Category Archives: 19F Varsity Swim and Club Frisbee

Frisbee Formal

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Lore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Hannah Marr
  • Date Collected: 11/16/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Hannah Marr is a captain of the Dartmouth Womxn’s Utimate Frisbee Team, known as Dartmouth Daybreak. She has been on the team, previously known as Princess Layout, since her freshman year. Born on November 24, 1997, she is from Falmouth, Maine. Hannah is a member of the Dartmouth Class of 2020. She has been playing Frisbee since high school and continued to when she came to Dartmouth.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Frisbee Formal is an event that occurs during the winter term. Underclassmen must ask upperclassmen from a different team to formal in a creative way and send the formal invite to all of SPEW. In return the upperclassmen must respond in a similar fashion to all of SPEW. Frisbee formal is held at an undisclosed location where individuals chat and dance. A theme is announced ahead of time and people usually dress in “flair,” which is a colloquial term applied to fun, costume-like clothing, in accordance with the theme. 
  • Social Context: This interview was conducted off campus in person. Frisbee formal allows individuals an opportunity to meet players from other teams and socialize in a different environment and usual for frisbee. Often times underclassmen do not know the upperclassmen they ask to formal. Formal is also a time when the men’s and women’s teams are mixed together, even though they play seperately. Formal is a fun event where people socialize and meet other people in the program.

ITEM: 

  • Formal

TRANSCRIPT:

  • “Frisbee formal is a really fun tradition that the frisbee program has. How it works is that underclassmen make really funny videos, whether it be a parody of a song, a dance that they’re doing or a little skit and they send the videos out via our listserv [SPEW] asking upperclassmen to the formal. Upperclassmen when they’re asked to respond with a similar fun video whether it be a song response or anything, and they’ll respond to the underclassmen. Everyone always says yes and it culminates with everyone going to a themed dance and where we all wear flair and dress up and have an awesome time. It’s a really great tradition that frisbee has. Frisbee formal is a really great way by which underclassmen get to feel comfortable around upperclassmen and the whole community gets to know each other better.”

 

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “I always look forward to seeing all the invites and responses that get sent out on SPEW!”

 

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • Frisbee formal can be seen as a form of a rite of passage because attendees are usually invited or have invited someone else to attend. The asking and response process is lengthy and often takes a lot of preparation. Additionally, at this event, it is likely that you will meet new individuals from other teams within the program, which could be interpreted as a part of incorporating new members into the community. 

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo & Annett Gawerc

Psychotic Seed Award

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Lore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Avery Feingold
  • Date Collected: 11/15/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Avery Feingold is a former captain of the men’s frisbee B team, Discomfort Trolley, and is a former member of PainTrain, the men’s A team. He is a member of the Dartmouth Class of 2017. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he now resides there post-graduation. He was born on September 25, 1995.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: The Psychotic Seed Award is an award given out to members of the freshman class from each team during the fall and spring terms at frisgiving (Frisbee thanksgiving) and banquet, respectively. It is awarded to individuals that exemplify the certain values of the team, including friendliness, positivity, and the warmth. The award is given in remembrance of and in honor of a former frisbee player nicknames “Townie,” who sadly passed away during his time at Dartmouth.

 

  • Social Context: This ritual was documented during a virtual interview. The award is presented in front of the entire frisbee team membership. Each term when the award is given, all previous recipients are asked to rise. This allows others to see the number of individuals who have previously received this award and fosters a sense of unity by demonstrating the amount of positivity and warmth that has been cultivated throughout the years of Dartmouth Ultimate Frisbee. 

 

ITEM: 

  • Psychotic Seed Award

TRANSCRIPT:

  • “There was a boy who played on the Dartmouth ultimate team in the 1990s who got to know everyone in Hanover so well that even though he was from Iowa, he was named “Townie” by the Dartmouth Ultimate team and that name stuck and became how he introduced himself to new freshmen when he was a senior. But when Townie was a senior he got brain cancer and died very shortly thereafter, so dartmouth ultimate, in his memory, every year gives out an award called the Psychotic Seed Award named after the sunflower seeds that Townie used to chew. It’s awarded to a rookie player from each team that exemplifies the friendliness, positivity, and the warmth that we want to embody on Dartmouth Ultimate.”

