Students of ARMS prepare to “launch” their minor

By Emily Janssen

Students and faculty in the new Ancient, Renaissance and Medieval Studies minor are preparing to launch the program on campus with a series of fun events, including but not limited to the launch of a working trebuchet.

“We really wanted it to be something fun for students,” says Professor Diane Mockridge, one of the ARMS faculty members.“ All of us, having done similar things as undergraduates ourselves, decided it would be fun to do some interactive extra-curricular activities.”

“It’s actually part of the class requirement that students work in groups to come up with some activity they want to do and invite the entire College community area to participate,” Mockridge adds. “But I let them come up with their ideas and they came up with great ones.”

Students in the Introduction to ARMS class are creating four different events over the remainder of fall semester.  The dates for the events are not quite finalized, but when they are they will be added to the school’s calendar and posters will be hung around campus.

The trebuchet incorporates a variety of period-inspired events.

“We’re building a small-scale trebuchet, which is a weapon of mass destruction used during the Medieval and Renaissance ages,” says Rebecca Brunstad ’19. “The throwing arm is about six feet long.”

The ARMS students are planning to use the trebuchet to launch objects off the Bovay Terrace.

“We will be launching pumpkins, small pumpkins, apples… pretty much anything we can smash,” says Brunstad.

There will also be treats available for those who come to watch the launch. “One group is going to make some Medieval baked goods and offer them for free,” says Mockridge. “They will also be offering some standard American cupcakes for a fee to reimburse the cost of making them.”

There will be calligraphy exhibits on both Medieval and Asian writing.  Students from the ARMS minor will be in the C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts teaching people these forms of writing.  

This will be coupled with an exhibit of facsimiles of Medieval manuscripts.  A facsimile is a copy of a manuscript.  This exhibit also will be in Rodman.  

Another book exhibit will be in Lane Library.  This exhibit will be a combination of books the students have read for their ARMS classes and books they would be interested in reading as a part of their minor. There is also a Medieval movie series happening on campus.

The book shows are open to the public. “Anyone who wants can just come down, take a look and learn a little bit more about what’s in these documents, why it’s important to ARMS and why ARMS is important to everyone getting a liberal arts education,” says Brunstad.

“I’m very excited to launch the new minor and very happy the students are enthusiastic to be jumping in,” says Mockridge.