By Magdalena Dajka, ’20
Every September, as the students settle into academic life and the leaves begin to turn, the college celebrates its annual Tea and Shoot. The casual passerby might survey the campus with wonder, thinking he was in the England of the early twentieth century instead of the New England of the twenty-first. The Tea and Shoot is what its name suggests: an afternoon of drinking tea and enjoying archery competitions on the lawn. Ladies wear their finest summery dresses, and gentlemen don waistcoats, tweeds, and ascots. Hats of all kinds abound: boaters, top hats, fedoras, flat caps, sun hats, pill-box hats, fascinators. Tables are laden with floral tea cups, cucumber sandwiches, several kinds of cookies, and pitchers of a fruity, bubbly drink made with that quintessential British summertime drink, Pimm’s.
After a period of leisurely conversation, the archery contest begins. A lady and a gentleman are chosen to represent each class in two competitions: accuracy and distance. The freshmen are represented by Miss Rose Dussault and Mr. Adam Swift, the sophomores by Miss Bernadette Mahoney and Mr. John Paul Baughman, the juniors by Miss Zoe Becher and Mr. Patrick Kuplack, and the seniors by Miss Maura Tuffy and Mr. Jack Monbouquette. Everyone looks on with interest as the archers take aim. Some students shoot wide of the mark; an experienced few manage to strike at or near the bull’s eye of the distant hay bale.
This year, Mr. Swift won both the gentlemen’s accuracy and distance contests, while Miss Dussault won the ladies’ accuracy contest, and Miss Mahoney won the ladies’ distance contest. The freshmen gained the glory of the day, with Mr. Swift and Miss Dussault being proclaimed the overall victors of the 2019 Tea and Shoot.
After the conclusion of the archery contests, students lingered on the lawn, soaking in the Indian Summer weather, finishing the tea and cookies, trying their hands at the bow, and enjoying conversation. The Tea and Shoot affords students a welcome break from the demands of their studies: an afternoon of good, old-fashioned fun.