Feature Blog by Program Director, Anna Ojascastro Guzon
The boys enjoyed a holiday party for their last session of 2015, with homemade baked goods, board games, and presents. One might wonder, would these 17 and 18-year-old boys actually want to participate in a wholesome board game, which Jenn Rengachary altered to involve readings of the poetry and novel excerpts that we covered over the semester? Would they appreciate chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and lemonade? Would they want the non-electronic presents of hard bound journals and mechanical pencils?
They were profoundly appreciative of every detail.
“Whoa! Look at this!”
“What is in the Christmas crunch?”
“Are those gooey butter cookies?!!”
“How do you make pumpkin muffins?”
“I can definitely use these pencils.”
“Did you make that sign?”
“Please tell the people who made this that we said thank you.”
“I want to play.”
They enjoyed the festivities although one could sense their nostalgia, in the truest sense of the word. Nostos is Greek for “homecoming” and algia is the medical term for “pain.” Nostalgia was once a medical diagnosis, used during the 1800’s, mainly for soldiers missing home.
In our board game, players were awarded bonus points if he used a reference from one of the semester’s selected readings. After reading, “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, in which the first line is, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master,” a new resident of Marygrove commented, “I like that poem. Losing is a part of life for everyone.”