Dr. Greenfield pays homage to retired ENGL 170 with farewell musical

Professor of English Tom Greenfield was able to sing “goodbye” with a farewell tribute to ENGL 170, a required course for the major that was recently decommissioned. On Monday Sept. 30 in Welles Hall, the English Club put on the interactive musical performance, “English 170, The Musical: A Farewell Tribute in Song to the English Department's 'Retiring' Required Introductory Course,” as a final sendoff to the course.

During the musical, Greenfield performed some of the songs he has written over the years.

“I put together songs individually that I sing in class every so often,” he said. “Eventually the songs have accumulated so that I have about 10 or 12 songs.”

These songs include such showstoppers as “I Think I'll Show a Film,” “Have Yourself a Marxist Little Christmas” and “The SOFI Song (I Really Hated Your Class).” Greenfield has long been a songwriter, usually composing a piece a year.

Students packed Welles 115 to see him perform with his guitar. Greenfield stated before the performance that it would be “interactive and some are going to make fools of themselves.”

Everyone was able to sing along; volunteers read blurbs in their best acting voices and even used props. The program was formatted to be a syllabus, which helped everyone live and relive the course by seeing what a typical English 170 class consisted of.

English Club Vice President, Stephanie Wilcoxen said, "We were immediately very excited about it. Note only because of the timing, what with the changes that will be coming to the English major."

Six years ago, the club began working with Greenfield. Because this is the end of the English 170 era, the club thought it would be a good idea to put together his collection of work.

“I'm delighted the English Club asked me to do it,” he said.

On changing English 170, he said he is “glad we will have another type of introductory course.” The new course looks to be more straightforward than the last.

“Everybody who is an English major or minor here past sophomore year has gone through this; a critical mass of a few hundred people,” Greenfield said.

Even though it may be the end an era, Greenfield and the English Club put together a final musical event that let English 170 leave on a high note.