Thanksgiving celebration brings co-curricular teams together


Sydney Bigelow, Copy & Design Chief

English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher Lauren Luciani and Cultural Studies teacher Virginia Gillis hosted a Thanksgiving with their students. The event took place on November 27 and brought the different classes together to celebrate and learn about Thanksgiving and American culture.

Luciani hosted a Thanksgiving for last year’s ESOL students, however, following a recent collaboration between the two classes, Gillis suggested that the ESOL Thanksgiving merge with the Cultural Studies class. Students brought in different foods in order to have enough for a feast. Students and teachers ate and made conversation, creating bonds and memories between the two classes and invited guests.

“The teachers bringing the classes together created a time shared to talk with each other,” junior ESOL student Karisten Cardoso said.

America observes Thanksgiving to celebrate the joining of different cultures, symbolizing friendship and peace. Cultural Studies focuses on the different aspects of culture, including events such as Thanksgiving. Students in the ESOL class study different aspects of American culture and traditions. Although the classes have separate focuses, their cultural explorations brought them together.

“Thanksgiving is an interesting cultural aspect whose meaning, we as Americans, often take for granted. We sometimes do not recognize that our concept of Thanksgiving has certain American traditions that may not translate to other cultures, yet at the same time there are some ideas that translate across cultures and time, such as sharing of food and sharing of gratitude, because such ideas are part of the human condition,” Gillis said.

During the celebration, students and teachers completed a quick written reflection. They spent time thinking about what they were grateful for, what they had learned about Thanksgiving, or just journaling in general. Through this task, they created a deeper understanding of the cultural significance before spending time with friends.