On Friday, Nov. 16, the L. C. Bird High School Library hosted the first annual “Poe-pourri,” a celebration of the life and times of Edgar Allan Poe; the event was a collaborative effort among departments. Approximately 400 students and staff attended the event that was held during all four lunches.
Each day a week prior to “Poe-pourri,” students had the opportunity to answer a Poe trivia question; winners received a coupon that entitled them to choose an article of Bird Spirit Wear, compliments of the Athletic Department.
As students entered the library, they were given a “train ticket.” Students from Mrs. O’Shea’s English class served as “conductors,” who punched tickets as students exited stations. Many teachers granted extra credit to students who had at least five stations punched on their tickets.
The circuit consisted of seven stations throughout the library. At one station, docents from the Poe Museum shared Poe facts, performed scenes from Poe’s short stories and entertained students and staff with their lively and animated interpretations. Mr. Lamar Banister, a teacher at Bird, dressed as a nineteenth century mortician and explained mortuary practices to the students ; he shared museum-quality artifacts that chronicle how people remembered their loved ones. Students viewed a video of a dramatic interpretation of “The Raven” performed by Mr. William Brock, who teaches English at Bird. Under the guidance of sponsors, Mrs. Morse and Mrs. Gearles, the National Art Honor Society created a special game, “Pin the Beak on the Raven,” for the occasion. Blindfolded students attempted to place the raven’s beak where it was supposed to be. The prize? A handmade origami raven. At another “station,” Mrs. Nancy Schneider, Bird’s librarian, photographed students in a Poe-like setting, complete with easy chair, skull and the bust of Pallas. Mrs. Joseph’s theatre students performed scenes from various Poe short stories at another station. At the seventh “station,” students tossed bean bag bats and skulls, skeletons and spiders of assorted sizes at various targets. “Poe-pourri” was an event that would have made Edgar Allan Poe smile.