To LARP or not to LARP, when academia gets odd

I have come across a lot of interesting courses during my year-and-a-half at Vassar. Some memorable ones from the course guide are “Sex Before, During and After the Nazis,” “The Art of Reading” and “How to Call Someone out in a Facebook Post 101.” But in my humble opinion, none can be as interesting or wild the English class I am taking this semester. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I decided to take Pre-Modern Drama this semester to fulfill a requirement for my English major. Originally I had wanted to take the assuredly riveting and high-octane class “Arthurian Literature” but unfortunately it clashed with the QA requirement I’m being forced to take this semester. (In case you’re wondering, I decided to fill it with Geography. How this equates to doing math is beyond me, but considering I didn’t even bring a calculator to college, I’ll take rock class.) And so, I signed up for Pre-Modern Drama.

I walked into Kenyon that fateful first day of classes pretty sure I knew what to expect. My mother is an English professor and specializes in English Drama, so I figured I already had my bases covered. But five minutes into the class, something went horribly awry. Looking back it doesn’t seem that bad, but in the moment it was as if my professor had told me that instead of Pre-Modern Drama we would be studying Beevis and Butthead will being slimed. (Slime: verb, meaning to drop green slime on someone unexpectedly, popularized by the TV Channel Nickelodeon)

In reality, my professor said, “Are you guys excited to LARP?!” For the uninformed peasants, LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing and was probably invented by Dungeons and Dragons players who tried coke for the first time. Basically what happens is a bunch of 30 year-old white men dress up as mystical creatures like Gandalf or Pinkie Pie from my Little Pony and run around in the middle of a field. Except in this context, it would be a bunch of faux-hipster college students running around in costumes and Doc Martens around Noyes Circle.

I froze when my professor asked this. In that moment I went through a list in my head of all the things I would rather do instead of LARP: trim my fingernails with a chainsaw, vote for Jill Stein in a General Election, never smoke dank kush ever again, etc.

Not only LARPing, but I would have to play Medieval video games for a grade too! While this might be someone’s dream scenario, the last time I played a videogame was when I played the Clifford the Big Red Dog CD-ROM game as a child.

But after the first class, I’ve started to become less skeptical. I don’t know what’s come over me… perhaps one of my classmates is going to LARP as a witch and put a spell on me. Regardless, I’m starting to become excited about the prospects of this new adventure. I think I’ve decided that I want to LARP as a baby dragon named Gorlock who has the power to fly, breathe mighty fire and take bomb-ass selfies.

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