[Ads-l] Hippie Christmas - Possibly not earlier than the 1990s.

Wed Aug 12 16:24:51 UTC 2015

Hampshire College, eh?

In 1980-1985 I was studying mechanical engineering several miles down the road at UMASS/Amherst.
I did not hear that term at that time, but with a few rare exceptions Hampshire College was known as a four or five-year parking space for trust-fund children of the 'special snowflake,' go-nowhere kind.

You could get a degree in juggling.

Nevertheless, while I was nearby, I did not hear about that going on up the road, and I don't recall the phrase "Hippie Christmas." When I was there the place was mostly known for pill parties, and this phrase have arisen for a more recent phenomenon originating in the 90s.

Given the behaviors observed at Occupy events and Rainbow gatherings, Hampster-hippies abandoning their junk for others to clean up is not surprising in the least. DAAH'-deee will pay the penalty charges without noticing.
Sadly it's also believable that this is not limited to Hampshire, or the 5-College area.
(Amherst, UMASS, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire.)

Now for one exception: UMASS in the early 80s still had an aeronautical engineering program, and there was ONE guy from Hampster, John Dwork, who got a degree in Frisbee. It was actually called "Flying Disc Entertainment and Education," and although it was well-known as a joke at the time, he was making it real: taking aerodynamics, materials science, and other technical courses down at Zoo-MASS and transfering credits back to Hampshire. He wrote a senior paper (called a "Division III") describing the aerodynamics of flying discs and comparing them to the new 'Aerobee' flying ring which had also come out at the time. The story goes on that walked into a job with the Wham-O corporation for around $50k, which was pretty high cotton in the 1980s.

You *could* design and achieve a degree for yourself which was actually useful,
but you had to supply your own goals and motivation.

PS: I also wound up marrying a Smith College girl, to the initial consternation of her parents who were hoping she'd have plucked an Ivy League prize rather than hang around with a state-school boy. But it'll be 25yrs for us next month, so something went right...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Fodor" <JFodor at BROOKLYN.CUNY.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 8:24:16 AM
Subject: Hippie Christmas

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Joe Fodor <JFodor at BROOKLYN.CUNY.EDU>
Subject:      Hippie Christmas

Hi - I was wondering if anyone can find an older citation for "Hippie Chris=
tmas" than this June 23, 1999 Salon post.  The term has gained currency in =
the last ten years, especially in Madison, Wisconsin, and is now used semi-=
frequently.  (When I lived there we called it "moving day.")


"My friends and I were on campus a few weeks after graduation to scrounge f=
urniture for our apartment. This was the final rite of what my roommate Bro=
oke calls "Hippie Christmas": that time of year when college students at Ha=
mpshire and the other colleges in the area go home, abandoning boxes upon d=
umpsters of stuff - jeans, shoes, dog-eared books, ratty toys, lamps, binde=
rs, futons, underwear, rugs, cosmetics and the occasional stereo speaker or=
 computer. Some of this junk makes it into college-provided charity bins. B=
ut students leave an equivalent amount behind in their rooms, despite clean=
ing fees. The sheer volume of it all is astounding."

Joe Fodor
Associate Director of Research
Brooklyn College Foundation
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY  11210
(718) 951-5000 x1285
(718) 951-4248 (fax)
jfodor at brooklyn.cuny.edu<mailto:jfodor at brooklyn.cuny.edu>

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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