On Thursday, the English Club hosted its first event of the semester, “Coffee and Company.” This was more than just a kick-off to the new school year, though—it was an aesthetic experience.
At 3:30 p.m., the doors of room 222 in Arrupe Hall opened, and students excitedly poured into the “pop-up coffee shop.” They were greeted with the smell of steaming coffee and blueberry bread.
As soon as all were welcomed, the festivities began. Students lined up to grab a plate of pastries and a cup of hot coffee. And, did I mention, it was all free?
Stacks of books and miniature pumpkins decorated the tables, while tiny potted plants sat in desk cupholders, capturing the curiosity of some.
The lights were dimmed and the blinds were drawn open, creating mood lighting and providing warmth on the chilly October day. Soft jazz music and “coffeeshop noises” played over the sound system to match the image of the croissant and cup of coffee projected on the screen.
No one could deny the ambience, even if the event did take place in a classroom.
Jacob Williams, Treasurer of the English Club, who served as emcee for the event, encouraged students to study, write, chat or do whatever they would normally do in a coffee shop. This invitation created an atmosphere like that of your favorite, local coffeehouse. Students sat and chatted in small groups, worked on their laptops or wrote in journals.
The best part of the entire experience, though, was the open mic aspect. Students presented self-authored short stories, poems and spoken words and were encouraged by snaps and applause.
Lily Buehler, ’20, read a short story from the perspective of a church-going woman who is curious about the family who sits behind her in mass. Buehler’s story was infused with vivid imagery, and it served as commentary on the tendency of people to “live” vicariously through their perceptions of others.
Connor Berry, ’21, challenged rape culture through satirical poems intended to frustrate listeners. Other students presented thought-provoking work about environmental awareness, romance, time, race relations, loss and much more.
“Coffee and Company” was quite a success. The event was refreshing and timely, offering students an opportunity to relax in the midst of stressful midterms.
The English Club outdid itself with this aesthetic experience. I am interested in seeing what they offer next.
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