Oberlin Blogs

Oberlin Thanksgiving: The Sequel

December 3, 2019

Ruth Bieber-Stanley ’21

Now that the pie- and carbohydrate-induced sluggishness has been slept off, it’s time I write a blog post about my second Oberlin Thanksgiving.

Because Oberlin’s Thanksgiving break is only four days long, I have never gone home to New Mexico for my Thanksgivings while at Oberlin. It’s just too far, and flying during November can produce its share of weather-related challenges.  

My first year at Oberlin, I visited relatives in New Jersey over Thanksgiving break, and last year I stayed in Oberlin. Last year was definitely challenging, since it was my first ever Thanksgiving away from family. But it was still a wholesome, relaxing time spent with friends (read about that in this post).

I’m happy to report that this year was even better than last! Staying in town was the peaceful respite I needed, and it was just long enough that I felt fully relaxed, but also ready to get back into the swing of things for the last two weeks (!!!) of classes in the semester. 

My break officially began once I headed to the Feve with some friends on Wednesday evening, followed by seeing Frozen 2 at the Apollo, which I highly recommend. The sequel was a lot edgier than the first film, with some on-the-nose over-the-top existential dread humor from Olaf and an early 2000s-inspired music video-style love ballad from Kristoff the feminist prince. Some of the details in the film were clearly catered to college-age kids who were in high school when the first installment premiered, which I loved. The whole thing was more self-aware than I might’ve expected. That, and the animation was truly beautiful, and there was even a small joke about “Let it Go.” I ate my junior mints, laughed with my friends, and went to bed, excited to sleep in the following morning. 

Thursday, Thanksgiving, started slowly. I woke up naturally, with no alarm, a luxury I rarely afford myself, and watched Gilmore Girls before Facetiming my family to wish them a happy holiday and to hear all about my younger sister’s trip to Poland for a mock international criminal court (she’s highly meritorious).

I then went to Stevie for my first Thanksgiving meal of the day, which was nice. The Stevie staff had decorated the tables and the food was a step above average. After lunch, I went back to Tank and called my family for a second time that day, because my sister wasn’t done telling me about her trip. Then came cooking! Every year my co-op, Tank, hosts a meal we call Tanksgiving (haha), a potluck style meal open to all. Last year’s Tanksgiving was great, and this year I was excited to make a vegetarian protein in the form of curried roasted chickpeas (they are CRISPY) and get that nice, warm homey kitchen feel I miss so much when I’m not home for the holiday.

Between calling my New Jersey relatives and checking my toasted chickpeas, the tables in Tank slowly filled with amazing food. My friends and future housemates were all in town and came to the meal, and after eating what felt like the equivalent of my body weight in mac-and-cheese, sweet potato casserole (topped with caramelized cornflakes!), and pear-crisp with home-made whip cream, my friends and I helped crew after the meal, and then collapsed onto a couch in the Tank lounge to digest properly. Things turned sleepy and goofy pretty quickly, so my friends headed back to their dorms and I ended the night with  more Gilmore Girls. It was a lovely day full of amazing food and amazing company. 

Ruth and friends sitting around table of food.
Ruth and friends at Stevie Thanksgiving


Tanksgiving meal of mashed potatoes, vegetables.
Tanksgiving meal!


After sleeping a full 11 hours (probably to digest all that yummy food!), I had to do a bit of work on Friday, mostly making a study guide for an exam and revising a literature review draft for a psych seminar I’m taking. The day wasn’t completely without its fun, though, as I went to my friend’s dorm room and watched Netflix original The Knight Before Christmas, a truly bad 90-minute Christmas rom-com featuring time travel, 14th-century knights, and Vanessa Hudgens. I don’t regret it one bit. It was so bad it was good. If you’re looking for some trashy, festive cinema, look no further. Perhaps admitting to my film choices is embarrassing, but if you want to truly understand my weekend, just know that on Saturday night I watched nothing other than the cinematic masterpiece Shrek 2. Besides the Shrek 2 screening, on Saturday, I engaged slightly in capitalism by supporting a small local business to buy some art supplies, which I used to make a family portrait for a friend. I really miss making art, and the break was a perfect time to kick back and spend several hours drawing, inking, and coloring.

After lunch, a friend helped me film some footage for a poetry-video project for one of my German classes, and I worked on the video for most of the afternoon (I’m now an iMovie pro). On Saturday evening, I went to dinner and ice cream with two friends before the aforementioned Shrek 2 viewing party. On Saturday I was sleepy, so I went to bed earlier. 


art for a friend with pencil drawing of people.
family portrait I did for a friend over break


Sunday brought my break to a close and felt like a normal lazy Sunday I might’ve had any other weekend of the semester. I did laundry, finished my art project, went to a crew shift, finished reading a graphic novel lent to me by a friend, didn’t leave Tank AT ALL, and watched enough Netflix to make myself bored. By the end of the day I felt all relaxed out, which made me realize I was as ready as I would ever be to finish the last few weeks of the semester strong, even though I know this week will be super busy.

Luckily, I had a perfect long weekend of eating, hibernating, and trashy cinema, all in the company of some of my closest friends. Even though I’m homesick and so excited to be going home in a few short weeks, I’m glad I spent Thanksgiving in Oberlin and relaxed fully before the home stretch. Just three weeks, and I leave for 8 months! I have so much to be grateful for here at Oberlin, and my free time, my co-op, and my friends are just a few of those things. What I have is so special, and I’m one lucky duck. 

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