In my final soph Religion class before Thanksgiving break I asked the kids to write down sentence completions beginning with "I am thankful for..."
I do this every year, and am always pleasantly surprised at what some of the kids write. One of the really troublesome students set to work right away, but after a couple of seconds he stage-whispered "Does Cassidy have one S or two?" (Mr. Cassidy has adopted him as a project, trying with mixed results to help him survive in school here.) Hmm... and that's the first thing he thought of.
Then there's this kid whose cellphone I have confiscated three times and whom I formally reported to the Honor Code Committee last week for blatantly cheating on a test. You can imagine my surprise when I overheard him whisper to the student next to him, "I wrote that I'm thankful for this school." His partner, who is no great shakes himself as a student, answered immediately in a hoarse whisper, "Yeah, me too!"
I don't usually think of Thanksgiving as a time for giving presents, but these three guys made my day and didn't even know it. They gave me three more items to add to my list of things I'm thankful for this morning.
If you have the time and the inclination you might want to scroll down the left-hand column and click on "Thanksgiving" to read some other reflections on this beautiful feast.