Note: Commas indicate pauses in speech. Italicized text indicates words said with emphasis.
Informant: OH! um, a while back there was like, a tradition of like just making bombs and diffusing them but keeping the sound, so the bomb squad was just here all the time.
Informant: um yeah OH and then this one time this there’s this statue outside of my dorm that this person gave us and they were like this is very expensive and I made it so it like, can’t rust and the chem majors were like, no way. no shot. and so the chem majors rusted it… on the first day. They concocted some… I don’t even know.
The informant said he learned about these legends from a seminar called Mudd lore. He also commented that these stories highlight the “evil genius aspect of our Mudd lore” that is a “kinda little fun and cute little STEM moment.”
Context of Performance: In-person conversation
Legends are grounded in the real world as dubiously true. They can also mark who is in or out of a group. For these tales specifically, knowing about them shows that someone is a student at Harvey Mudd. In addition, these legends seem to hint that Harvey Mudd students have a particular curious and spiteful approach to life, as demonstrated by the legend with the statue that couldn’t rust. I think the telling of these legends encourages new Harvey Mudd students to fulfill the legacy of prior students by continuing evil genius moments.