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • The informant did not provide any further comment.

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • The Psychotic Seed Award is one of the best parts of the frisbee program, seeing as it recognizes the good naturedness of the program members. However, at the same time is always a somewhat solemn thought in remembrance of the award’s namesake. Overall, this award strikes a good balance at recognizing and remembering the positive aspects of the frisbee program’s past and present.

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo and Annett Gawerc

Sideline Cheer

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Lore – Ritual
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Ariella Kovary
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Ariella Y. Kovary is a former member of the Dartmouth Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, formerly known by its previous name, Princess Layout. She is a member of the class of 2020 and is majoring in history and psychology. She played frisbee recreationally in high school, and played on Dartmouth’s team during her entire freshman year and sophomore fall. Born on August 27, 1998, she is from Mineola, New York. 

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Sideline cheers and talk is an integral part of playing ultimate frisbee. Sideline cheers drive a lot of the energy on the field, pumping players up and helping them perform well and focus. Dartmouth Ultimate Frisbee has numerous sideline cheers that are creative, fun, silly, and unique.Many of them are centered around life at Dartmouth, pertaining to trees, Collis Pasta, and Webster Avenue and more. Additionally, sideline players also usually speak to the players on the field to help them gain more spatial awareness of the field and insight into what they should be doing during games. Overall, the sideline is a necessary part of a frisbee team; the players on the sideline play an essential role for the team.

 

  • Social Context: This ritual was documented in a one-on-one interview in Novack. Teams say cheers at practice and tournaments. They are a way for teams to demonstrate a united front against competition as well as energize themselves and teammates while playing frisbee. Teams are performed as a group, with all players saying the same words at the same time. Sometimes players will accompany cheers with physical dances, but that is not a necessary or integral part of the cheer.

ITEM: 

  • Sideline cheer

Recording:

TRANSCRIPT:

  • I guess when I first became part of the team and we were going to competitions and tournaments and things of that sort, I was not aware of what would go on if you’re not on the field. I thought it was a time just to relax and just like do homework. And I thought as a freshman that this was a great opportunity, even though I’m outside in the cold, I’ll just do my homework on the sidelines and be engaged partially. But I remember Angela Zhu, a ‘17, was like “oh no, everyone’s gotta get up on their feet and be rushing along the sidelines.” And I was like “but why, like why do we have to keep running along with the teammates that are on the field. They’re the ones who are playing and we’re not. It doesn’t make any sense.” But, in retrospect it did because the sideline engagement was like the encouragement as well as the enthusiasm for the players that were on the field. And I didn’t realize how much of a force that the people who didn’t play had on the people who did. And so its like a whole team engagement thing in which we’re shouting back and forth across the field to the other people that are on the sidelines and saying all these different sort of cheers , and we made up new ones, you know Kayliegh made that new one over spring break where you just say: “what time is it” and we’re all going back and forth saying “what time of the year is it? I don’t know. was it yesterday? Is it today?  Oh it’s spring break!” and then we all lift up our shirts and expose our bras and say it’s spring break. It’s so great that these cheers have caught on to other teams in which – I forgot which team it was but some other team we were playing even used one of our cheers and they even said our college’s name so it just shows the impact of the cheer itself and how much it not only inspires the people who are on the field, saying they have a support system, but also how much it is an engaging activity and a whole team bonding effort for everyone on the sidelines. It really created some sort of unity among everyone, and like, yes, there’s really great players that are gonna be on the field most of the time, compared to those who are not, or those who are novices in the frisbee world as I was myself. But overall it was a thing that brought the whole team together. They were fun, and they were quirky, and they were just like spontaneous and engaging. And whether you just lose your voice or you had to hydrate on water it was just like part of the spirit of Ultimate. And then, even though I left the team pretty early, one of the cheers will always remain with me, and that one is ‘P is for Party.’ So it goes like: “P is for party and A is for alright! R is ready and T is for tonight! Y is for you ‘cause you know what to do! Let’s Partyyyy! Don’t let your mama know you partyyyyy! That you go to Daaartmouth!” So considering that I’m now a senior and that was part of my freshman experience that really carried throughout my whole college career. So I’d say that sideline cheers are pretty important to the team as well as the players themselves.

