By Ella Fordyce, Class of 2018
In true New England fashion, the campus of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts welcomed its guests for Open House with light rain and the first traces of fall foliage. For this event, the college opens its doors to prospective students, allowing them to get a first-hand taste of life at TMC. Throughout the weekend, guests attend classes, tour the school, and experience the conviviality of student life.
The event kicked off with a reception in the Library Ballroom. There were various displays for the guests to peruse, including a table piled with trophies from students’ Rome adventures. Next, guests and students alike trooped over to the Café for a banquet prepared by Chef Sam. Following dinner came everyone’s favorite part of Open House: the Shakespeare skits. Every year, each class picks and prepares a short scene from a Shakespeare play. Then, in front of the guests, teachers, and the remainder of the student body, the classes perform their pieces. This year was an especially fine crop of skits, as the classes each offered something a little different.
The freshmen opened the proceedings with a performance from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, involving confused lovers, bounteous trees, and one mischievous fairy. Thanks to marvelous costuming and dedicated actors, they pulled the scene off beautifully. Next, the sophomores took an unexpectedly serious note with a scene from Julius Caesar. Clad in dark clothes, they acted out the scene following Caesar’s death wherein Antony delivers his famous “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” oration.
The skits then descended into madness as Miss Raphaela Seward, Class of 2020, delivered Lady Macbeth’s “Out, out damned spot” soliloquy. With the queen’s wailings and incoherent mutterings, the juniors’ skit gave a chilling view of how murder twists the human psyche. Finally, ever fond of chiasm, the seniors ended the night with another skit from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In this scene, more fairy tricks caused the fairy queen Titania to fall in love with the first person she saw—in this case, an ass-headed actor named Bottom. Thus, the seniors brought the evening of skits to a conclusion of roaring applause.
Following the performances, guests and students lingered in the foyer for a round of vigorous folk songs. Students at TMC place great value on the camaraderie that comes with making music, and so were more than happy to share their songs with the visitors. The music lasted long into the night.
The next day began with an overview of the general purpose of a liberal arts education by President Fahey along with a discussion of the mission and distinctive qualities of Thomas More College. Dr. Fahey was joined by Mr. Paul Jackson, the Director of Institutional Advancement, who spoke about extracurricular opportunities at the College and gave a detailed presentation about the College’s internship program to the parents and students. Afterward, visitors got to sit in on Dean of Students Dr. Denis Kitzinger’s Humanities I class. The first in the Humanities sequence, this class focuses on the literature, philosophy, and history of the ancient Greeks. Next, the students learned about the Guilds at TMC, under the guidance of Fellow Dr. John McCarthy. Guilds are another important part of life at TMC, as they offer a variety of skills and crafts to students. Finally, visitors attended a farewell reception at Mercy Hall. Thus, the guests having been given a taste of life at TMC through entertainments both normal and exceptional, Fall 2018 Open House came to a close.