Majors and minors enjoyed the annual Holiday Party at Professor Pam Muirhead’s house on December 4. The decades-old tradition includes food, lively conversation with students and professors, a book grab bag (which provides every student with a new volume), and entertainment. Students who attend more than once begin to notice other traditions, like Professor Bowman’s cheesecake, Professor Bushman’s guacamole, or Professor Muirhead’s little hot dogs. The party is always held at the home of a faculty member who lives within walking distance of campus, and because it’s a registered event students who are 21 can toast the (almost) end of the semester.
In previous years, students supplied the entertainment, digging deep into their bags of creativity to come up with literary takes on holiday traditions. But this year there was a surprise appearance by the Muse Brothers—Jake (Plath) and Elwood (Theune)—who performed three songs: “End of Semester Blues,” a beatnik coffee-house style jazz number called “Snowflake,” and that old Blues Brothers standard with an English department twist, “Sweet Home, English House.”
I leave it to you to decide whether the audience was appreciative or horrified. All I know is that once they got over the shock of it all, we even had people singing along on the “Sweet Home, English House” chorus. It was a fun way to bring the semester to a close, and a nice break (for faculty as well as students) between classes and the start of finals.