On Being Thankful

On Being Thankful | New Faculty


It’s the last big push of the semester. Thanksgiving break (if you really want to call it that like us American’s) is upon us and the last few weeks of the semester following the holiday will be nothing but a blur of deadlines, students, and my favorite: administrivia. If there was a sarcasm font, that last sentence would have been typed in it. Just so we’re clear.

But, there’s a lot to truly be thankful for.

  • Employment-there are so many who are able bodied and want to work that are still out of work.
  • Free thinking-we can work and think our own thoughts freely. We have the luxury of being able to research things without **too** much red tape.
  • Stretch our student brain space-as long as there isn’t too many bubble sheets, we have the freedom to push our students cognitively. By asking them to think constructively about their thoughts, how they form them, and what they want to do with them in the future, we encourage them to stretch their legs early on.
  • The ability to become educated-we take for granted our ability to get up, get dressed, and teach or go to class. So many people in our world still don’t have that. Whether it’s right outside our backdoor due to an access and equity issue or it’s across the ocean in a country with leadership who doesn’t value education or because of war, we have been fortunate enough to earn our education. It’s something that is truly precious.
  • Gathering to openly discuss our ideas-even if we think our colleague is a bit nutty, at least we have the freedom to have that opinion.
  • Our family and friends–who tolerate us as we drone on and on about _______ (fill in that blank) research, publishing, ‘that student’ who makes our hair turn gray, etc….they love us and support us, even if they don’t understand all of the words we use or when we have a king size rant about something they don’t even know about like why APA is so awesome and dumb all at the same time….
  • If I were being a bit glib, I’d also be thankful for: wine, sleep, alone time (hey, i’m an introvert), movie day or half day, grilled cheese sandwiches, my grandmother’s lessons on how to rock a full turkey dinner that she taught me, my brain & body that move me physically and cognitively, and fleece lined pants….no joke on the pants.

As we Americans carve up our turkey, try and kill each other in black friday shopping lines, thus ruining our turkey, and for the rest of us: hide out and try and enjoy life, I hope you’ll find a moment or two this week to give thanks for the ability to think, learn, teach, and grow…It is a privilege each and every day.

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