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “One of my favorite parts about Ultimate Frisbee was cheering on my Buddy, Caitlyn Lee.”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • The sideline cheer is one of the most important aspects of a frisbee game. Team performance is truly impacted by the support on the sidelines. If teammates are being loud and cheering the players on well, the team plays better.

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Annett Gawerc and Luke Cuomo

Team Dinner

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Folklore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Ruby
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Ruby is a new member of the Dartmouth Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, Dartmouth Daybreak, formerly known as Princess Layout. She is a member of the class of 2023 and intends to major in Geography. She played frisbee extensively in in high school on her school’s frisbee team, and she knew that she wanted to continue playing frisbee at Dartmouth. Born on November 6, 2000, she is from Shanghai, China. 

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Team dinner happens every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday  in both fall and spring term after practice. In the winter team dinner is often before evening practice. This is a time when the program gets together in upstairs FoCo and dines together. There are traditions incorporated during this meal time as well, for example, it is common for individuals to “rosham,”  commonly known as rock, paper, scissors, for who has to take down all the dirty plates. But mostly, team dinner is an unstructured meal where members chat about whatever is on their mind.

 

  • Social Context: This ritual was documented in a one-on-one interview in Novack. The frisbee program bonds over team dinners, where topics can range from program activities and frisbee to anything under the sun. Most team members will show up for team dinner, resulting in a crowd of two dozen often times. Sitting together in upstairs FoCo is a great way for team members to become more familiar with each other, and also allows for new members to have the chance to chat with the group in a calm environment, as opposed to practices or game time.

ITEM: 

  • International Comparison – Team Dinner

Recording:

TRANSCRIPT:

  • “So, I have played three years on my high school team, and it was in a completely different cultural setting than Dartmouth. It was a high school mixed [gender] team. Transforming from my high school frisbee experience to Dartmouth, I found one significant similarity that we share, like my high school team and the Dartmouth Ultimate team. And it is that we spend a lot of time together eating meals. We used to eat meals after every tournament [in high school] and there was a specific restaurant that we’d always go to when we finished every tournament. It was kind of like a celebration and we just had a really fun time there. And I feel like its very similar to what we have now on the Dartmouth Frisbee team because we have team dinner after every practice.”

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “I have been able to meet more people in the program through team dinner.”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • Across cultures, we have found that team dinners are a commonality between Ultimate Frisbee teams. Both Ruby’s frisbee experience in high school in China and Dartmouth’s frisbee program have a very similar team dinner tradition. Ultimate Frisbee is a sport that relies on team dynamics for good performance, and this intricate dynamic is fostered over time. Traditional team dinners serve as an additional avenue for teams to foster this sense of community. The similarities between these two frisbee experiences is particularly notable because of the wide sociopolitical and cultural differences between Shanghai and Hanover.

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo and Annett Gawerc

Bequests

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Folklore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Alec Miller
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Alec Miller is an active member of Dartmouth Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, known by its name, Pain Train and has been a Dartmouth Ultimate Frisbee community member for three years. He is a member of the class of 2021 and is a Government major. He started playing frisbee in high school, but improved significantly in college. Born on May 10, 1999, he is from Philadelphia, PA. His favorite frisbee throwing technique is the low release backhand.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Bequests, or bequesting, is the act of passing down treasured items from one team member to a younger member. Bequests occur at Banquet each year. Banquet marks the official end to the year as a frisbee program, and all of the seniors who have been bequested items over the years now have to bequest them down so that they stay within the frisbee program. There are some items that have been in the program for many, many years: since the 1990s and earlier. Bequested items can consist of a number of things, including non-physical items, such as the title of “SPEW OVERLORD”, and physical items, most commonly flair. Each item is passed down and has each previous owner’s name and year associated with it, usually written on the item itself; this forms a sort of lineage of people that the item has been passed down from.

