Thanksgiving was spent in a friend's apartment in Brooklyn where 18 people sat down at the same table and enjoyed a huge amount of amazing food that was prepared by a variety of those same folks.
It was really impressive to me. I had a great time talking to people who had all sorts of lives: There were a number of actors there, given that’s probably how most of them know one another. But I talked to freelance writers, photographers, and a number of other folks who I’m not sure what they do, but they weren’t academics, which is a big change for me. It’s also a big change to enjoy a holiday without the constant reminder that the next weekend you will be travelling to another competition.
Here’s the table in all it’s glory:
This semester has gone by way too quickly. I have been enjoying myself much more than I ever have at St. John’s. It feels like a new job to me. There’s always trouble, but I’m thankful that I’m no longer so stressed out all the time. I actually have time to work on my classes, to meet with students and give high-quality feedback, to read and write, and most importantly to think.
I thought about all the Thanksgivings I missed in the name of some higher calling or higher purpose in teaching debate. What a waste compared to time for introspection, and reflection. We are nothing if not reiterations of ourselves, and without time to think about that we are just bad copies. I feel this semester was one of the first times as a faculty member I really had opportunity to think about myself with myself and root my thoughts into particular, clear scholarship and teaching objectives. I hope it turns out as fruitful as the thinking was. It takes a while to get your bearings when you cut out a large part of your daily life very suddenly.
Now it’s December 1st, and the time between this day and the one pictured above feels like it never happened. The closing of the semester is always an acceleration toward speed, it feels like. I am very pleased with the speeches my students have made this term, but there’s still a lot missing. Next semester I’ll try again. Reiteration.