Back At It Again with the First House Competition of 2016

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Friday evening, on the elusive second floor, Houses took part in Namesake Competition, designed to facilitate namesake education and to showcase creative writing and storytelling. Dare I say this event was “a real scorcher," and not simply because there was a Churchill in a bathrobe. It was a night that belonged to the SoJo fathead, cult rituals, sitting around a campfire, and Gorbachev.

Someone screamed “FIRE” from across the room and the House of Sir Winston Churchill was the first out of the gate. The suspenseful presentation had the student body on the edge of their seats and nodding in agreement as one performer implored, “THE SCHOOLS! DON’T FORGET THE SCHOOLS! I BEG OF YOU! EDUCATION! TO SHAMBLES! THE SCHOOLS, MR. CHURCHILL!” Churchill, source of the 2013 fad, replied, “Keep calm and carry on."

As the blazer-clad men of the House of Clive Staples Lewis took the stage, not all of them were actually blazer-clad. The brainchild -- dressed in a sweater, an Urkel of sorts -- of the House’s creative team left us longing for more.

The next two Houses, Bonhoeffer and Barton, offered stirring presentations: Davis Campbell’s angelic voice provided an excellent score set to the House's narrative about the imprisonment of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A tear slid down the cheek of a House president seated next to me. The House of Clara Barton entered from stage left, bearing no emotion or color per usual. They proceeded to throw a wrench into our emotions by repeating “WHAT WAS HIS NAME?” Geez Barton. It was enough to move Epictetus.

Queen Elizabeth Kaufman later tweeted, “When the house of Truth yelled, ‘HELL NO’ in unison, that’s when I had to acknowledge the true words of poetry.”

The House of Margaret Thatcher’s presentation was sharp and honest, revealing that the Iron Lady was in fact mortal, just like you and me. She too got food stuck in her teeth and had a most beloved personal assistant named “Croffy”.

Thatcher was followed by the House of Sojourner Truth, who stunningly contextualized and retold some of Truth's most iconic words. Director of Student Life and the competition's emcee, Nick Swedick, expressed that the performance gave him chills.

The night continued with a theme of empowerment as the House of Susan B. Anthony sat around singing “kumbaya” and telling war stories from Seneca Falls. They would not be seated long for, by the end, we were all demanding that "the real slim suzie plz stand up." Thank you SBA for attending to our demands.

The House of Corrie Ten Boom was no disappointment either. They delivered a strong performance that prompted all of us to want to throw on a yarmulke and sing, “WHO AM I? WHO AM I? 66730!”

The night closed on an interesting, cult-ish note. The House of Queen Elizabeth I, clad in velvet cloaks and speaking in monotone voices, requested that the student body help start a fire by rubbing their hands together during a ritual chanting about the English defeat of the Spanish Armada.

This week's latest internet meme even got a shout-out thanks to SBA's performance.

Bringing the night home were the men of the House of Reagan. They spoke of the late president’s passion for the liberal arts and reminded the student body that we are Olympians, carrying Reagan’s glorious flame into eternity. Run on, brothers.

Overall, House Namesake Competition was frolicking fun and a real success. Congratulations to all the Houses but especially to top three scorers, the Men of Bonhoeffer, the Ladies of Ten Boom and the Barton Babes. You have done your namesakes proud.

CampusZoie Mercer