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Donaghey Scholars carve countless pumpkins for art’s sake

Submitted by Natalie Doris on November 5, 2014 – 9:22 pmNo Comment

Donaghey Scholars create more than a typical jack-o-lantern. Photo by Naty Doris

On Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m., several Donaghey Scholars met in the Scholars’ Student Lounge and brought with them both their props and implements of destruction. The victim? A fleet of pumpkins ready to be transformed into jack-o’-lanterns and other pumpkin art.

“We are just starting this new event for around Halloween as an opportunity for the Donaghey Scholars to unwind and pour their creative energy into their pumpkin vessels,” said Simon Hawkins, director of the program. “It’s a great chance for even those who are utterly unartistic in every way to at least come up with a clever idea and turn it into a somewhat decent creation.”

Scholars were excited to embark on the pumpkin massacre, pulling pumpkin guts out of their chosen pumpkins before creating their masterpieces. Far from traditional, many of the pumpkins transformed into creatures with stems for noses and Disney princess crowns with hearts nestled inside. And then there were the less artistic, much more straightforward pumpkins, including one that proudly displayed the words “this is a gourd” carved into its surface.

First-year Scholar Madison Christie shared her impressions of the event.

“I think it was a great way to bring together some of the Scholars in a more relaxed setting outside of the classroom,” she said.

In between the laughing and the separation of pumpkin entrails in the student lounge, the Scholars found themselves learning more about each other’s creative sides. “You can draw?” and “I can’t believe you came up with that!” were bellowed across pumpkins and cups of cider alongside heaps of student-made pumpkin spice cookies.

Students jump into their pumpkin projects after removing the seeds and storing them for roasting. Photo by Naty Doris

“I was surprised at how artistic some of my fellow Scholars could be, and I was excited to see the other side of many of them, aside from the scholarly side,” Christie said. “I would definitely like to go to event in the future.” This seemed to be a common sentiment among Scholars after their pumpkin-carving experience.

In the aftermath of the pumpkin carving, different Scholars carried home large stashes of pumpkin seeds for roasting while others helped themselves to the award-worthy cookies from the lounge before leaving.

In the true spirit of the Donaghey Scholars Program, debates ensued over which pumpkin carving had turned out the best, which was more creative, and which was the funniest looking when all had been said and done. On Oct. 30, just in time for Halloween, the scholars voted that the pumpkin carved by first-year Scholar Natalie Doris was the best.

“My favorite pumpkin was the Cinderella carriage that Natalie made because I thought it was a clever use of the pumpkin,” Christie said, laughing. The others agreed that transforming the humble pumpkin into a carriage, complete with wheels made from the carnage of other pumpkins, was their favorite carving.

The Donaghey Scholars look forward to future events that will bring them together in the same way as the day of the pumpkin massacre.

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