So as a senior at Bates, Thanksgiving break was different this year in some ways. Yes, it was still the first time seeing friends from home since the school year started and yes, we went to my dad’s cousin’s house to see family that we see once a year. I realize that every time that I’ve seen these people we’ve eaten turkey. And mashed potatoes. And stuffing. And the “fruit of the forest” pies that my father purchases through some sort of mystery pie-drive at the March of Dimes. I feel as though they should be selling folic acid candies or something, not necessarily pie but fruit of the forest has become a family staple for us. The name is the most mysterious part of this pie, forget that it came from the March of Dimes. What exactly are fruits of the forest? My personal hypothesis is that the pie is comprised of apples and raspberries and such and that whoever was in charge of these pie titles just liked the alliteration. I mean, we buy it. I’d buy it for the ingenious alliteration, who cares if it makes sense or not?
But anyway, a lot of things were the same: I had a pre-Thanksgiving day brunch with friends and ate dinner while watching Hardball. But, as I said before, things were different too.
The difference began with actually leaving Maine to go to Connecticut. I didn’t just have to make sure there were not apple rinds in the garbage can before grabbing my dirty laundry, locking my dorm room door and leaving. I had an entire apartment to which I had to do things. And I wasn’t quite sure what I needed to do. I brought a near empty container of plain yogurt, a few carrots and 2 beers across the hall to my roommate who wasn’t leaving until later that week. I then emptied the trash, turned out the lights, made sure dishes were clean and power strips were off. Made sure the arrow on the Thermostat was a tiny bit after 65 (why I chose this I didn’t know, I needed however, to make sense of the situation and 65.78 degrees seemed less likely to let the pipes freeze than say… 65. So once I figured that all out I locked the door and left, praying that everything would be fine when I returned.
It was but the weird thing was that upon my return the apartment smelled completely different. It smelled like it did before my roommate and I moved in. Kind of like cat. It was funny to think that our physical presence makes the entire space smell differently. Or rotten food that we leave in the fridge for too long makes it smell differently too. But the point is it smelled different.
But, to backtrack, my break can be summed up in this way: it was less of a break and more of a nice change of scenery. A change of scenery that involved not eating lentils everyday and being confronted with pie everywhere I went but did not involve doing less work. I worked hours over the break, hours on end. I’ve never done that during my time home from Bates before. Sure I’ve had things to do but they never required doing hours of work in consecutive days. Unfortunately with thesis that’s what you get. There is no real end in sight yet (as I’m doing a year long) therefore, there is always something I can be doing for it. I sometimes even feel guilty washing myself, I could be using that time to work on thesis. Actually that’s not true, I never feel guilty washing myself. But I’ve considered the amount of time I’d save if I moved my sleeping quarters to the downstairs. I’d be near the kitchen, a bathroom (no shower but no problem) and the washer and dryer. I’m sure I waste a considerable amount of time trekking up and down the stairs. And sometimes I forget things and have to go back up. And sometimes I forget what I forgot and than have to just wander a bit to get my bearings. That’s precious time. But I don’t think anyone would let me move. Plus my cats would wake me up at 5:30 in the morning. Ultimately, it’s not worth it.
So besides having to be responsible for a living space and having an insane amount of work to do, Thanksgiving break wasn’t THAT different. But those elements colored the experience a lot. And now I’m looking forward to Christmas break for two reasons: 1) I’ll be leaving first so I won’t have to be responsible (though I must remember to send in rent before I go) and I will only have Thesis and a seminar to prepare for. Not so bad. I can do that. The only sad part: no fruits of the forest.