Canterbury Pilgrimage takes detour to Malvern


Tyler Barr and Will Cola tell “The Karate Kid’s Tale” outside of the Dougherty gym

Jake Sorensen

Though the snow days make it feel like it was a year ago, what happened last month in Mr. Roper’s Honors Brit. Lit. would shock anyone who’s gone through his class. If you weren’t aware, Mr. Roper teaches quite possibly THEE most rigorous and difficult course in Malvern Prep, featuring such goodies as daily reading quizzes and oral 1-word pass-or-fail vocabulary tests. This ritualistic approach of quizzing is only interrupted by the infamous presentations that require a tuxedo to get full credit in. What had been ingrained to our junior class’s mind, however, was about to be injected with 21st century learning.

We had been given the premise before the Christmas break. Basically, we would reenact Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales by basically walking around the campus telling stories. In a week before it actually took place, it would become an entirely new beast. With our classes input, we changed it to a modern setting, with characters like the parson and the miller being shoved aside for the italian car salesman and the metrosexual. I could already tell that hilarity would ensue from that point on.

I bet some are you already thinking, “What is going on here? Who thought that Mr. Roper’s class was supposed to be fun?!”. Well, if it wasn’t clear enough, this departure from the usual struggle was meant to make us more involved with the English curriculum of the class. It seemed that some higher ups wanted us to have a bit of fun with Ol’ Chaucer. And you know what? We did.

The first day out showed us that our class was capable of writing hilarious stories. Each and every tale was ridiculous in some form or another. My personal favorite was the trio that went as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tupac Shakur, and… someone I don’t really remember. The best part was hearing Tupac constantly yell “F*** the police!” and then later “Yes! F*** the Po-po!”. It was also funny to see Mr. Roper glance over at Mr. Valeyo (who followed pur group both days) for every expletive used.

People who went the second day definitely upped the ante in their stories. There was more absurdity, more hilarity, and, of course more swearing. One notable story was the gold-medal winning Fisherman’s Tale, featuring former Malvern Teacher Mr. Riviollo as the man-fish. This was the day I went, where I told my awesome story of a Soviet WWII veteran in a Russian accent. When I heard some people ask if that was my real accent, I began to worry whether I had been actually talking enough at Malvern.

I can honestly say that the Chaucer Walk was so the most fun thing we’ve done in Mr. Roper’s class. I’m well aware of how forced upon it was. I’m well aware of how unpredictable it was. And I’m still aware of how bizarre the whole thing was. But, even with its style that was radically different to what Mr. Roper did, I’m pretty sure that he’s gonna do this next year. I guarantee it.