 

  • Social Context: This ritual was documented in a one-on-one interview in Novack. Bequests are given to individuals in the program that have developed a relationship with the bequester over their time at Dartmouth and within the Ultimate Frisbee Community. Items are usually bequested after the bequester has said a few (or a lot of) words in front of a group about what the item or previous owner has meant to them and what the recipient of the bequest means to them or why they feel the recipient should be the new owner. This fosters a sense of community within the program.

ITEM: 

  • Bequests

Recording:

TRANSCRIPT:

  • “Bequests are pretty much – some important, some not as important – but it’s all the stuff that’s been part of the frisbee program from the past couple of years and some for a very long time. So at the end of the year we have a program banquet where the teams get together in a cabin or somewhere where we’re all together and that is when bequests are handed down. There are multiple rounds. The first round is giving away most of their stuff but its stuff that doesn’t have much personal meaning to them.t could be random flair and stuff like that. Then there is, in between that round and the last round it’s called side bequests. That’s pretty much when someone wants to give something to someone but it’s usually more personal stuff that they just wanted to have a moment with the person to hand something down and don’t really feel the need to publicize it to the program. This stuff is usually not as related to the frisbee program but it’s more of a personal gift from the person. And then the last round is the more personal stuff, I guess you could call it the more important stuff to the frisbee program which gets handed down. The last round is definitely more emotional than the first one because it’s just like people giving up stuff that is very important to them to people who are important to them. And, in the first round it’s people giving away a lot of their stuff that they don’t really have a connection to whereas in the last one its people giving away four or five things that they care a lot about and talking about the importance of the item has to them and the importance the person has to them and why they’re giving it to them.”

 

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “Banquet is the most important event of the year outside of playing”

 

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • Bequests are some of the most cherished items many Dartmouth students own and are kind of sacred. Bequested items never to be lost and should be preserved as best as possible. New items can become part of a bequest chain if they have enough significance to a single team member or the whole team itself, or if an item is particularly unique or one of a kind.

 

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo and Annett Gawerc

SPEW – Listserv

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Verbal Folklore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Robert Barret Noone
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Robert Barret Noone is an active member of three years Dartmouth Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, known by its name, Pain Train. He is a member of the class of 2021 and an Engineering major. He started playing frisbee in a local league the summer before college. Born on October 7, 1998, he is from Philadelphia, PA. His favorite frisbee throwing technique is the IO flick.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Many freshmen sign up for the frisbee email listserv, known as SPEW, during freshman fall at the activities fair and then remain on the list throughout the entirety of their Dartmouth career. Used for logistics and planning as well as distribution of team folklore, SPEW stands for Society for the Protection of Elvish Welfare. This was a name from that the team adopted from the movie Harry Potter many years ago, when Harry Potter had a much larger presence and influence on the program. SPEW is an email distribution list used as a means of communication for the program. Since it is technically not a college regulated listserv, students that do not want to be on the email chain have a hard time getting off of it since they are not as familiar with it. SPEW is used throughout the school year. Peak usage of SPEW usually occurs at the beginning of the fall, to communicate information about tryout and open practices, near big weekends in the fall and spring, leading up to an event called HPP, and in the winter, when Frisbee Formal asks and responses are sent out to the entire distribution list. The title of SPEW OVERLORD is passed down at banquet when the reigning OVERLORD bequests their title to an underclassmen who they feel will preserve the integrity of the email server.

 

  • Social Context: This ritual was documented in a one-on-one interview in Novack. This item of folklore fosters community within the program because it serves as a means of communication among players. Throughout the year, SPEW also serves as a tool for community members to meet each other; formal invites are sent and responded to, spring break and Collis dates are organized as planned, and much more is accomplished all through this means.

