Retro Tuesday: Thanksgiving Week!

It’s Thanksgiving Week, which means I am really going to be phoning in some posts this week.  I love writing, but even I need a break from the constant output that my insatiable readers demand.

In the original post from this thread, I spelled out my argument in favor of an entire week off for Thanksgiving, in exchange for some lesser holidays.  With districts caving to reality and giving students the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, families have just moved the start of their break back to Tuesday, with mass absenteeism the norm the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Indeed, many families take the entire week off.

Well, my school—and many public schools in my area—took my sage advice:  we are off for the entire week.  It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!

However, I also predicted that, with an entire week off, the siren song of leaving for an extended vacation even earlier would be hard to resist.  I was right:  last week, we had a few students leaving town as early as Wednesday—a full eight days before the bird faces the executioner.  Whoa!  The trend only intensified Thursday and Friday.

Of course, it strains credulity to argue for any more time off.  At this point, I think it makes far more sense to increase Christmas Break than to lengthen Thanksgiving any further.

One downside to this newer, longer break:  with losing some other days earlier in the semester, everyone is completely burned out.  We teachers are not a hardy breed:  we’ve grown soft with cushy vacations.  In all seriousness, though, we get pretty worn down, as anyone would corralling and attempting to mold young minds all day.

Well, enough of that.  Now I’m enjoying the sweet life.

With that, here is 23 November 2020’s “Memorable Monday: Thanksgiving Week!“:

It’s back again—Thanksgiving Week!  For many of us—especially those of us in the cushy racket known as “education”—it’s scarcely a week at all, just two days of relaxed, stately learning before five straight days of loafing and turkey-filled indolence.

I’m kicking off the laziness early with a throwback post to last year’s Thanksgiving Week—a post entitled, appropriately, “Thanksgiving Week!”  It’s a post that celebrates the insanely short week—and opines for it to become scarcely a workweek at all.  I also delved into a discussion about slippery slopes—my favorite logical fallacy that often becomes true—and the necessity for a ten-year moratorium on immigration.

I’ll likely be doing more throwback posts this week as I indulge in some family time and gluttony, but I’ll keep trying to provide top-level italicized commentary for your amusement.  Also, we’re just a few days away from 700 days—that’s 100 weeks!—of consecutive posts.

In all seriousness, there is much to be thankful for this year.  Even in 2020, a number that has taken on a reputation only slightly less horrifying than the Mark of the Beast, there is much God has done for us.  A promising vaccine for The Virus—produced in what must be record time for a vaccine—is surely one such thing for which we should give thanks.

Turn to God in times of trouble, not just when things are going well.  Easy to type, hard to live.  We’d be all better off, though, if we made the effort to adopt gratitude as our default position.

Here’s “Thanksgiving Week!“:

It’s Thanksgiving Week!  November is flying by; Halloween Week (and Halloween!) seem like yesterday.  Yesterday was a crisp, autumnal day, a brief respite of warmth before cold weather returned to South Carolina this morning.

As a teacher, one of my favorite “weeks” of the school year is this one.  I put “weeks” in quotation marks because, from a teaching perspective, this isn’t truly a “week,” or even a “short week” (four days, such as the Labor Day holiday early in the academic year).  Instead, it’s two days of either cramming in tests and material, or of laconically drifting into the glorious Thanksgiving Break.

When I was a kid, we still had school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but I remember when the school district caved to reality and began giving us Wednesday off, too.  There was much adolescent celebration that day.

Inevitably, a third day of break wasn’t enough.  Kids, like adult progressives, are never satisfied.  I myself have called for a week off at Thanksgiving, but I prudently offer up a couple of lesser holidays and/or teacher workdays to make up the difference.

Regardless, family vacations that used to hit the road on Wednesday—thus pulling junior out of school a day early—are now leaving on Tuesday, with the same result.  The three-day week became a two-day one; the two-day week is now, essentially, a single day in which some modicum of learning might occur.  Or it’s just a film festival.

I fully anticipate mass absenteeism, a la the French army during the First World War, tomorrow.  The shirkers and opportunistic vacationers are already out the door, though our attendance numbers are better today than I predicted.

I often speculate—will schools and districts eventually cave and give up the whole week?  The problem of the logic that states, “everyone is going to be gone anyway, so let’s take this day off, too” is that it never ends.  Logically there’s no limit to it, but practically we all recognize that reductio ad absurdum is, indeed, absurd.  No one but the most furtive school skipper would advocate taking off the whole year.

