In this segment from the episode of Motley Fool Answers, Robert Brokamp and Alison Southwick are joined by Brock Jolly and Tim McFillin from TheCollegeFundingCoach.org. Seized by the academic spirit, Alison quizzes them on their knowledge of bizarre college traditions. Can you guess some of the answers? Listen to find out.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on April 10, 2018.
Alison Southwick: You guys obviously know a lot about paying for college, but what do you know about fitting in once you're there? So, pop quiz time. I'm going to test your smarts about some of the most bizarre college traditions.
Robert Brokamp: Very exciting!
Southwick: Some of these will be easy for you. After alcohol was banned on Penn's campus, students resorted to throwing what baked good onto the football field when the pep band plays the school's anthem, Drink a Highball, during the third quarter?
Brokamp: What was thrown on?
Southwick: A baked good.
Brokamp: A baked good.
Southwick: A baked good is thrown onto the football field every time the pep band plays the school's anthem, Drink a Highball, which is a heck of a school anthem.
Brokamp: A baked good.
Southwick: Bro, do you want to go first?
Brokamp: Sourdough bread?
Southwick: OK. I'm not going to give it to you, but you're in the ballpark.
Tim McFillin: I'm way off, then. I figured the Penn Quakers. Oatmeal raisin cookies.
Southwick: Oh! Delicious!.
Brock Jolly: A loaf of bread.
Southwick: Very close. It is actually toast, because, after all, when you drink a highball, you're going to toast.
McFillin: Get toasted.
Southwick: It is estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast are thrown on a good day, and Penn actually had to buy a toast Zamboni to pick up all of it off of the football field.
McFillin: Not a gluten-free school.
Southwick: So, sorry! Nobody got any points on that one.
Brokamp: We don't really keep score.
Southwick: I'm really bad at keeping score.
McFillin: We'll put the fool in Motley Fool.
Southwick: Students at the University of Maryland leave offerings at the feet of Testudo, the statue of the school's mascot [sometimes frisbees, couches, fruit, stolen flat screen TVs, and more], in an attempt to get some good luck. What kind of animal is he? If you don't get this, you don't live in the DMV.
Brokamp: Well, it's almost too obvious.
Southwick: Well, not all of our listeners live in this area.
Brokamp: That's true.
Southwick: The answer is?
Brokamp: I put either turtle or Kermit the Frog because there is a Kermit the Frog statue at the University of Maryland.
Southwick: Terrapin. So, I asked Rob Burnett...
Brokamp: Who went to the University of Maryland...
Southwick: ... should I accept turtle over a terrapin, because there is a difference.
McFillin: Well, I'd have written terrapin, but terrapin is a type of turtle.
Brokamp: What did Rob say?
Southwick: Rob said he would accept terrapin, but there is a difference. I'm going to give you an extra point.
Brokamp: You get extra credit.
McFillin: Thank you!
Brokamp: Jim Henson went to the University of Maryland, by the way. That's why they have a statue of him.
Rick Engdahl: Bro only gets a half a point because he split his vote, there.
Brokamp: I'll take a half point for Kermit. I'll die on that felt sword.
Southwick: The last day to drop classes has become a more musical tradition at MIT. Every year, on this day, students push what instrument off the roof of the Baker House Dormitory?
Brokamp: For dropping classes?
Southwick: The same day as dropping classes, students get together on top of a dormitory and they drop what musical instrument off the roof?
McFillin: Can I call my stepdad, who went to MIT?
Southwick: No, you may not.
Brokamp: Or a friend. I'm going to say tuba, just because I heard recently about how there is an increased theft of tubas, so I'm blaming all the MIT students.
Southwick: OK. You're wrong!
McFillin: I thought tuba. I went bass drum.
Southwick: Also wrong.
Southwick: Piano is the correct answer.
Southwick: The tradition started when some students in 1972 bought two non-functioning pianos and combined them to make one functioning piano, and then they hurled the leftover parts of the other piano off the roof.
Brokamp: That sounds dangerous and expensive.
Jolly: Only at an engineering school.
Brokamp: Can they use their school loans for that?
McFillin: Then they can put it together afterwards. That's the fun part.
Brokamp: That's true. There you go.
Engdahl: Why do I imagine that Daffy Duck is walking on the sidewalk at a very unfortunate time?
Southwick: Let's head to Oregon where at Reed College they celebrate this element for its tendency to be overshadowed by flashy elements such as oxygen? Regardless of how many years they've been doing it, it's always the Seventh Annual with traditions of eating hot dogs and freezing things, like socks. Oh, someone's feeling confident.
Brokamp: Tim's looking confident.
Jolly: My stepsister went to Reed, so if you give me a phone I can phone a friend.
McFillin: No, she gave a good hint there in the beginning.
Southwick: Nitrogen! Yes, that's right.
McFillin: Freezing, come on!
Southwick: The tradition goes back to 1992. I found this on the website Thrillist. They didn't mention it in their article, but I also have to assume that sales of whipped cream cans and nitrous cartridges are also very popular on this day.
Jolly: That's a different podcast.
McFillin: When I worked at Starbucks, they had a lockbox for those.
Southwick: They eat hotdogs for the nitrates and they freeze stuff in liquid nitrogen and all of that. Flu, mono, and meningococcal meningitis invariably sweep the dorms in the days following a Stanford tradition called "Full Moon on the Quad." Despite attempts by the school to ban it, thousands of students show up on the quad at midnight under the first full moon of the academic year and seniors do what to freshman?
Brokamp: This has the potential to be really gross.
Southwick: It has potential.
Brokamp: Can we start at the other end of the table this time?
Southwick: As long as you have your answer. Do you want me to write your answer? Because I don't want you to steal his answer.
McFillin: They're naked and they pour water on them.
Southwick: Oh, no! No, they don't.
McFillin: It must have just been me and Brock.
Southwick: What you do in your own time...
McFillin: Streak the lawn at UVA.
Jolly: I was close on that. I said pour beer on them.
McFillin: That would be preferable.
Brokamp: All I have is sputum-related activities.
Southwick: Bro! Come on! They smooch. Was that what you meant by that?
Brokamp: Isn't sputum a catch-all term for any kind of bodily fluid?
Southwick: No. I'm not going to give it to you. I think you're being overly gross.
Jolly: Do they still do this?
Southwick: Yes. Smooch!
Jolly: Oh, man!
Southwick: According to The New York Times, many kissers wear bingo boards, and they'll name 25 different types of kisses they want to get. One from each freshman dorm, or a rower, or a fencer, or a redhead, or a pothead, or someone over 6'5", or whatever.
Jolly: I want all three. Redhead, pothead, 6'5".
Southwick: Also, apparently the most popular one to kiss is the tree.
McFillin: The mascot.
Southwick: Someone is deemed the mascot -- I don't know if it's the actual mascot or if someone's like, "I'm the mascot for the day" -- and everyone has to kiss that tree. That tree ends up kissing hundreds and hundreds of people under the moonlight, so that's the flu, mono, and meningitis.
Brokamp: And that's why they don't have to offer any financial aid.
Southwick: So, there you go. Smart people there, at Stanford.
McFillin: And that's why I said that about that. Ask him what his list was and then share it with my mom.
Southwick: So, that's what I've got. And yes, you are definitely the winner, Tim!
Brokamp: Congratulations, Tim!
McFillin: Thank you!
Southwick: Thank you so much for putting up with us!
Jolly: This was awesome. We really appreciate it. This was a lot of fun. So much fun. Thanks again!