I love Thanksgiving, I really do. It just might be my favorite holiday. There's something special about having no better reason to be together than just wanting to be thankful. Now I love Christmas too, but look: if I ruled the world, not a word about Christmas would be allowed to be uttered until Thanksgiving has properly passed. All this Christmas stuff can ruin Thanksgiving far too soon, like it's a holiday we just have to get through before the good stuff. No thanks! I want to sit in the Thanksgiving season, look at the changing leaves, and get sleepy from eating all that food. And I swear— if one more person comes and tells me how the first Thanksgiving was "not like we're taught in school" and goes on about small pox, I will tear the giant belt buckle off my large, black hat and smack the stuffing out of them. I know the Native Americans we're treated very well, but the holiday means something else now. It's not Columbus Day, for turkey's sake.
Last night I played my horn and sang (not at the same time) in our church's Thanksgiving concert. It was a pretty good time, my friend Caroline was there, so you can ask her and get a more honest opinion. Anyway, towards the end, our special guest, a Scottish gentleman named Stuart, gave a short devotional thought (Count the commas in that sentence!). He said this: "Thanksgiving, the spirit of the holiday, is counter-intuitive to most of western culture." It got me thinking. I appreciate the day even more now, that we can all stop, as a society, and think: "We are so blessed. Thank you."
I am so blessed. I thank God every day for the things he has provided, for the friends I have, for the family I've be given. I will try my hardest, and I ask you to keep me accountable, to appreciate Thanksgiving all the more, not because of the season, not because of the colors, not because of the sweaters, and not because of the food, and not even just because I get to spend time with friends and family, but because I've been blessed with those things. Thanksgiving is wonderful not because we get together, hang out and eat, but because we get together, hang out and eat. I know that there are people who are not going to enjoy their Thanksgiving. I know that there are people who do not have as much as I do, materially, in friends and family, in people that love me, but I will not ignore the fact that I have been given those things. To do so would be a slap in the face to the one who gave them. So thanks, God, and thank you friends and family, thank you internet for letting me write these things. I hope and pray that we all get the chance not just to enjoy the day and the company, but to really, truly give thanks for it all.
OMG, life right? Totally. It like, happens all fast and crazy. So it looks like I'm taking this whole creative writing thing seriously. Next quarter I'm in independent study, and I thought it would be a great idea to make it as hard as possible. That's why next quarter I'm writing a grad school application essay, as well as one hundred pages of another, single storyline.
I'm excited! I am discovering this real passion for academia. I thought I would have to convince myself that I liked it so that I could survive in graduate school, but it turns out I like it just fine. I've even started research outside of classes for departments and my own masochistic curiosity. But I love it, and it's so interesting.
I don't really know what I'm trying to say, I don't have an outline or anything. I guess I'm just trying to express my excitement for more and more learnin'! I have tons of friends who tell me that they can't wait to get out of the University, but for me, whenever graduation is mentioned I cry a little inside. Good thing I don't plan on stopping. I'm getting too much out of it.
Plus, this way someday I'll have to wear tweed, as some sort of requirement! This guy knows what I'm talking about. Check him rockin' that tweed. Somebody get me some elbow patches, I don't want to wear this jacket out.
I could go on and on about how hopeful I am, I could write about how excited I am to see the world change before my eyes, I could tell you how happy I am to be proud of the people, but I'm guessing you've gotten the gist of that by now, and you've probably heard others say it better than I can. Instead I'll just tell you about what happened to me last night after the election was over.
I walked a friend home after an election party and heard what could only be described as "elation" buzzing through the street. I saw a large group of people sweep by and round a corner. I stopped, took a deep breath, and said to myself, "If I don't follow them, I am going to regret it." I wandered through the crowd, winding through the University District, until we arrived at Red Square, where hundreds of people filled the steps of Suzzalo library, chanting "Yes we can!" "Yes we did!" and a couple failed attempts at the star spangled banner. It was amazing. I found a couple of friends, we stared at the crowd, and we stood in awe and reflected on the fact that we, the people, had changed the world.
The crowd began to dissolve, but a large throng continued down the street. I found some more friends, and decided to keep going, no matter where the crowd was going. I wanted to be able to look at text books in the future and say yes, I was there, I joined in the celebration. My friends and I walked all the way from the University of Washington to Broadway and Pike, on Capitol Hill. In case you don't know, that is a long freaking walk. There was even a moment when we lost a member of the party, the adrenaline was dropping, and the celebration seemed just out of reach. But no! The two of us who kept going were well rewarded.
There, in the street, was a huge group of strangers, so many of us with not much in common, but we were all there, we were all happy, we were all celebrating, and we were all proud to be American. It was a night I will carry happily for the rest of my life, it is a night so many of us shared, and so many of us will look back on fondly. Thanks strangers, thanks friends, thanks fellow Americans. Tomorrow looks pretty exciting.
I have a question. Is it wrong that part of my desire to work for a doctorate stems from a hope that I will one day have but a taste of the life of Indiana Jones? That a dream of mine is to be the adventurous academic that knows the score and where the action is? And why is it that gambling in James Bond movies looks so classy, so sexy, but when you go to Las Vegas it feels like an arcade for the elderly?
I am doing well. I think everyone in the world had a rough week last week, but personally there's a lot to look forward to. There is a lot going on this year. A great deal of creative work is needed before I graduate, and it is very exciting and daunting at the same time, but I have to be honest with myself. It wouldn't be worth it if there wasn't a challenge.
A good deal of my friends also have a good deal on their plates. We are all starting to feel a little strain. But you know what? They are the most intelligent, talented group of people I know. I have complete confidence in them. They are brilliant, they are capable, they are there for each other. I am constantly impressed by what they can produce. Especially since our fields are pretty diverse. I pray for them everyday, and I am constantly assured that they will hold strong. Sometimes we just have to remind each other.
Anyway, my point is that the kids, they can handle it. I feel good. I hope they feel the same.
I have something to say, but I just can't remember what it is. Maybe it's about politics. Or like, truth and beauty or something. Or maybe how much Joe the Plumber annoys me. Seriously, man. Check back later, there will be something profound.