ITEM: 

  • SPEW – Listserv

Recording:

TRANSCRIPT: 

  • “So SPEW is the email listserv that the Ultimate Frisbee Program uses. It’s used for a variety of things, sometimes for program-wide logistics or planning events but a lot of the time it’s people screwing around and being weird. It’s used a lot in conjunction with certain events like every term we have HPP which stands for Harry Potter Party. And leading up to it [HPP] some upperclassmen have email accounts with the names of various Harry Potter characters and they send out emails mainly intended to confuse the freshmen I think, you know just explaining, like a weird banter back and forth, slowly revealing little pieces of the event, and eventually saying like ‘this is what you need to do.’ It’s fun, I think. But, that also lines up a lot with when people try to get off of SPEW. I don’t know the details behind it but I think it’s not like a formal listserv – it’s something weirder that you can’t just unsubscribe from. So usually when there’s these rapid fire emails from Harry Potter characters you get people who aren’t involved in the program asking to get off the listserv. Usually like one person sends an email saying “Hey, can you please take me off this email list?” and there’s a cascade of six or seven more people saying “yeah, me too.” I think that’s always really funny especially when someone on the program will send out saying “Yeah, please text this number for inquiries and usually just gives someone’s random number. Oliver Chartock’s number was given last year at some point and he got like ten different texts from people asking to get off the listserv even though he doesn’t have the power to do that. SPEW overlord is a position that is bequested down through the frisbee program, and that’s the person who is technically in charge of SPEW and they usually send out some wierd or passive aggressive emails about people being weird. They usually sign their emails with “SPEW OVERLORD.” They’re usually the person that doesn’t – like when there are a bunch of requests to get off the listserv – they usually respond with like “hahaha you’re trapped forever!” It’s passed down from people who kinda have that troll-y mindset. They pass it down to someone they think is going to use it and have fun with it.”

 INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “Mainly intended to confuse the freshmen”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • The use of SPEW as Verbal Folklore within the Ultimate Frisbee Community seems to be declining, as other means of communication, such as GroupMe, on Dartmouth Campus are increasing in popularity. If SPEW usage continues to decline, the traditions associated with it may fade away.

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo and Annett Gawerc

Program Cheer

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Folklore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Derek Willson
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Derek Paul Willson is an active member of the Dartmouth Men’s Ultimate Frisbee B Team, known by its name, Discomfort Trolly; commonly known as Disco Troll. He is a member of the class of 2022, and he has been playing frisbee since his freshman fall at Dartmouth in 2018. Born on December 17, 2000, he is from Skylerville, NY. His favorite frisbee throwing technique is the hammer throw.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

Cultural Context: 

  • The program cheer is a cheer that players across all teams know. This is taught to the rookies at the end of their first year at the program banquet and performed when the program is together at mixed games and tournaments. Additionally it is performed before big games on individuals teams (i.e. men’s and women’s). There are several rules for performing the program cheer, including requirements that one must either have their hat off or be wearing it backwards and a requirement that everyone must be holding the same frisbee while the cheer is performed. The program cheer is also a secret, known only to the members of the frisbee team.

Social Context: 

  • This ritual was documented in a one-on-one interview in Novack. This item of folklore brings the whole program together because it is unique to frisbee. Unlike ultimate frisbee sideline cheers, which often vary across teams, the program cheer is something the entire program knows. Additionally, it fosters a sense of community within class years because, other than one night a year for banquet, one is only permitted to to discuss the cheer with students in your class year. If a class is unable to memorize and piece together the program cheer during the school year, they must wait until banquet to speak to upperclassmen about it.

ITEM: 

  • Program Cheer

Recording

TRANSCRIPT: 

  • “Ok so the Program Cheer, we only really talk about it at Program Banquet at the end of the year unless you’re with other people of your class year. During it you’re supposed to have the program disc, have your hat off or backwards and have one thumb on the disc and if there’s too many people you have to touch someone who’s touching it [the disc]. It’s always funny with first years or rookies because they don’t know any of it cause you only really learn it at banquet unless somehow some other rookie knows it. You kinda just like AAAAAAA [screams] through the whole thing because you have no idea what it is. That’s always a funny thing.”

