Home > just me > Request #1: for kmsqrd

Request #1: for kmsqrd

November 17, 2005

Did you realize that Thanksgiving is next week?

Yeah, me neither.

It really hit me yesterday, when a friend of mine (who is just a really, really nice guy) said he it would be a good Thanksgiving for him. I asked if he was visiting family or his girlfriend and he said, “No, I just have a lot to be thankful for this year.”

Which was at least a little startling coming from a law student at this time of year. (To be fair, he’s a 2L, so has a little more perspective right now.)

I really have been trying to ignore that Thanksgiving is next week because that means classes are nearly over. After Turkey Day, I have to study for exams and send out resumes, two things I am not exactly prepared to do right now.

But Thanksgiving itself will be a nice break. I always try to make sure I spend Thanksgiving with family. Barring family, I try to make sure that I spend it with people I care about, and I make plans for the whole five day break. This year, we’ll be spending the holiday with the Angsts, including Brother-in-law Angst, his wife, their new baby, and her family. I am actually really, really excited about it. Her family is fun, I enjoy my in-laws quite a bit, and babies are always wonderful.

Thanksgiving is really important to me. My sophomore year in college was the year that really drove home the importance, too, of treating Thanksgiving like a true holiday. It was a strange year in many ways—financially, my family was spread a little thin, so I couldn’t afford to fly home, my social life at school was…if not bad, sort of marginal. I was having problems with my roommate which extended to problems with my whole social circle. My semester was going OK, but it just wasn’t a great year. And I couldn’t go home for Thanksgiving.

I knew well in advance of the holiday that I’d be staying on campus. So when I realized my Geology research paper was due the day before Thanksgiving, I asked for an extension. I’d had trouble getting my topic in order (and in retrospect, I chose a really shitty topic), and I had trouble with journals that I relied on getting moved around in the library. (NB: every problem I’ve ever had with a library was less related to other patron’s misuse of library resources and more related to the library’s inability to properly shelve or track items that I desparately needed.)

So there I was, the day before Thanksgiving, working on my Geology paper, watching my friends take off to visit their families or friends, and realizing that the dining hall would be closed until at least Friday night. I didn’t have a car, so I knew I was restricted to campus. But I tried to be optimistic about it, thinking I’d get so much work done on my paper, thinking I could watch a lot of movies I’d missed over the semester, thinking it would be a nice stretch of solitude.

I don’t do well with solitude, by the way.

For Thanksgiving dinner, I did have plans, of course. There was an “orphans” dinner on campus, cooked by a friend of mine–who happened to be a vegetarian, but every year made sure all the people on campus had a place to have dinner. So I went to that. And it was fine. There were several other students, mostly international students, a couple of faculty (one who was British and brand new), and two swimmers who had a meet that weekend so couldn’t go home. Their parents (they were brothers) were there also, and very sweet. Dinner was actually quite nice.

No, the problem wasn’t where to eat Thanksgiving dinner. It was what to do after Thanksgiving dinner.

The international students all scattered off to the corners of campus, the swimmers and their parents went and did family stuff, and the faculty went back to their homes. I, though, went from Thanksgiving dinner to the only open computer lab on campus and kept working on my Geology paper. That was Thanksgiving for me; dinner with a rag-tag group of (mostly) strangers, and schoolwork.

The day after Thanksgiving, I got up, had a granola bar (remember, the dining hall wasn’t open), and went back to the computer lab to finish my paper. I turned it in at noon, and that was when the worst part of spending Thanksgiving on campus hit me.

I had nothing to do and no one to do it with for the rest of the weekend.

So I watched movies. The library was open, so I checked out a bunch of stuff that sounded OK, including Somewhere in Time, Gone WIth the Wind, and Steel Magnolias. I cried for three days. I had a miserable weekend and it really affected the tenor of the rest of the semester for me.

Ever since then, I have been determined that Thanksgiving will be a time spent with family, enjoying them, relaxing, and just being with other people. I know not everyone feels the same way–that day after Thanksgiving in The Year I Didn’t Go Home, when I turned in my paper, my Geology prof was in his office, working. But that’s not me. I need the time to break from reality and be loved by family.

I hope everyone else will be doing the same thing this year–spending the holiday with people who love you. If you can’t be with your family, I hope everyone can find people to be with for more than just Thanksgiving dinner. It’s important.

Categories: just me
  1. November 17, 2005 at 6:15 pm

    You know you’re a 1L when you read that post and think “The computer lab was open on Thanksgiving? How come the law school library isn’t going to be open on Thanksgiving?”

  2. November 17, 2005 at 6:23 pm

    Snort! Yeah…in retrospect, I’m not sure that lab was *supposed* to be open, it’s just that no one locked it up.

  3. J.T.
    November 19, 2005 at 12:18 am

    My parents will be in Italy, my boyfriend in Turkey, and the rest of my family in Romania… and I’m NOT an international student… grew up in california!!

    I of course will be either in the library or at starbucks either a) catching up with reading and i didnt do in order to work on the memo, b) catching up with outlines that I didnt do to work on my memo c) redoing outlines or d) Studying for finals + practice tests (the WORST)

    this sucks :o(

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