When discussing college traditions, the average person might think of turning a tassel or rushing the streets after winning a basketball game, but for me, the first thing that comes to mind is to most people just a side dish at Thanksgiving…my MCGs know what I’m talkin about…CORN.
Every year, when I talk about “Corn” to my friends and family who don’t attend Meredith College, there is so much confusion. Cornhuskin’ is one of the most confusing things to explain because there are like 20 things that go into it and you feel obligated to explain every little special facet so nothing is left out. I wanted to write this to explain the main attraction in a nutshell. If you have never had the chance to watch, DO IT! As I’ve heard for years, “you just have to experience it.” I have no clue who started that quote, maybe the marketing department, who knows, but it is very true.
At Meredith College “where we reign, in the parking lot where we spend most of our days,” we have a love for tradition unlike any other college I’ve seen. Every year in the first week of November, we celebrate what I would best describe as a Meredith College Holiday known as Cornhuskin’. Since 1945, the students of Meredith divide into groups by their class year and show off how well they can shuck corn, bob for apples, wear a pig nose, and most of all, dance. After typing that out I feel quite ridiculous but let me tell you, it is a huge deal. I mean you have to be outside the amphitheater where we perform at 6 am. show day just to reserve a good seat.
About a month before the day of Cornhuskin’, each class finds out their theme, typically a movie, show, or time period, which will then be used to create a skit for the class to perform, along with a compilation of dances. We try to be as in sync as possible, emphasis on the word try. For every day since we have our first meeting revealing our theme, we work long and hard learning dances and skit lines. As a senior, my month of October was thinking mostly about the fact that you can always retake a class you fail, but you only get one Senior Cornhuskin’.
Each night, for at first 2 hours, then 3 hours, and then until 1 am max (S/O to our big sis class of 2016, I’d never get sleep without you), our class of 2018 practiced 4 nights a week on 5 different dances in preparation for one night. Our theme was Back to the Future featuring numerous 80s hits so each practice felt like a jazzercise class. Ice Ice Baby brings out the best in all of us.
There were nights I went to practice even when I didn’t want to and even when I felt the pressure of homework and tests the next day. Like I said, you only get one senior corn.
And then there were days I skipped practice because it was raining. Or I wanted a milkshake more. My class might disown me after reading this.
I was so impressed by the amount of people in my class who hardly ever missed a practice. This time of year can be so busy with holidays approaching and having many midterms. I’m glad there was always someone willing to be kind and help me learn a part of a dance from a night I had missed or help me perfect a move that wasn’t quite right. Shoutout to our Corn Co-chairs for writing the skit to make our whole performance possible and for never missing a night with our class.
Last week of dance practice, you could feel all the emotions flowing. All the things that have been part of our college experience we were doing for the last time. Our big sis class rolled up to the parking lot where we practice, car horns a blazin, for the last time. Thanks for the pizza that night it was much needed. Our class got to present the tunnel we finally got to paint as seniors. We watched our littles killing the game at can art and finally got that President Jo Allen onyx pic. (SEE BELOW)
I participated in my favorite tradition for the last time. My jaw dropped multiple times, especially when I saw those freshmen do such an amazing job. My eyes watered at our littles dancing to My Wish by Rascal Flatts. My heart feared defeat when I saw the juniors creative costumes. It is sad to think about not going out there to dance again. Maybe I’ll initiate an alumni Cornhuskin’ since I can’t bear the thought.
We made posters and signs to place around campus, scrounged around mom’s closet for the totally tubular windbreaker, and made sure our hair was perfectly teased for showtime. But most importantly, we processed in together and we flooded that amphitheater after winning our senior cornhuskin.
It’s a night I can never relive. It’s a time I can never get back. It’s a time I’ll never forget.
**plays Don’t You Forget About Me from the closing scene of The Breakfast Club. Peace out to my rad Meredith College women.
Thanks for joining me for this corny facet of The Coffee Table.
-from Anna with love