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “It’s something that brings classes closer together because you can only talk about the words of it with members of your own class”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • This cheer is standard in many ways but has a few particular points that make it unique. The fact that freshmen are not allowed to know the lyrics until the Banquet their freshman year makes this cheer an initiation ritual. Specifically, learning the cheer could be described as a rite of transition or incorporation – making the switch from a partial to a full fledged team member.
  • Because the cheer is known and performed only by upperclassmen, it holds an exclusionary aspect. Only once a team member is granted the privilege and knowledge for the cheer does the member achieve full status as a frisbee team player. Prior to the rookies learning it, they are told to scream and yell whenever it is performed so they are unable to learn it throughout the year.
  • Because the cheer is a secret, we were not able to document the words to it. However, even though we are unable to record the cheer itself, we can still analyze the context in which it is performed and the social and cultural dynamics around its performance, which we have done here. The surrounding dynamics of the cheer are very informative to frisbee culture despite the fact that we cannot know the cheer itself.
  • There is not really any pattern or meaning to the nonsensical cheer/noise made by those who do not know the cheer lyrics. The only purposes of the noise made is to contribute to the overall volume and intensity of the cheer as well as make it harder to hear the actual cheer lyrics to prevent outsiders from learning the words

COLLECTOR’S NAME: 

  • Luke Cuomo and Annett Gawerc

 

Team Pong Tournament

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Customary Folklore – Tradition 
  • Language: English 
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Cathleen Li
  •  
  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Cathleen Li is an active swimmer on the Dartmouth Women’s Swim Team at Dartmouth College. She is part of the Class of 2021, and she has been swimming since her freshman fall. Born on May 13, 1999, she is from Boston, Massachusetts. She started swimming recreationally at three or four years old, but she notes that she began swimming competitively at the age of seven. Her favorite stroke is Butterfly. 

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: This folklore is a customary tradition that the entire Dartmouth Swim Team engages in, every single Fall term. Including the Women’s and Men’s team, this bonding experience is a fun event held by both teams to foster and encourage inter-gender team mingling and bonding, since the activity of Dartmouth pong involves team coordination and team communication. This pong tournament held near the end of the fall term every year has been a favorite tradition of many swimmers, since the game is a fun way to bring swimmers closer together, despite gender. Again, this tradition highlights how collective the sport is, but also how individualistic the swimmers are in their respective sport. Therefore, the team pong tournament encourages a collective team spirit, since swimming is very specifically tailored to a single teammate during meets and competitions. 
  • Social Context: This folklore data was collected on the third floor of the Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College. This tradition of a pong tournament is held every single Fall term, yearly. Usually, upperclassmen will be paired with underclassmen, as a way to foster team bonding. The pong tournament includes the game of Dartmouth pong, a game that involves a ping-pong style of activity in which individuals must play ping pong with ping pong paddles, in an attempt to hit a ping pong ball over to the opposing side and into (or hit onto) the cups shaped like a “tree.” 

ITEM: 

  • Every Fall term at Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Women’s and Men’s Swim and Dive team will participate in a pong tournament. 

TRANSCRIPT:

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “Every year, the pong tournament is something I look forward to. It’s so fun, and the partners get to dress up in a team costume. It’s a fun way to just hang out as a team.”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • This yearly tradition does not specifically categorically fall into any focused rites of passage, as this event is a fun, relaxing way for swimmers to bond and connect outside of routine practices and stressful swim competitions and meets. However, it can be stated that this pong tournament tradition is still a rite of incorporation, since many underclassmen swimmers are still not closely acquainted with the older members of the team at the end of the Fall term. Therefore, this event is an effective but fun way for the intermingling of all team members, regardless of age or gender. The team can socialize outside of the sport, and it is a fun way for the members to feel like permanent teammates on the Dartmouth Swim and Dive team. 

COLLECTOR’S NAME: Sarah Sim 

The Fort Dinner

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Poly-modal folklore: Customary Folklore- Tradition 
  • Tradition
  • Language: English 
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Connie Beimeng Zhang

  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Connie Zhang is a swimmer on the Dartmouth Women’s Swim and Dive Team at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Part of the Class of 2022, she has been swimming on the team since her freshman year. Born on February 29, 2000, she is from Naperville, Illinois. She started swimming when she was eight years old, and her favorite stroke is backstroke.

