I think if you really cared to do so, you could recreate my course syllabus by looking at my blog. If I neglect my blog for two weeks in a row, it’s a sign that I had a large batch of papers to grade, followed by an exam to administer and correct. I think I’ve displayed the same pattern every semester. The only way around it is to never assign papers or exams and devote my life to blogging—something which would no doubt make my students cheer and my department chair scowl.
I’m looking forward to a little Thanksgiving break.
anything on my plate and funeral potatoes just seem wrong. Rolls with butter and cranberry sauce (the only time of year we see the stuff). Peas. Yams baked with butter and brown sugar (marshmallows are allowed only if they are sufficiently melted and unidentifiable as marshmallows per se). The only beverage suitable to the meal is water; anything else detracts from the significance of the food. Dessert may consist of only pie, of three varieties: pumpkin, apple, and mincemeat. I usually take a small slice of each in honor of my aunt Weezer even though I don’t like pumpkin pie and every year am reminded anew that I’m not all that crazy about mincemeat either.
It took me years to get past my snobbery and respect the fact that every family has a unique set of traditions. I think I finally got it the “off-year” that my food assignment was to bring cheez-whiz-filled celery logs to Ken’s family feast and I balked at the absurdity of such a menu item. Turns out that due to a long-standing inside family joke, the celery logs are a sacred food at Thanksgiving and by asking me to bring them, my in-laws were welcoming me into the fold. Oops. I vowed never again to whine about the missing foods or mock the apocryphal extras. I’ve learned to enjoy the fact that Ken’s cousins always make turkeys out of gumdrops for the table settings. Ken's Aunt Nikki makes banana cream pie, a tasty enough dessert that we can all suspend our disbelief for a moment and imagine that some of the pilgrims had friends shipping them exotic fruit from Costa Rica. Ken’s Grandma carries a sheet of hot rolls around the room and tells you for the 15th time that you need to take another, allowing the kids to practice their best manners by saying “no thank you Grandma” instead of rolling their eyes. There are at least ten different kinds of soda to choose from and Aunt Shauna always brings me a cup of ice water because she knows I prefer it.
A tradition of love, generosity and loads of good food, enough to feed three-times the amount of guests present. How could I not be grateful for that?