When in April the sweet showers fall
And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all
The veins are bathed in liquor of such power
As brings about the engendering of the flower,
When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath
Exhales an air in every grove and heath
Upon the tender shoots, and the young sun
His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run,
And the small fowl are making melody
That sleep away the night with open eye
(So nature pricks them and their heart engages)
The people long to go on pilgrimages…
Which is exactly what seven seniors and I did on the 18th of April, the believed date that Geoffrey Chaucer’s pilgrims set out on their journey to Canterbury to see the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. This trip to Saint Joseph’s College was an unforgettable experience for myself, our students, and Dr. Susan Nakley.
Shortly after our journey I received an email form Dr. Nakley (a Chaucerian professor) and of our students she said, “They were delightful, well prepared, insightful and articulate. I especially appreciated the ways in which they engaged with my students. I know my students were impressed and enjoyed having them. It was a great experience for all and hope we can repeat it. I could certainly imagine some of your students as SJC English majors.”
The highlight for me came when we were walking back to the train station and Alexander Pollard said, “I think I want to go college now. Before I didn’t.” And Ofelia Eumana described it as “a privilege to be part of an English class taught be a woman who even spoke Middle English.”
Our journey to St. Joseph’s was more than memorable and will hopefully be a yearly staple in the much larger picture of WHSAD’s tales.