Jason Homfeld, a biomedical engineering student at BCIT, credits his time at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School with his interest in sharp objects.
In fact it was the school's annual Medieval Faire, now in its 12th year, that got him into medieval fencing.
"It is a really great sport," he said. "What kid doesn't pretend to be the Three Musketeers?"
His mom even made costumes when he was in school and many are still being used by students today.
Homfeld, 21, returned to the school's 2012 faire on Feb. 5 along with a large group of Society for Creative Anachronism members from around the Lower Mainland to offer fighting demonstrations.
Social studies teacher Craig Bresett oversees the faire with help from other staff, students and parents.
The history of the time is part of the curriculum but the faire brings a hands-on element to the learning.
"I tell the students that whether we are talking about something that happened a thousand years ago or 20 years ago, their ancestors were there," he said.
After a feast, the students took in demonstrations including calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts, archery, fencing and rapiers, armoured combat, grain grinding, dancing, and weaving and fabric arts.
"It turned out to be really fun," said Grade 8 student Dylan Brown who was looking forward to the faire. "It's really interesting to see all the history."
His favourite part was the heavy fighting. The event got him thinking about going on the school trip to Europe in Grade 9.
"Since I initiated the Medieval Faire at LFMSS in 2002, more than 1,100 students have taken part in it. Some of them have gone on to join the SCA as adults," Bresett said. "And since 2005 more than 400 of them have joined me on a Grade 9 tour of Europe at spring break."
The students weren't the only ones who took an interest and after inquiries from parents, Bresset created a tour company and took a group of adults in 2012. He's offering an adult tour in the summer of 2013 to Britain and Western and Eastern Europe.
Lois Wansink was named queen for the faire. and said she enjoyed finding out about life during that time.
"If I would ever go back in time, I would go back to medieval times," she said.
To get ready for the faire, her mom laid seige to an old wedding dress and other thrift store and fabric store finds to make a floor-length dress.
Lois said she wouldn't mind having to always be dressed up and the dancing, but realizes there are also things about the era that a modern person wouldn't cope with.
"Probably going to the bathroom [would be difficult in fancy dresses]," she said, "and the hygiene, I would not look forward to that."
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