By Geneva School of Boerne journalism student, junior Jacqueline Knox
The worlds that author J.R.R. Tolkien created in his novels are full of all sorts of mystical creatures and fantastical places. His series, The Lord of the Rings, is no exception.
Every summer, the incoming sixth, seventh and eighth-graders at Geneva School of Boerne are tasked with reading one of the books in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a result, Tolkien has become a significant part of the curriculum in Geneva’s Logic School.
“In the School of Logic, we dedicate large portions of our Language Arts curriculum to J.R.R. Tolkien and his works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Emphasis is placed on a single book during each of the Logic School years beginning with The Hobbit in sixth grade, The Fellowship of the Ring in seventh and The Two Towers in eighth grade. We hope students will read The Return of the King between eighth and ninth grades to complete the series,” Logic School Headmaster Jeff Jones said. “I love the cultural aspect of Tolkien Day and that it serves to build fellowship in the school while jointly serving as a day just to dress up, have fun and be merry.”
As a reflection of this impact and to honor Tolkien, Geneva’s Logic School sets aside an entire school day in January to celebrate the acclaimed author by recreating the world he depicted in his novels.
Many parent volunteers spent hours transforming the school’s student center called the Lyceum into a scene from Middle Earth, Tolkien’s imaginary land, for students and faculty to enjoy on ‘Tolkien Day’ which occurred on January 26.
“We could not have such an amazing experience on Tolkien Day without the help of so very many parents. Parents help with everything from decorating the Shire (the Lyceum student center) to preparing and serving the Second Breakfast, Elevenses and Afternoon Tea. They also help us with the games and activities. It is so wonderful to have such servant-hearted and enthusiastic parents—many even come in costume! We are truly grateful for their tireless work,” Mary Clifford, Tolkien Day Coordinator and humanities teacher, said.
Students and teachers dressed in pure The Lord of the Rings fashion. The Geneva campus was full of elves in long cloaks yielding bows and arrows, Hobbits with pipes and even dwarves with long beards and weapons. Logic School Headmaster Jeff Jones dressed as Gandalf, the wizard who guides Frodo on his journey in the book series.
The day consisted of a scavenger hunt, Hobbit-themed games including a riddle contest and a viewing of a The Lord of the Rings movie. Each grade watched the movie that corresponded to the book they read over the summer. The sixth grade watched The Hobbit, seventh graders viewed The Fellowship of the Ring and eighth grade students enjoyed the second movie in the trilogy, The Two Towers. The students also celebrated with traditional Hobbit meals such as Second Breakfast, Elevenses and Afternoon Tea as they were portrayed in the series.
“My favorite part of the day was the scavenger hunt. Everybody was all over campus and I got to hang out with my friends. I was dressed as a dwarf and my favorite meal was Afternoon Tea because the sandwiches were amazing,” seventh-grader Avery Eggerss said.
Overall, Tolkien Day was a great experience for the Logic School students and faculty as it brought to life many of the places, ideas and characters Tolkien introduced in his novels. This day has quickly become a beloved Logic School tradition.
“The aspect of Tolkien Day that I love above all else is how it brings us together and creates community among the Logic School students, faculty and parents. The fellowship and sharing among us all is amazing,” Clifford said.