Memorable Monday^2: Thanksgiving Week!

Ah, yes—the glorious freedom of Thanksgiving Break.  Those of us in the education biz are spoiled with constant holidays, workdays, days off, etc.  Sure, I work twelve-hour days several times per week, and I can’t go to the bathroom whenever I want to (I’ve taught for hours with an urgent need for relief—you just get used to it) during the school day, but all this bogus time off makes up for it.  I can hold in my urine for a few hours in exchange for a week of indolence.

Back in the old days, we just got Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving.  Ah, what benighted times!  Around the time I was in high school—the early 2000s—school districts realized that everyone was taking off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to travel (not my family, but those bourgeois ones with—gasp!—family in other States), so they granted us Wednesday off.

Naturally, everyone then started taking off the Tuesday and even the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Last year, my little private school relented, and ever since we’ve enjoyed the entire week off.

So, what is a portly pudge like myself to do?  Go to the doctor and the dentist, of course!  ‘Tis the season for getting in all of those annoying but necessary appointments.  I also desperately need a haircut.  Yours portly is looking more and more like Bigfoot every day.

But I digress.  We’ll be back with Monday Morning Movie Reviews in December.  There will be some original posts this week, but also quite a few reblogs—it is a week for rest, after all.  But The Portly Politico will still be hitting your inboxes every morning ~6:30 AM EST (or whenever the WordPress Happiness Engineers decide to post them, as apparently a simple “schedule post” function is too difficult to implement flawlessly; posting at 6:45 AM is not 6:30 AM, WordPress!).

So, curl up with a good book, your favorite device, and some classic TPP leftovers—the best part of Thanksgiving!

With that, here is 23 November 2021’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.


4 thoughts on “Memorable Monday^2: Thanksgiving Week!

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. 🙂

    I hear the President usually pardons a turkey this week. Could be the first time in history the president pardons himself! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Port – you’re so silly! The intro could be the article, you put so much into them. Good luck with the doctor and dentist. Dream a dream, think a thought, put your feet up. Light a fire in the fireplace and make room on the couch for Murphy. Perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

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