Last Friday, February 10, students gathered in the courtyard on a dark, cool night to share their talents in what has become a favorite evening for many students; Open Mic Night. At this event, students were encouraged to share their creativity or present that of others for their fellow students to appreciate, including selections of poetry, prose, and music. Those students who were not at the microphone sat on couches, eating warm apple crisp and popcorn.
The event was well attended, and the crowd even included a faculty member, Dr. McIlhenny, who performed Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound” with his wife. Many students also showcased their musical skills, on guitar and violin, and even with only their voice, as with one humorous song sung by Canadian student Sterling VanderPloeg called “I am Cow.” Another memorable duet was by two freshman, Danielle Dirksen and Mikaela McFarland who sang “For Good” from the musical Wicked, which was a recent Avodah excursion.
In a more poetic vein, Robert Frost set the night’s wintry mood with “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and many aspiring student poets followed, speaking about personalities, rainbows, the size of the earth, and even reflecting on the windstorm last semester. In an unforgettable monologue, Vaan Huyhn debunked camping myths by the dozen, and later Lorissa Haveman horrified the audience with her twisting tale, “The House of Swallows.” The act of the night that was possibly most related to was a short story by Candace Janzen about the internal battle waged every morning when contemplating whether it would be more valuable to wake up for breakfast, or spend a few more minutes reflecting sleepily on the mysteries of semiconscious life.
Though they sometimes get a little crazy, Open Mic Nights are a great chance for students to share, reflect and unwind, creating new memories every minute. It is a powerful thing to see the talents contained even in a small school like Providence, and a fun way to cultivate the arts on campus.