Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Thanksgiving?

I read this quote on this blog and it literally made me laugh out loud.

"also: i was trying to explain halloween to some of my esl students (they were super, super confused by it) and we actually had some great discussions about cultural vs. religious holidays and i shared my own dislike of the creepiness of it all and i emphasized that it was NOT christian or religious at all but we still went over what it was all about so they would know. and i just could not convey what “trick or treating” was–all the students just stared uncomprehendingly. and then one guy, a ukrainian fellow, said “oh, yes yes we have this in my country. except in my country we say ‘give me all your money or i kill you’”. and then everyone in the class said: “ooooooooooh, yes yes, now we understand”. and as frantically as i tried to convey otherwise, i think they left the class all pretty freaked out by the little kids in their costumes, just waiting to mug them. oh, america."

It made me laugh because it's so true. I'm not knocking on Halloween, I had a lot of fun taking Sadie trick or treating. I'm laughing because sometimes I think we take things for granted because well "that's just what we've always done."

Last week my language partner asked me why we celebrate Thanksgiving. I seriously had to rack my brain to think of the answer. All I could think were indians, pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, Mayflower or wait is it the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria? I could not put any of those words together to make a cohesive answer. Needless to say I left that conversation thinking I need to do a little research. But seriously, we don't talk about that stuff after like fourth grade and that saying is true, if you don't use it you lose it. Looks like I don't need to be auditioning for Are you smarter than a 5th grader any time soon! For now you'll find me scanning Wikipedia for the real reason behind Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. April, that is so true. I find myself at a lose for words often when my students ask me things that I know I should have an answer for. I hope you found an answer. I know sometimes in the middle of class I get asked a question and I have say something like "Billy, that's a great question. Does anyone know the answer? [with no hands raised] Well, everyone take 5 minutes to write down what you think the answer is." [Mrs. Harvey slides over to her computer and googles the answer] This was a fun story; thanks for sharing.