Thanksgiving Experience: Macalester Style

By Alison Hoyer

Perhaps you can smell it in the air. It lingers over the heads of students, furiously studying with eyes consumed by textbooks and fast fingers clicking over laptop keys in every corner of campus. It’s the scent of anticipation, and around this time of the year it smells of juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and succulent pumpkin pie.Yes, Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, delivering all of us a much-deserved, albeit short, break from classes.

While most of us will return to our respective homes in order to savor the traditional meal with family and visit with high school friends, a handful of students, both domestic and international, will remain on campus for their celebration of this flavorful holiday.

Jalal Shirazi ’11 plans to celebrate his first Thanksgiving with his host family. “I’m looking forward to [Thanksgiving] because it will give me a break from college work and I’ve never experienced it before,” Shirazi said. “It will also hopefully give me a chance to get to know my host family better.”

However, not all students will rely on others to cook for them on the scrumptious holiday. Kaity Arctander ’11 is partaking in a rather ambitious endeavor this Thanksgiving: she plans to cook a complete, traditional Thanksgiving meal in the cozy first-floor lounge of Turck Hall.

“I knew I wasn’t going home and so I found a bunch of others who also weren’t going home, and we decided there was no real reason we should be subject to a Café Mac Thanksgiving, so I offered to cook,” Arctander explained.

Arctander claims she will use the money she would have spent on a plane ticket to her Long Island home for groceries. Arctander is also extending an invitation to her dinner to any students without Thanksgiving plans. “If anyone wants to help me, just come to Turck 1,” Arctander said.

While most domestic students will return home and celebrate Turkey Day with dear Aunt Beverly and Uncle Joe, Yvette Pan ’11 plans to celebrate Thanksgiving in her own traditional way. Every year, she invites her friends from around the country to join her in San Francisco to get together, share stories, and feast.

Pan, originally from Beijing, has family property in California, which her parents allow her to use to host Thanksgiving festivities. This year, Pan and her friends plan to cook a traditional meal, but more importantly, they anticipate the time it gives them to reconnect.

“Since most of us are international, we just look at Thanksgiving as a holiday from school and we look forward to it because we can be together,” Pan said.

In lieu of celebrating Thanksgiving with a customary meal this year, a group of seniors led by Pierangelo Rossi ’08 plans to attend the concert of the Mexican band Café Tacuba in Chicago.

“I always try to find out dates of cool bands that I like, especially the ones I’ve grown up with,” Rossi said. “This year it was perfect timing: I saw that [Café Tacuba] were coming to Chicago over Thanksgiving and I made the plans.”

Rossi and his friends plan on making the trip by carpool and spending the entire weekend in Chicago, visiting museums and enjoying the city’s night life. Rossi added that as an international student he hardly laments the probable lack of a Thanksgiving meal this year. “I’ve never been really big on having a special meal on Thanksgiving,” Rossi said.

Regardless of their means of celebrating our national Day of Thanks, everyone will be spending time reconnecting with old friends, acquainting one’s self with new ones, or building memories with existing companions.