As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I feel obligated to talk about my thoughts on Thanksgiving. The whole concept of the holiday is supposed to be about reflecting on what one holds most precious in life. This is definitely a fascinating concept, and I think it is a bit sad that only the USA celebrates this holiday. The world could do with more positive thoughts.
Anyway, the appreciation of what one has idea (I just realized that “appreciate” and “precious” must have the same root word. I like it when that happens. :)) takes me back to Sunday School. For almost eight years, a local Indian community group has been supporting what is basically Hindu Sunday School. Technically, it is called “Gujarati Cultural School” because it is made up of mostly Gujaratis (the older class, my class, is totally Gujarati) and talks about Indian culture (especially as applied to life in America). I think I will save my feelings about GCS for later, but the point I wanted to make before I began rambling was that every year, around Thanksgiving, we make a little place mat. The place mats are made up of the person’s hands traced out (in the elementary school style) and in each finger is written something the person is thankful for.
I have several of these place mats lying around, and I saw them the other day. Luckily, this year, I missed the class in which we made the place mats, so that is one fewer place mat for me. I would like to put up scans of the place mats, but I am too lazy (this would involve adjourning to the desktop computer and fiddling with the scanner that I have technically never operated). However, I am not too lazy to type it all up. :)
From Thanksgiving 2004 (beginning of sixth grade), here is my list:
Papa, Mummy, Shruti Aunty [the GCS teacher], myself, libraries, Mrs. Barber [my fifth grade teacher, who also taught me at my middle school], Mr. Jennings [my old piano teacher], Aditi, Ishani, and Neha [my best friends at the time].
I was a sneaky child, trying to fulfill my required ten without much effort: in all the subsequent ones, there are categories. Also, I most definitely did not like my piano teacher, but I knew I should include him, so I did.
From Thanksgiving 2005 (beginning of seventh grade):
BBMS- teaching me these great things [my middle school]; Computers- they’re so useful; Aditi- she’s like a sister to me; Ms. K and the school library- they keep me occupied [Ms. K was the librarian]; Shalini Aunty- she taught us how to dance; Mummy- she loves me unconditionally; Papa- You always make me laugh!; Family in India- they are so welcoming; Shruti Aunty and GCS- they taught me good Gujarati; and Sunita Aunty and Ms. Rachel- rides to and from school [Adrika’s and Melissa’s moms with whom we carpooled for middle school].
I got more sophisticated this time, what with the explanations for each decision. However, it is interesting to note that the entire thing was in third person, except for the one about my dad. If Ms. Harvilchuck were here, perhaps she would consider this a literary aspect (word choice and grammar) and use it to interpret my audience or something. However, the true explanation is probably closer to the fact that I was in a hurry and probably was not paying attention. I find it interesting how, in a space of three years, my opinion of BBMS changed so much. The second I got to IB (even the summer before), I realized the fundamental flaws of Brown-Barge, but this is for another day, another post. I am pretty sure my true feelings for Shalini Aunty, who is a wonderful dancer but terrible teacher (she taught us dances for the annual Diwali celebration) were not exactly thankful. More resentful, I would say, due to her lack of teaching skills.
From Thanksgiving 2006 (beginning of eighth grade):
Books-Pride and Prejudice, Space Odyssey series; Internet- Wikipedia and TV- Gilmore Girls and Psych [I somehow squeezed the two into one finger. I wonder why I did that]; Relative in India and Canada; Carpool- Adrika’s mom, Kiran’s dad, Missy’s mom and Grandma [Kiran joined the carpool that year]; Mummy and Papa, Math club and MathCounts; Friends- including, but not limited to [yes, I actually said that]- Adrika, Alaina, Dylan, Ishani, Kaylynn, Kiran, Tori, Missy; my Motorola L7 pink SLVR [my cell-phone. I would be ashamed at my materialism here, but this is literally a month after I first got it. Novelty ftl?]; BBMS and GCS; microwavable mac and cheese.
It is interesting to see what changes and what remains constant on each of these. I do not really have any other observations for this one.
Thanksgiving 2007 (beginning of ninth grade):
The Internet- Google, Wikipedia, MuggleNet [I am such a Harry Potter geek]; Books-A-Million: Harry Potter, the Hitchhiker’s Guide [to the Galaxy]; My friends- Julie, Adrika, Ishani, Monica, Kaylynn, Priya, Kay, Tori, Cherie; My favorite bands- TBS [Taking Back Sunday], FOB [Fall Out Boy], PATD [Panic at the Disco]; TV shows- Psych, Heroes, House, Gilmore Girls; Being alive; My contacts, my hair straightener, my phone [wince]; My mom, dad, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and my new cousin Shreyas [he is so adorable!]; Teachers- Mr. Rose, Mrs. Sales, Mrs. Bidwell; The movie “Jason and the Argonauts” [we watched it during the mythology unit for English. That movie had terrible special effects, which made it amazing]. [Also, I drew hearts to fill in the palms of the hands]
I elaborated a lot more this time. I am disappointed in the contacts, straightener, and phone set; but in my defense, the straightener was new for me, and contacts have benefits not limited to aesthetics.
This was fun, I must say. It was nice looking through these and seeing the changes each year brought. I guess these are good for something after all . . . Since I never did a place mat this year, I think I will do a quick run-down of what I am thankful for:
- My friends: I love you guys so much. I am constantly reminded of how awesome you are!
- IB: I do not know what I would do if I were not going to an IB school. Also, the teachers are amazing.
- Being alive: It is such a gift to have life, and I am so happy that I have a chance to be around, especially in such a great country with such great parents! :)
- My family: We may clash, but I love them more than anything else, and I do not know what I would do without them.
- Science: Throughout history, science has been the force that brings progress to humanity, and I know that my life would not be the same without technology discovered through science.
- My favorite authors: I simply cannot imagine life without books, wonderful books, and I thank every author whose books I have enjoyed (or not), because they have enriched my life by that much.
- Sleep: IB does that to you. ;)
That is all I can come up with now, but I know there are probably a lot more I am forgetting. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and remember to beware of the tryptophan!