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Thanks for Bowdoin Thanksgiving

November 16, 2018

This piece represents the opinion of the Bowdoin Orient Editorial Board.

Right now, as we write this editorial late on a Thursday night, we’re still basking in the warm, sleepy feeling that follows Bowdoin Thanksgiving. In one of our favorite Orient traditions, we all crammed into the Pinette Dining Room in Thorne Hall—too many chairs to a table, elbows and knees bumping against each other—and dug into Bowdoin Dining Service’s holiday best.

As we dove into candied sweet potatoes (were these new this year, Dining? Because they’re amazing!), homemade cranberry sauce and good old fashioned turkey dripping with gravy, we went around in a circle and shared what we were thankful for, both generally and about one of our fellow staff members. We appreciated the hard work and steadfast friendship of the people around us, who have shared late nights, bad nights, bad jokes, better jokes, long conversations and so much more. As seniors, we expressed gratitude for long-time best friends and those we met only a few months ago.

It is easy to forget about the really great parts of Bowdoin in the day-to-day chaos of our ever busy lives, but sitting in Pinette Dining Room, we remembered those small moments that make this challenging place worth it.

Bowdoin Thanksgiving is everything that Thanksgiving should be. For those of us who grew up happily celebrating the holiday with our families, this event is a chance to experience that kind of closeness at our home away from home.

For those of us who are not looking forward to next Thursday (or the lucky few who have found their way out of attending the family festivities), Bowdoin Thanksgiving is the main event. We’re enjoying great food with our close friends—for some of us, our found family—at the long wooden tables where we eat most of ours meals, in a place that has become a home for us.

For students whose families don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all, Bowdoin Thanksgiving can be a look at a uniquely American tradition, one where students line up for hours for turkey and squash, foods that only take on a powerful sentimental meaning once a year.

The dinner provides a sense of community, of closeness and belonging. And if you’re a student reading this who hasn’t yet had a Bowdoin Thanksgiving like this, next year’s Orient table will be happy to welcome you into all of our corny nonsense.

As we went around sharing what we were grateful for, we thanked Dining, but perhaps not sufficiently—can we ever thank them sufficiently? We know that they didn’t hear us in the Pinette Room, and we want to make sure they do. Because they are the backbone of this truly incredible tradition that encapsulates all of the things we have grown, with time, to appreciate over our four years here. Thanks, Dining, for another incredible Bowdoin Thanksgiving. We, a bunch of sentimental seniors, couldn’t have asked for a better one to end on.

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is composed of Nell Fitzgerald, Dakota Griffin, Calder McHugh and Jessica Piper. 

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