Legends of NDSU

Legends of NDSU

This page is a compilation of legends related by students at North Dakota State University. What do I mean by a legend? A legend is a type of folk narrative. It is a story that
  1. is told for truth (and may well be),

  2. is told mainly for entertainment, although it may hold some important meaning, and

  3. usually contains some element of the fantastic.
The legends here compiled have been told by students enrolled in my classes. Students (with some encouragement) have posted them on our electronic discussion lists or have told them orally during class sessions. I have grouped the legends according to subject and sometimes edited them for the basics of style. Although I have retained my electronic files with full documentation, the items here presented are not identified by name.

What is the purpose of this compilation? In the first place, this sort of lore is a text for learning about the American society and regional culture in which we live. Our legends express our hopes and fears and show what sort of life we live.

In a similar manner, this compilation can tell us a lot about NDSU. We can read these legends to find out what sort of community we are. There is more to college life than the formal course of study. If I may paraphrase a contemporary American poet, the universe is composed not of atoms, but of stories.

If you're interested in reading about the pervasiveness and significance of legends in modern American life, check out entries under "Brunvand, Jan" in a library catalog.

All right then, here are the legends. I made up the titles.

America Is a Weird and Scary Place
Going to College Is Scary, Too
You Can Choose Your Friends, but Your Family. . .
Back Home They Used to Tell about. . .