Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Kenyon Traditions: Anthropology Lamb Roast

Ariana Chomitz
May 5, 2013

My favorite Kenyon tradition would absolutely have to be the Anthropology lamb roast.  A perk of belonging to (debatably) one of the weirdest departments on campus is this annual picnic where we sacrifice a locally-sourced lamb and quite a bit of chocolate pie in the name of spring, finals week, and the end of another year of hard work.

Professors, majors, minors, and various entourage members hang out by a coal pit in the backyard of the anth house all day.  The lamb goes on in the morning--Professors Hardy and Suggs have a wonderfully innovative routine down, finely tuned over the years.  The last time I was around for the roast, it was a freezing, windy day, and they had rigged up a tarpaulin between the trees as a windbreak. Wind or shine, though, students show up throughout the day and take shifts on roasting.

Turning the lamb is a very zen expirence. Someone has to be on pug duty to keep Alf out of the fire (he's not the brightest).  If you show up early enough, you can join the tussle over who gets to eat the heart and kidneys, if that's your thing.  Then finally, the lamb comes off the fire, but Professor Hardy is militant about the cool-down period…  "The muscle fibers get tense over the fire," he explained, "so always let meat cool down first, even if it's just hamburgers! It'll taste better." These are the things you learn in college…