It’s a tried, and apparently not so true, tradition.
Every UW student has helped shine Abe’s shoe, part of the statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting atop Bascom Hin hopes of getting some extra good luck. It is the precursor to one day climbing up on his lap, throwing your hands in the air, and asking, “How? How did I survive this?” But one student may never get that chance.
Joseph Banks’ ordeal began the final week of classes. “I had one final during the last the week of class,” explained Banks, “which really shouldn’t even count as a final.” But it did. The final, which was worth 40% of his grade, was for Mary Arnolds’ Psychology 526 class.
“I was stressed about needing to study. It was Mifflin last weekend, and I really wanted to go out.” That’s when Banks remembered the long-standing tradition. “All you’ve got to do is rub Abe’s foot.”
How wrong he was. After a weekend of partying, Banks went to take his exam and left feeling defeated. “Betrayed, I think. That’s the only way to describe it.
In response to the week’s events, Banks has brought forth a lawsuit for fraudulent misrepresentation against the Abe statue. In layman’s terms, this means that Abe lied on purpose to get what he wanted. His lawyers lay out the argument. “Essentially, Abe is making a promise of good grades in exchange for a shined shoe. This promise is false. Therefore, he is perpetrating lies for his own gains.”
Once word got out about the suit, many other students came forward, claiming similar experiences. The number of students who thought that the superstition was a reliable course of action was astonishing. One student summed it up with, “I’ve rubbed that guy’s foot so many damn times. Hell, I think I kissed it my sophomore year. Nothing! Nothing happened!”
One of the provisions stated in the suit address the fact that professors are not providing disclaimers on their syllabus. Professor Arnolds, the specific professor in question, has offered comments on the issue. “I have operated my classes completely within the guidelines laid out by the university, and any argument on that fact is preposterous!” When asked why she didn’t include a disclaimer either verbally or within the syllabus, she had this to say. “Because it’s stupid! Anyone walking around thinking that rubbing the foot of a statue of Abraham Lincoln will make them pass their exams is a moron.”
Banks’ lawyers feel differently. “These kids think it’s true, and are being misled by the adults around them, not to mention by one of the most influential figures in history.” They went on to say, “It’s sickening to see all of the students climbing onto his lap this week and taking pictures. We are hoping that these civil chargers will prompt the police to open an investigation,”
On advice of counsel, Abe has declined to comment.
Like booze before noon? So do these guys…