Legend that College Roommate's Death Boosts GPA Essay

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Dead Man's Curve--College Roommate's Death Boosts GPA

Introduction and Background

The legend I collected was one that I had heard before, although this version differed a little from the way I remember it. The storyteller was a 19 year-old male first year student at the University. He’s from Columbia, and his dad works in business while his mother is a homemaker. The telling of this story took place at the diner after we had finished eating:

Well, my brother told me one his first summer back from attending University. He had heard the story one late night just before finals were supposed to begin. He was with a small group of friends and he had told him that he was worried about his grades. That was when a friend joked,
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This is quite different from the version with which I know where it is a policy of the campus. The mention of the supernatural was different from all of the variations of the legend that I came across through my research, and made my subject’s story unique. There are several other factors that vary from teller to teller. These include whether the person is there at the time of his roommate’s death, how long they will receive the “reward,” and the type of reward as well (Mikkelson).

The exact origins of this legend are difficult to track, as this legend has spread to a majority of college campuses throughout the nation. “If you've been a student anytime in the past 20 years, chances are that you've heard some version of the rumor” (Reisberg). One part of my subject’s story that struck me while listening to him was that he mentioned the university that his brother had been attending. None of my research showed that the Michigan State University, or any other college or university, is particularly attached to this urban legend.


The time this story began to develop is significant to its social implications. William Fox, a sociology professor at Skidmore College, investigated this particular rumor and believes that it first began to appear in the mid-1970s (Reisberg). This time period is historically noted for being a more concerned with the human state of emotion as psychology and

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