work porn.” I then laughed my “A” off.

Analysis: Porn has become less and less scrutinized then it used to by society about three decades ago. Couples often look to porn for inspiration together. The general public has become more accepting about how easily accessible this porn is. The label porn in “safe for work” porn just lets us know that we’re becoming, perhaps, a less conservative society.


Steele is one of my friends I train in the ROTC program. Very interesting character. He is a freshman at USC. In his spare time he reads The Prince by Machiavelli on the Realism; an International Relations school of thought. He dates 5 women at a time and loves clash of clans.

My friend Steele,  he really likes Red Bull energy drinks. Makes sense. We’re in college and we spend a haunting amount of time late at night working on overdue homework and projects. Not to mention he is an ROTC programmer which means very very early mornings. But I guess there was just one thing Steele didn’t know about Red Bull. Every year, the ROTC midshipmen have to do a nutrition and wellness brief. In this brief incldues a discussion about nicotine and alcohol, diet and caffiene, rest and exercise. When we touched up on caffeine our presenters talked about all the bad chemicals that swim in the cans of al the energy drinks – even the ones that say their harmless. They ended that slide by saying:

“Oh…and there’s bulls sperm in these bad boys”. Immediately faces started turning to each other. Steele afterwards laughed because he knew it wasn’t true. The rest of the class decided to pull a nasty prank and we showed him false articles that stated that Red Bull really had bull sperm in it. Steele says he spent the rest of the asking random people if they knew there was bull sperm in Red Bull. By the end of the day he realized it was just an urban legend.

Analysis: I couldn’t tell you why I think people would spread rumors like that. But logically, energy drink really do have some god awful chemicals and elements in their that an individual shouldn’t be drinking. Note: Steele stopped drinking the Red bull after he ‘thought’ he realized he was drinking an animals ‘seed’. One of the reasons rumors like this may be easy to spread is because perhaps bull sperm isn’t too far from drinking all the other nasty stuff in their. Someone wants us to stop drinking this.


You Owe the Lot!

Steele is one of my friends I train in the ROTC program. Very interesting character. He is a freshman at USC. In his spare time he reads The Prince by Machiavelli on the Realism; an International Relations school of thought. He dates 5 women at a time and loves clash of clans.

Steele fell victim to an old navy tradition a few days ago. In the military, we wear what is called a “cover”. In the civilian world you would call it a hat or cap. The military is known for its discipline, stiffness, and tidiness. We keep our quarters spotless and smelling good. There’s also a high level of respect. When a military personnel leaves their cover (cap) on a table it’s considered disrespectful. The way you take your hat off before entering a building, or close a wet umbrella before walking in. Anyone can call you out for leaving your cover on the table. If you’re caught, for the painful disrespect you have befallen, you owe who ever is in the room a round of drinks. Let’s just say when Steele got caught, he said that it was a very expensive (potential buy). Luckily in the program, not all of us are 21 yet so they can’t hold us to it unless they’re keeping a tab.

Analysis: One of the navy’s oldest traditions. When you think Navy, you think “Drunken Sailor” on an old rustic sail ship. That’s where the tradition comes from. Sailors spent gruesome, cruel hours under and on the poop deck of a ship maintaining the large wooden object for sea. But when they weren’t hoisting the colors, or manning the helm, they had to do something. Many of today’s drinking games and chanties come from the world’s finest Navy.

Cinderella Dressed in…What??

Megan is a sophomore in my french class. I’ve known her for a year. She’s a sweet, very soft spoken intelligent girl. She loves horseback riding. She’s majoring in creative writing and wants to be a screenwriter for Pixar one day.

When I first introduced the topic folklore and then mentioned childhood rhymes, riddles, and songs, one of the first things that popped into her head was this song:

“Cinder-ella, dressed in yell-ah

Went upstairs, to kiss, a fell-ah

Made a mis-take, and kissed a snake

Came downstairs, with ah belly-ache

How Many doooctors did-it-take


It’s a song girls sing when they’re jumping rope. I remember all the different variations of this form of folklore:

Cinderella, dressed in green,
Went upstairs to eat ice cream.
How many spoonfuls did she eat?
One, two, three

Cinderella, dressed in brown
Went upstairs to make a gown
How many stitches did she use?
One, two, three

Analysis: One of the more fun parts about being a girl is being able to sing silly things about the toys and characters you love without seeming too odd. Boys aspire to be astronauts, cowboys, police officers, doctors, chefs and more. But all little girls will tell you at least once in their lifetime that they want to be a princess. Whether they were 8 years old and playing on the playground or a 43 year old mother who only wishes to be spoiled and pampered by her prince. Songs like this play into our culture as a reminder that we can still have our imagination while understanding the truth; reality. Yes, we may not be princesses, so let’s make a little fun of Cinderella or whomever. It also keeps the character alive. While slightly teasing the character, little girls bring the princess to the playground and engulf themselves in an environment where they can run around their own princesses.