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Giving thanks for the brevity of this holiday.

November 26, 2010

Chinwe Okona ’13

I feel like I'm one of the few people who is thankful that Thanksgiving break is only four days long. Don't get me wrong, I welcomed this break wholeheartedly. After fall break, as the weeks passed, I felt myself becoming less and less productive. My homework was beginning to pile up and I found myself completing assignments the night before they were due, instead of with days to spare. Through this all, I managed to really stay on top of biology and worked hard to prepare for the huge exam that was the only thing separating me from academic freedom for a few days. I took my exam and my Thanksgiving break began at 9:50 am, Wednesday morning. By 11:45 am, I had arrived at my Thanksgiving destination, Strongsville, Ohio, and began to count down the hours until it was Monday morning at 9 am, and I was sitting in biology again.

If you know anything about me, or you've slightly perused my biography, you'll know that I am not from Strongsville, Ohio, or anywhere close to the Midwest. You should know very well that I'm quite the SoFla (South Florida!) girl, and I don't do cold or snow or anything of the sort willingly. So why am I still in Ohio of all places, when this is my first chance all semester to head home and lie on the beach (Fall sports stay in Oberlin for Fall Break. Such a sad situation, I'm aware)? Well, the fact of the matter is, as much as my parents love me, it's simply not economically feasible for me to get on a plane and fly all the way south for a four-day vacation, when two of those days will be spent traveling.

Last year, I made my way to D.C. to spend the holiday with my 'other' family, my best friend, Taylor, and her wonderful, wonderful mother. This year, I decided to stay local. Funny coincidence, one of my best friends from high school, Danielle, came to Ohio to spend the holiday with her father, who lives in Strongsville, Ohio (which is about half an hour from Oberlin). I spent the entirety of this past summer in San Francisco and was unable to see Danielle over summer vacation, so I decided to take the opportunity to spend time with her. And I must say, I'm pretty happy with my decision.

One of my very favorite things to do, especially after being all sorts of busy, is absolutely nothing. And I must tell you, as I presently sit here on Danielle's father's couch, I have done absolutely NOTHING since Wednesday at 11:45 am. Except eat. And eat, and eat, and eat. On Wednesday, upon arrival, I had a meal consisting of a 'Thanksgiving preview,' which was phenomenal. And then there was Thanksgiving dinner, which was actually a bunch of small meals beginning at one in the afternoon. By this past evening (Friday), every leftover was gone from the house. In between, there have been homemade pizzas, soft pretzels, powdered doughnut holes, and even s'mores. All I can say is that Danielle and I have definitely put a serious dent in the fridge.

So tomorrow (today if you want to be technical) is Saturday, second to last day of freedom before we all fight through the remainder of the semester and finals. As great as it's been, and as homey as Danielle and her dad have made me feel, I'm okay with going back to class. I plan on powering through the last two weeks and two days of classes (yes, I am counting), as well as finals, so I can hightail it back to the Sunshine State. I'm sure some great philosopher somewhere said something along the lines of, 'there are great rewards in store for those who work hard.' I'm thinking it's about time to buckle down, and get it done. Let's gooooooo.

Disclosure: I love Oberlin. I also love my family and my city, probably more than I love Oberlin. I believe that it is okay to feel this way. College has the power to turn those desperate-to-get-away kids into homesick puppies (me). I will finally be returning home on December 18th after FOUR MONTHS of being in Oberlin (yes, I arrived on August 18th exactly four months prior to my return). Yes, I feel like I deserve this. And yes, you will most likely read at least one detailed, written complaint from me longing to be back in my dorm room.

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