Sunday, April 30, 2006

Good ol' Roscoe

In our library is a bust of Roscoe Pound, the great jurist. He was once the dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law, and went on to be dean of Harvard's law college.

It's been a tradition for a long time to rub Roscoe's nose for good luck during finals. People have more recently been leaving offerings to Roscoe during finals, for good luck or whatever other help he can give. This semester, as last, someone has left him a liter bottle of Jim Beam.

I find myself wondering if Roscoe had a particular fondness for Jim Beam in particular. I'm also wondering if the person who left this is in any of my classes and, due to this particularly great offering, is going to wreck the curve. And then I find myself wondering . . . why does anyone else bother to leave him anything? Your offering of fruit juice or candy or whatever can't possibly compare to a liter bottle of bourbon. Unless of course you gave him a better bourbon, or perhaps some Irish cream.

And then I start wondering if leaving him alcohol is going to hurt your cause. I mean, if Roscoe's drunk then how much help could he actually be?


  1. Of the lesser expensive bourbons, Jim Beam is clearly heads and above them, in my view, so I would guess, just a guess here, that he did have a fondness for it.

    Of course, I would be more inclined to sip a Booker's or a Bulleit, or the newer Jim Beam Black Label myself.

    But if a mint julep is on the horizon, good ole regular Beam will do just fine.

  2. I would've just drank the booze and then took the final.

    You might fail, but you might have failed anyway. If you're drunk as an Irishman on Tuesday, though, it'll be easier to take the painful failure.


    Sort of...

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  4. (Damn. Apparently "delete comment" doesn't mean "erase it so you can repost and fix your typo". Oops? I'm a 'tard today.)

    For a while there I had hope that, seeing as our Fearless Leader appears to be in charge of decorating Roscoe for Christmas, Halloween and incliment weather, she'd also be given the task of removing the offerings and distributing them amongst her staff. Alas...

    As for the Jim Beam, it is -- unfortunately -- iced tea, and if I were Roscoe, someone would be getting a big fat F for that shit. The little bottle that was there last semester, on the other hand, is another story... (Furthermore, I think someone coughed up a bottle of Jack my first year..)

    Personally, I'm just fascinated by the fact that the Superstition of Roscoe ("rub his nose for luck on finals") seems to be much more widely known than the Truth of Roscoe ("after all that rubbing, he's germier than a morgue floor in the summertime.")

    Well, all this bourbon and overdone simile's made me feel downright southern. Think I'll go make me some tea and study some more Copyright. Yay, section 113! Gooooo, compilations!

  5. Interesting that you don't condemn the idolatry implicit in these offerings... ; )

    Jim Beam...erp. For my 19th birthday the guys on my floor in the dorm at State bought me a fifth and then gleefully spent the evening pouring it down me (joining in only until I was too far gone to notice them pouring their shots back in the bottle), all very amusing until I evidently decided to display for them my meager food intake for the previous hours. Over a score years later, I still can't look at a bottle without feeling slightly ill. Give me a smokey fine single-malt Islay any day.

    Speaking of scores, I once aced a Mechanical Drawing midterm still half-drunk but with an incipient hangover that could have killed a horse, so maybe there is some wisdom in Khorbin's advice.

    School and inebriation...ah, those were the days!

  6. Now that I've had time to think about it, why not completely skip studying for finals and take a trip to Hawaii or Cancun? That sounds wayyyy more fun than studying.

  7. Iced tea? Well, I was closing the library on the last day of finals last semester, and I was damn close to appropriating the bottle for myself, so I'm glad I didn't.

    I don't know about it being idolatry. There's a good discussion to be had there, but I don't think that paying attention to a statue for superstitious purposes is the same thing as worshipping it, or, for that matter, putting anything else in your life ahead of God.

  8. True, Kelly, it probably doesn't meet the definition of real idolatry. It does, however, represent an appeal for help or intercession to some power other than God or yourself.

    Your incredible seriousness is really cute sometimes. (Don't read anything more into that than intended!)

  9. Jim Beam has been left at roscoe's bust years before at unl