“Piled Higher and Deeper: The Folklore of Campus Life,” by Simon J. Bronner, August House, Little Rock, 1990. As suggested by the subtitle, “Legends, Beliefs, Songs, Games, Jokes, Festivals, Slang, Ghost Stories and Other Traditions from American Colleges and Universities,” this 257-page hardback examines many aspects of modern college life. That includes study techniques like mnemonics to help remember complex facts, traditions like waiting times for professors arriving late to class, legendary professors, photocopier art, mooning, streaking, celebrations, pranks, drinking games and songs, fight songs, ghost stories, and competitive college humor (including many Texas Aggie jokes). A section on sororities and fraternities covers rush, pledging, hell week, initiation, and numerous traditions. Even dating, engagement, and slang terms are explored.This book will be of greatest interest to those who study folklore and traditions, to those who want to learn what to expect in college, or perhaps to those who would adapt traditions to their school or organization. The book is steeped in tradition. You won't find discussion of moving off campus. The author seems to have relied on others rather than his own research. None of the songs from my college days were included. Games like Indian and beer pong are absent. Nor is there mention of counting railroad ties or “Would you walk a mile for a Camel? Walk two Camels . . .” References. Index.
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