Honors English gets “Austentacious”


Marley Rozman

Students in the Honors English 9 class dressed up in 1800’s attire and enjoyed British foods for their unconventional final.

Emma Johnston, Staff Writer

Once a year, Room 151 takes on a different personality than usual. On that day, it is filled with classical music, girls in flowing dresses, boys in tall collars and long coats, and, Honors English 9 teacher, Ms. Maura Brew, delightedly watching the wondrous Jane Austen world she created.

The Jane Austen party (also known as the Austentacious Party) is the final project for the Honors English 9 students after finishing the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. “It began a few years ago, and I felt that students had put so much into reading the novel that I wanted them to do something different, something interesting, and maybe bring it more alive for them. So, I decided to do the Austentacious Party,” Brew said.

To bring the novel alive in the BSM classroom, most students dress up, take on the accent and personality of a certain character in the novel, and mingle with other students in character for the entire class period. “They choose a character, and they become the character, and then I interview them as in the character and they have to answer particular questions about who they have become for the period,” Brew said.

Although the interview is a daunting aspect of the day for many students, the overall agreement is that the party is a great part of the Honors English 9 curriculum. “I was really nervous for [the interview], but I was ready for it. It sure beats writing one of those big essays,” freshman Rachel Restrepo, who came to class as Lady Catherine de Bourgh said.

For those who dislike the idea of acting, or are embarrassed of their 1800’s British accent, there is another option to pair up and give a small presentation. “[The presentations] can be about the history or culture of the period, the dress of the period, or, most importantly, the food of the period, or of Jane Austen herself,” Brew said.

Surrounded by the dress, music, and food of the time, it is easier to become the character and feel more in-tune with the time period of the novel. “When you’re in the character you can kinda see what is happening then, and experience it for yourself, so I think it is a very good way to learn about the book in a better way,” Honors English 9 student Maddie Schafer said.

With stomachs full of hot chocolate and biscuits, and the feeling of Pride and Prejudice in the air, many students leave the classroom after deciding to keep their costumes on for the remainder of the day in the Austentacious spirit.