Working at your high school alma mater gives you some unique perspective. I don’t think you realize when you’re a high school student that the faculty are actually real people. They have friends, lives, and probably don’t like all the students as much as they pretend to. You also don’t realize that they probably don’t like some events any more than you do. Today was an example of that: The Thanksgiving Feast.
Thanksgiving Feast is an example of an offhanded comment gone totally wrong. “The Feast” (which is not really a feast at all, just some pumpkin pie and cider) was started just over 10 years ago, and like all things in a small community, was declared tradition after just 1 year. At least that’s how I imagine it, and based on other evidence, it’s probably accurate.
When I was a student, I dreaded The Feast. That’s pretty much the same reaction I have today as a faculty member. It’s an all school event where the student body, K through 12, is divided into Indian and Pilgrim families. I was in the Rogers familiy this year, not that it matters. Each family then has a handful of tasks to complete in 90 minutes: decorate a person as a turkey, elect a “gobbler”, come up with a family cheer, and do some lame craft for charity. Add to the mix lower school students who are enamoured with the high school, high school students being, well, high school students, and teachers who want to be doing anything else on a Friday afternoon, and you understand why it’s not exactly a beloved event.
Of course, the 90 minutes in your family’s classroom is nothing compared to the Thanksgiving Roll Call. The Roll Call involves the entire student body cramming into the Middle School auditorium, where each family’s name is read, they stand, give their cheer (us Rogerses sang the phrase “we’re in the neighborhood!” get it? Mr. Rogers? oh, nevermind). After they give their cheer (which included such broad interpretations as rapping and a WWF parody), their turkey stands on the stage, turns, and then their gobbler proceeds to, well, gobble into the microphone. All in all a good time.
So as we took half a day to consider what we’re thankful for, I’m thankful that I have 365 days until the next Thanksgiving Feast. I can’t wait.