Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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On Giving Thanks

posted: 11.24.14 by Andrea Lunsford

When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. My family was living in Tennessee, and our neighborhood was a real neighborly place. No store-bought costumes in those days: we dressed up in our parents’ clothes (many of us girls teetering around in our mother’s wedgie shoes) and went from house to house, where we were usually invited in for cookies or homemade fudge—or to bob for apples. My favorite night of the year. [read more]

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Who Would You Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?

posted: 11.27.13 by Traci Gardner

To celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m sharing a favorite Thanksgiving discussion starter:

What five authors would you invite to Thanksgiving dinner, and why?

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Black Friday Eve

posted: 11.30.12 by Donna Winchell

Nordstrom’s department store has for the seventh year done its part to keep consumerism from consuming Thanksgiving. In mid-November they posted on their Facebook page and in their stores copies of a sign reading, “From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. We won’t be decking our halls until Friday, November 23. Why? We just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. Our stores will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving festivities. On Friday, our doors will open to ring in the new season in style.” As Thanksgiving approached, over 23,000 people “liked” the idea.

At the other extreme are stores who are pushing Black Friday back into Thanksgiving Day. This year, Target moved the mad rush of hunting for bargains back to 9 pm on Thanksgiving, while Walmart moved it to 8 PM, causing protests from both shoppers and workers who feel that employees should not be denied the opportunity to celebrate with their families. Behind the headline, though, there is much more to the Walmart protest than the very reasonable desire of the workers to be at home with their families on Thanksgiving. A union-backed group called OUR Walmart organized protests at many Walmart stores on Black Friday because it is the year’s busiest shopping day and because they wanted to bring attention to what they claim are Walmart’s illegal labor practices. According to the New York Times, however, there is even more to the situation than that. Steven Greenhouse and Stephanie Clifford write, “The food and commercial workers union has made Wal-Mart a target because the company has helped put many unionized supermarkets out of business and helped push down wages at many competitors.” [read more]

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Post-Election Thoughts and Thanks

posted: 11.29.12 by Andrea Lunsford

Like many people, I have spent the fall worrying about the election, going so far, in fact, as to give more money to more people in more races than I can ever remember.  In 2008, I did a lot of phone calling and canvassing for Obama, and many afternoons and evenings found me perched on a stool outside the tiny “headquarters” in an alley with a bunch of other volunteer callers.  On election eve, I had three Swedish colleagues visiting, and we watched the election returns in one of the dorms with a crowd of ebullient students. The Swedes could not get over the extent of our election process (it seems as if it truly never stops) or over the barrage of untruths, half-truths, questionable truths, and outright lies that not only led up to the election but, as we saw in the coming days, continued long after it was over.  (They were particularly incredulous over the insistent and persistent claims of the “birthers.”)

This year I wasn’t able to do as much volunteering because of my own travel schedule and because I had back surgery scheduled for election day itself, so I sent money instead.  I admit to being a little spooked about having surgery on Nov. 6, and wondered (only half laughingly) if I wanted to go in wearing my beloved “Old White Woman for Obama” button.  So when the surgery was postponed for a couple of days, I was relieved:  I got to enjoy election night flipping between stations, since I was too nervous to join friends at a hotel in San Francisco.  [read more]

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Ten Reasons I’m Thankful

posted: 11.20.12 by Traci Gardner

This November, I have some friends who are posting a Month of Thanks, with a status update every day about something they are grateful for. I knew I’d never manage that, and even though I knew it was a realistic decision not to try, I felt a little sad to be saying nothing about my many blessings at all.

When I read Teri Lesesne’s Give thanks post however, I knew I had found a middle place between daily thanks and no thanks at all. So this week, I’d like to follow Teri’s example and share what I’m thankful for—and since I’m Tengrrl, I have ten things:

  1. I’m thankful for teachers who care about students above all. A great example is my colleagues on the Council of Basic Writers Facebook Page who work so hard to ensure students get the support that they need to improve as writers.
  2. I’m thankful for colleagues who support one another in person and online. I would be lost without the colleagues I connect with on Facebook, on Twitter, and on email discussion lists like WPA-L and TechRhet. [read more]

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Enjoying Thanksgiving with Poetry

posted: 11.22.09 by archived

Thanksgiving is in the air. Can it also be in the classroom? If so, in what form? Before you instructors and students head to festivities this week, perhaps there’s time for one more fun assignment.

There are the  traditional approaches to the holiday, with poems such as Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Thanks” or  W. S. Merwin’s “Listen” serving as models.

Lauren McClung writes that Komunyakaa’s poem sparks interesting writing. “Usually I have the students read it and then spend some time writing their own “thanks” poem.  Often the students will borrow the list-like form and let their own ideas flow.  If they have a hard time I may point out how it begins with thanks to an object.  This has been a great trigger for my classes.”

Sherine Gilmour agrees that while the Thanksgiving the holiday doesn’t provide much fodder, the idea of thankfulness does. She offers the Gerald Stern poem “Lucky Life.”

Sarah Heller writes that the William Matthews poem “Depressive,”  published in the Winter 1980-1  Ploughshares journal, contains the great line “the turkey is stuffed with the memory of turkey…” which could be used as a prompt.

Or, she says, check out Marie Ponsot’s new book for a poem written in the voice of a turkey.  “Not T-giving specific,” warns Heller, “but still.”

Finally, as the New York Times reported last Thursday, so often these kinds of festive gatherings can bring out the most regressed behavior from all parties involved–parents, grandparents, children, siblings, and other relations.  Did you know there is a “Mothers-in-Law Anonymous” section on Good fodder for poems, perhaps?

Enjoy your holiday! (Gobble gobble.)

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Categories: Adjunct Advice, Creative Writing, Joelle Hann (moderator), Literature
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Send Us Your Turkey-Day Assignments!

posted: 10.31.09 by archived

Holidays can be hard to write about. The “what you did on your summer vacation” prompt probably tops the pile, but tired sentiments about gratitude and world peace might not be far behind.

With Thanksgiving coming up, the Teaching Poetry blog wants to know how you approach this holiday with your students. Do you assign elegant odes or SPAMku? Do you avoid the topic altogether?

  • How do you get around clichés and get your students thinking for themselves?
  • What models do you use?
  • If you teach creative writing, what assignments work best for generating original turkey-day themed verse?

Send in your thoughts, your favorite assignments–or stories of classroom disasters. We’ll be collecting your insights over the next couple of weeks and posting your responses on November 16th, just in time for the holiday. Then, we’ll ask you to vote for the coolest activity!

E-mail assignments to: aflynn (at) bedfordstmartins (dot) com

Deadline: anytime before Friday, November 13
Vote on all submissions: November 16
Favorites go live: November 17

Stay tuned!

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Categories: Creative Writing, Critical Thinking, Discussion, Joelle Hann (moderator), Literature, Teaching Advice, Uncategorized, Writing Process
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