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: This folklore is a customary tradition that the team engages in, every single year. Specifically, this tradition is a manifestation of the bonding and team connections that are formed at the beginning of every year, especially with the incoming freshman part of this new, close-knit team. This dinner represents the connections that links these swimmers together, since their collective sport is also highly individualistic. This tradition has existed for many years prior to Connie’s own participation in the tradition dinner. 
  • Social Context: This folklore data was collected on the third floor of the Baker-Berry Library in Hanover, New Hampshire. This tradition dinner is held every single fall, with the incoming freshmen, and with all the other classes on the Swim and Dive team. The Fort is a truck-style diner, and its small, inclusive space has fostered the close connections on the Dartmouth Swim Team. Additionally, it is a Woman’s Team dinner, in which all the swimmers dress up in “flair,” which is a colloquial term applied to fun, costume-like clothing. 

ITEM: 

  • Every Fall term at Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Women’s Swim and Dive team will attend a dinner at The Fort, as a yearly tradition. 

TRANSCRIPT:

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “It’s a nice way for the upperclassmen to get to know the freshmen, and it’s been a tradition for a very long time!”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • This yearly tradition can be considered a rite of passage, since this dinner has been a tradition mostly to incorporate the new freshmen to the close-knit community of the Dartmouth Women’s Team. Therefore, this team tradition can be considered to be part of the rite of incorporation, since this dinner allows the intermingling and forming of one unit that comprises the Women’s Team. Prior to this dinner tradition, the freshmen are usually not too close to the other members of the swim team, especially the upperclassmen, and more senior members. Therefore, this rite of incorporation is essential for bringing members together. It has been a tradition for as long as Connie remembers, and she is aware that this dinner holds influence in creating tight bonds amongst the teammates. 

COLLECTOR’S NAME: Sarah Sim 

Beez in the Trap

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITEM:

  • Poly-modal folklore: ritual
  • Magic Superstition 
  • Language: English 
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Informant: Max Jones

  • Date Collected: 11/10/19

INFORMANT DATA:

  • Max Jones is an active swimmer on the Dartmouth Men’s Swim and Dive Team at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. He is a sophomore of the Class of 2022, and has been swimming since his Freshman Fall in 2018. From Austin, Texas, he began swimming at the age of five years old. He was born on September 9, 2000. His favorite stroke in swimming is breaststroke. 

CONTEXTUAL DATA:

  • Cultural Context: Similar to other rituals collected in this folklore project, this specific folklore ritual is part of the range of rituals that swimmers typically perform before major competitions and swim meets. This superstitious ritual is performed in order to mentally encourage the swimmers before swimming and competing. Since swim competitions can quickly become a source of anxiety and stress for many individuals, some swimmers have been guided to form their own mini rituals as a way to relieve stress. For this ritual, competing after listening to a specific song is related to the notion of magic superstition, since it is a specific behavior that he can do himself that will help him perform better. 
  • Social Context: This folklore data was collected during a car ride from a restaurant in Hanover, New Hampshire. This specific ritual was a piece of advice originally administered by his sports psychologist, who recognized the common stressors that are frequently involved in swimming meets and swim competitions. Therefore, he adopted this specific advice and began listening to one of his favorite musical artists, Nicki Minaj. This version of the folklore, of listening to specific songs before swimming, has been commonly adopted by other teammates on the team. 

ITEM: 

  • Before the beginning of every swim meet, during warm-ups, Max Jones will listen to “Beez in the Trap” by Nicki Minaj. 

TRANSCRIPT:

INFORMANT’S COMMENTS:

  • “It’s my favorite song by Nicki Minaj. It’s upbeat, encouraging, and gets me ready to race and perform my best before the competitions.”

COLLECTOR’S COMMENTS: 

  • Similar to other pre-meet warm-up rituals, this is a common ritual to perform. However, listening to a specific song can very well vary from person to person, since Max’s favorite encouraging song may be different than another teammate’s encouraging song. This variance and deviance from just one version of this ritual emphasizes the fact that Dartmouth Swim is highly individualistic, and swimmers must be able to tailor their own rituals to their own individual needs. Swimmers perform specifically different rituals to encourage and bolster confidence, as a team. This ritual was a focused tip given by his sports psychologist, and he has used this advice ever since. Similar to Summer’s ritual, and Paul’s, this ritual is a variance on the magic superstition, escalating Max’s confidence levels to perform well. 

 

COLLECTOR’S NAME: Sarah Sim