A: I mean if you’re looking for a real piece of folklore, I have a science bunny. You remember the science bunny.
ME: science bunny?
A: the science bunny goes in the pocket of lab coat
ME: ohhh!! (I remembered the science bunny at this point)
A: every time I have a biology lab or any time that I’m in my lab coat really. Which is a lot. I was in it like uhh probably eight hours a week this semester.
ME: where did you get this bunny?
A: it was a gift for Chinese New Year that was sent from my aunt who’s not my aunt. So she sent me a little–
ME: like a family-friend aunt?
A: a family-friend aunt.
ME: I have those too
A: and then they had like, the ears had like lanterns and some stuff on them. So but then it was so tiny that I could stick it in my pocket. And then whenever we had exams, my friend and I (who is in biology and chemistry) wed take out the bunny– Cause usually we’d be sitting around each other in the exam room– the bunny, all the knowledge all the science knowledge it’d absorbed by sitting in my pocket, it was going to give back to us. So, that is my little superstition. I’m also convinced that somebody lives in my basement at home, secretly. But that’s not a superstition
ME: well that’s a legend, for another story
A: that’s a legend
ME: interesting, you’ll have to tell me more about the basement guy later. Uhh, the bunny… why do you think you do the bunny? Does it help?
A: I don’t know if it helps, but I think it’s fun to have traditions because it became kind of a little point of comradery. And the fact that one friend would always bully the bunny, so then I would bully the friend. And then also like my other friend, he always just liked seeing the bunny. It was kinda a thing we could all rally around. So it was like every time the science bunny came out… one of my friends was like o my gosh you’re such like a, you’re gonna be such a pediatrician. You with your little bunny. You carry a stuffed animal with you. And I was like aww. And it’s kinda cute, you know it’s just something to hold on to. So yeah…
ME: I appreciate this, thank you
A: glad to get your homework done
This tradition was shared with me by a friend and USC peer while waiting to collect boxes in preparation for move-out.
A grew up in Missouri, USA. A was at the time of sharing a pre-med student.
Good luck charms are quite common. Seeking good luck on academic tests and challenges is similarly precedented. The science bunny reminded me of a rabbit’s foot: a common good luck charm. I don’t think A’s use of the science bunny was directly influenced by ideas of rabbits’ feet, but it’s interesting on a basis of convergent practices.
The idea that the bunny might absorb knowledge from observing labs and then return the knowledge to A and her friends is also interesting to me. Despite A not fully believing it this seems to be an instance of magic.
A finds meaning in this practice because it brings her closer to her friends. “It was kinda a thing we could all rally around.”