Preterite presents the Canterbury Tales
A & E Editor
Preterite has sponsored many an event that brought literature into the real world. This year, they outdid themselves by decorating Hartzel Hall as a Medieval tavern. Professors and students cosplayed in traditional outfits one would have seen in the Middle Ages which only added to the authenticity of the event.
The festivities began at two o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, October 25. Food was provided, and many of the guests enjoyed the sweet and savory treats such as Almond Pasties, Gingerbread cookies, and an Irish Beef pastry called Bridies. Root beer, grape juice, and sparkling apple cider replaced the alcoholic beverages a person would have enjoyed at a tavern back in the day.
The club’s President, Natalie Bennington, explained how Preterite came about with the interesting concept of a Medieval/Renaissance cosplay party.
“We got the idea last semester because it was around registration time and a lot of our new officers, including me, are taking the Chaucer class,” Bennington said. “We just decided to go with the Canterbury Tales cosplay. Every was super excited about it so we decided to do it.”
Since the campus was invited to attend, a lot of non-Preterite members attended according to Dr. Luann Fletcher, the club’s advisor.
“I was quite pleased by the turnout, about 25 participants, especially because the club had had some difficulty with publicizing the event sufficiently in advance,” Fletcher said. “As it turned out, we had more members of the community present, including students, staff, and faculty.”
The club thoroughly entertained the audience with many activities relating to literature and the famous Chaucer series the event was named after. Calligraphy sets with quills and fountain pens were displayed for use in case one had the inclination to write a special letter to a loved one or just practice their cursive. A scavenger hunt with riddles and hidden objects scattered throughout Hartzel was also provided, along with a story-telling session where anybody could share some writing or tell a funny joke. Dr. Carol Pulham comments on how impressed she was with the event’s activities.
“I had fun watching the students search for the items during the scavenger hunt, and I thought the medieval photo booth was a really creative idea. The students also set a beautiful table for the food,” Pulham said. “I applaud Preterite for all their hard work in organizing an event like this. It provides a bright spot at a busy, stressful time of year.
The party winded down at five in the afternoon with the announcement of the costume contest winners and palm readings. Throughout the evening, the hall was buzzing with new and older students conversing and discussing old stories. Some personal, others just for fun.
All in all, the event was a success, and if anybody is interested in working with Cedar Crest’s amazing literary club, they meet twice a week. Wednesdays at night and Thursdays at noon. And if you missed this one, do not be discouraged. There have been promises of more such festivities in the future.
“Preterite has a history of hosting literary-themed events intended to engage the entire college community,” Fletcher said. “I know we'll continue to make that our mission. Don't know what major event we'll cook up for next fall, though we did have a brief conversation about pirates… Stay tuned!”