Friday, November 6, 2009

Cornhuskin': It's an Angel Thing

Today is the final day of Cornhuskin'! Unless you're a Meredith College student or alum you may not be that excited about this news . . . but, for those current students it's the biggest day in the fall semester - a tradition started in the 1940s that has evolved into a week-long celebration.

Originally Cornhuskin' was a kind of harvest festival with hog calling, corn shucking, apple bobbing, and, of course, costumes! There is competition between the classes - with each class choosing a theme and integrating it into their skit, dance, shirts, tall tale, parade floats, etc. The themes are top secret and the class that earns the most points in all categories is declared the winner.
The photo above is from my Senior Cornhuskin' - we had sweatshirts, hats, balloons and songbooks - fairly simple compared to the Spirit Packs of today. The songs were a big element then, carefully written and rehearsed. I was a bit sad to find that there are no songs now - perhaps a sign of the dwindling music department. But, the songs were replaced with a dance that is expertly choreographed and performed enthusiastically.

Another thing that has changed is the Beehive - as seen above, it was a building that was painted and repainted each year. I have to say I've never enjoyed subsequent painting projects as much . . . sadly the Beehive itself is now demolished. But, when one tradition dies another takes its place.

The Can Art competition is a new event - each class designs a large art project made entirely of cans - following their theme, of course! And the tunnel painting is also new (by new I mean since the 1980s!).

You can sum this up with the old saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Since my time, Cornhuskin' has become a five day event culminating on Friday rather than Thursday - and it's now open to friends and family. It's much bigger and more professional, but at the core it's the same: a celebration of 'Meredithness' - friendship, competition, and most of all fun! I hope this makes you think of the traditions in your world - be they family, school, or community ones. Long may they continue!

And to all the Meredith Angels competing tonight - I hope this is the best Cornhuskin' ever! And special good wishes to the Class of 2010!!

(And finally a word of caution to the men in our lives - if you're only going to remember one thing about Meredith choose Cornhuskin' - nothing ends a relationship quicker than calling it 'Cornshucking' . . . )
Have a Corn-tastic Day!!

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