…the entire Thanksgiving week off! Officially it’s the combining of Thanksgiving and fall break. The latter began a few years ago in October as a way to let students take a two-day time out and catch up — despite what we say about students “getting soft,” classes really are much more intense now.
But it’s always been hard to keep students in town for those three orphan days of classes before Thanksgiving. Four days of free time on one side and two on the other bracketed a time where the only way you were staying in Boulder was if you had a professor mean enough to give a test. You let that happen only once.
I remember my freshman year there was a group of us so broke or so desperate to study (because we were so far behind) that we decided to stay in the dorms together for the Thanksgiving break. It was a great three-day party. We actually had a full blown turkey dinner for about 10 of us up in the 13th floor study lounge of Stearns East. Who, by the way, builds a building with 13 floors? No wonder it sways.
Christine found a picture of the festivities the other day (notice the high quality photos those pocket Instamatics took) and, based on all the booze on the table, it’s amazing any of us are still here!
Reality hit Sunday morning as floormates from around the state and country started drifting in and we realized we had totally wasted our chance to catch up. The studying and papers that we were so sure would be behind us loomed even larger as we realized finals were just 11 days away.
To this day I couldn’t tell you what those classes were or how any of us got through the end of that semester without flunking out, but we did. Our grades and even the trials of those frantic days have all disappeared from the memory banks.
What hasn’t disappeared is what a special time that long weekend was, how we patched together a temporary family and brought a lot of very different people from some strange and faraway places much closer together. That I will always remember.
And we cooked a mean Thanksgiving meal in some pretty sparse surroundings (you try and cook a 20-pound turkey in one of those dorm floor kitchen ovens).
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday — all nine days of it!
Best wishes, and don’t forget to invite a new friend to your table.
President, CU-Boulder Alumni Association