There is, perhaps, a lesson—albeit a discursive one—here for slippery slopers and “limiting principles” types:  sometimes “logically valid” doesn’t mean it’s logically sound (I’m sure the logic nerds will emerge from their Internet hidey holes to pillory me).  Sometimes the limiting principle is Reality itself.  Only radicals, libertarians, and high-functioning autists don’t understand this concept.

That said, my sympathies lie, naturally, with the slippery slopers.  Sometimes the slippery slope is real, and quite slick, especially when progressives are the ones pouring the grease.  Every social conservative knew that same-sex marriage would lead to the undermining of the institution itself, and that the progressive Left would just search for some new “civil rights” frontier to conquer.  Now we have trannies and cross-dressers reading books and exposing themselves to four-year olds, the normalization of pederasty, and all the rest.  Soon “marriage” will apply to so many arrangements it will cease to have any meaning at all.

But conservatives have slid down some slopes gleefully while fearing the wrong slippery slopes.  Some matters of public policy are up for debate, and the goal posts or numbers involved change over time.  Maybe increased immigration made sense in 1965; it surely doesn’t now.  A ten-year moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal, seems prudent today as a way for us to catch our breaths and take stock of the situation (not to mention to assimilate newcomers).  That’s not to say it will forever be a good idea.

All grist for the angry, impassioned mill of Thanksgiving conversation with your family and friends.  When you’re spergily shouting “slippery slope” at your blue-haired box wine auntie, you can grease the skids with some old-fashioned gravy.

10 thoughts on “Retro Tuesday: Thanksgiving Week!

  1. Isn’t there a tradition in America for Thanksgiving Week where the sitting President pardons a turkey?

    This could be the first, and only, year a President pardons himself! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tyler, I wish you a well deserved break and may it be all you hope for. Stuff your chops with turkey and cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, candied yams, mashed potatoes and all the other holiday treats and give us a mouthful by mouthful description of everything you eat when you have time. In GB our Christmas/New Year holiday extends to two weeks for many now apart of course from the usual stalwarts who keep our food shops etc running with only Christmas Day off. Amazing how no-one worried about shop,workers and delivery drivers etc catching Covid while office workers and those in the public sector cowered WFH (working from home) for a year and longer. Anyway, have a wonderful thanksgiving, somehow I know you will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will certainly provide a full account of the Thanksgiving victuals. My mother is an EXCELLENT cook, so we’re in for a real treat. My sister-in-law is quite good, too, and is bringing some items as well. My girlfriend will be in Mississippi, which is good for her, but unfortunate for my undiscrimating palate—she is a very good baker, and I grow even portlier this time of year thanks to her concoctions.

      You’ve highlighted an interesting class divide, to be sure. I was so thankful for those lingering food and service workers during The Age of The Virus, stalwartly preparing my Hardee’s Frisco Burger while risking their own health to do so (of course, by eating aforementioned Frisco Burger, I was risking my own health as well).

      Speaking of health, I visited my physician yesterday, and I have a clean bill of health, I just need to lose some weight. I took that as an invitation to enjoy good food and lots of snacks yesterday afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. By biscuit of course you mean ‘scone’ which is the British equivalent. Anyway, nomenclature notwithstanding I am delighted you are enjoying your mum’s good cooking. I watch a couple of very good YT channels about Southern food, foremost of which is the delightful Miss Lori of Whippoorwill Holler and her equally delightful husband Mr Brown. I have made several of Miss Lori’s recipes. I am getting very adept at converting your cup measurements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If by “scone” you mean biscuit, then yes. 😂 I will mention Miss Lori of Whippoorwill Holler to mom; she’ll enjoy that, I am sure. There is so much good Southern cuisine. I’m excited for her pecan pie.

      Like

      • I make something very similar to your pecan pie using walnuts. I have made pumpkin pie but was somewhat underwhelmed although I like the squash family very much and incorporate it into breads and scones sometimes. It was Audre who put me onto Miss Lori. She and her husband have a homestead in Arkansas. Her dishpan cookies are the bee’s knees.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooooh, walnuts. That does sound good. Mom makes an excellent pumpkin pie, too. I think getting pumpkin pie right can be difficult, as I have heard from others who experienced underwhelming results.

        Audre is, yet again, an indispensable source of Internet wisdom. Some of the stuff she manages to find on YouTube blows my mind.

        Like

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