In the spring of 1996, I spent a semester in London with the now defunct Missouri-London Program. It was a time of incredible learning, personal growth and adventure. I will always be grateful for the opportunity. The Easter I was there, on my limited budget, I prepared a feast of boiled carrots and potatoes, with a little Cadbury chocolate for dessert. When I told my mom about this dinner, while she was in the midst of preparing a big ham, potato salad, strawberry pie and other fixings, I didn't pick up on her sadness. Maybe it was the poor connection on the payphone all of us at 4 Knaresborough Place shared. Maybe it was because, like most moms, she was good at putting up a brave front. But later, I found out she not only cried a little when we hung up, she got hives while she finished preparing dinner. Now that I am a mother, I get it. All the time, but especially on special occasions, you don't like to think of your child being alone while others are celebrating together.
I sent my students this message last week, but I would like to extend it beyond the confines of my classroom:
For the last nine years, I have invited students to my home for Thanksgiving dinner. Often the students who take me up on the invitation are international students, but sometimes American students who have to stay in town to work Black Friday have come too. I just don't like to think of anyone eating fast food or not being with a family on Thanksgiving. So whether this will be your first American Thanksgiving ever, or just your first away from home, you are welcome.
We will eat at 3 PM on Thursday, November 23. The menu includes:
Green Bean Casserole
Whipped Cream or Ice Cream
Coffee, Water & Soft Drinks
If you or someone you know would like to join us for dinner, please let me know by November 16 at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way I will know how much food to prepare and I can also give you directions to my house.