For two weeks, my classrooms on the 4th floor of Teaching Building # 3 have been filled with talk of Thanksgiving Day.
Last week, the history of the holiday was covered in detail. This week, our American Thanksgiving Day dinner was brought to life with a lesson on setting the table and the special foods we enjoy for that day. Photos from my family Thanksgiving Day in the States graced the board, including the process of cooking a turkey.
“Oh, I want to eat!” the students sighed with longing while crowding around the board during break.
They ran their fingers over the plump, juicy turkey and pumpkin pie pictures, wishing them to somehow come to life. (They weren’t the only ones. I felt the same way.)
Usually during the 10-minute break, I am gathering my thoughts and preparing the blackboard for the second half of the lesson. But this week, I was grabbed right and left by students wanting us to stand by our beautiful classroom table setting for a photo.
The holiday center pieces, which I have carted around with me for over 12 years, delighted everyone. The cardboard turkeys, pilgrims, and pumpkins were snatched up right and left. These were held aloft for photo ops or posed with while everyone’s classmates clicked away using their cell phone’s digital camera options.
Another busy room aside on our campus, aside from my classroom, has been the English Center.
I am using this wonderful facility to the fullest, making every student give 3 mandatory visits by January 1st. To entice them, I’ve been leaving seasonal movies for them to watch. For Thanksgiving Day, the selections have been: Pieces of April (a Thanksgiving Day story about a troubled teen who invites her family to dinner in her run-down New York apartment building), Indian in the Cupboard (Walt Disney film), and Dances with Wolves, which gives students an understanding of the Native Americans.
And to entice them even more, I’ve been joining our movie crowd in the Center so we can enjoy the films together.
Today is no different.
So for my Thanksgiving Day celebrations, it’ll be another showing of Pieces of April to enjoy with my students as we learn the true meaning of the holiday: the acceptance of differences, the love of family and the generous helping hands of strangers.
(I really encourage you all to check out this short, low-budget film. It’s a real heartwarming winner.)
From Longzhou, China, Little Flower and I wish you our usual Ping An (Peace) along with a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities
125 Dushan Road
Longzhou County, Chongzuo City
Guangxi Province, 532400
P.R. of CHINA