Quips and Quirks

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Now that we have gone through the basics of Philodemic history and our highlights throughout the year, I wanted to take a chance to mention my favorite idiosyncrasies. There are quite a few…these were also basically all the things completely confused me when I got to Philodemic, so I hope you guys understand them better!

  • The Philodemic was founded on good ole George Washington’s birthday. As such, we are very, very enthusiastic about our favorite Founding Father
  • When you walk into our debates, you may notice something strange…after the end of a speech, everyone knocks on their chairs or the walls. We do this instead of clapping. You may be confused at first, and if you talk to older members, I’m sure they will be able to tell you several times when they almost tried knocking in one of their classes or at a lecture or the first few times when they almost clapped during the debate (it’s happened to me one too many times…)
  • Along those same lines, when you hear something you really, really like, you shout “HUZZAH!” Preferably with some sort of enthusiastic hand gesture.
  • And we stand for our President. It’s pretty fancy—one moment you’re just talking to someone next to you in your seat, and the next everyone is standing up and the President is being announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms
  • We have toasts. Toasts for all occasions, but especially toasts for Merrick
  • Some toasts that I found in the archives include:
    • George Washington: “the model of every virtue an American should imitate”
    • Our National Flag: “the only thing American that can wear a star or bear a stripe”
    • The Framers and Mechanics of our Country
    • Our Country: “A beauteous branch of a rotten trunk” (I think this one is my favorite)
  • This is our constitutionally mandated Merrick Toast: “To the Philodemic Society;” “To Georgetown University;” “To Richard T. Merrick;” “To George Washington, father of this country;” “To John Carroll;” “To the Society of Jesus;” “To eloquence in the defense of Liberty;” “To the winner of the Merrick Debate;” “To the United States of America;” “To the Merrick Debaters.”

I hope you enjoyed hearing about some of the weirder (and cooler) stuff we do and ELD,

Rosa Cuppari

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