The night air is getting crisper. The days are getting shorter. The leaves are actually changing colors. As perplexing as actual seasons are to a SoCal girl, I’m becoming increasingly aware that autumn is finally upon us in beautiful Stanford, California. And as wrapped up as we might be in the festive preparations for Big Game and the merriment it entails, the breathless anticipation of Thanksgiving Break seems to dominate, permeating every casual conversation and reminding us that soon we will be home. Home!
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the somewhat hedonistic Thanksgiving routine. Who can deny the joys of catching up with family, eating home-cooked meals (Stern Dining: it’s not me, it’s you), and sleeping in so long your worried parents check you for a pulse? But this season, I urge you to make the most of this important holiday as a time to give thanks.
How can we do this? Well, here’s my plan: I’m writing handwritten thank you notes to my favorite teachers from Kindergarten onwards. Daunting? Sure. But I’m convinced that it’s worth it. Our teachers are the tireless red pen- and popsicle-wielding warriors who taught you glycolysis through song, who stayed at school after hours so you could perfect that documentary, who convinced you through explosions and potato cannons that science is awesome, and who put in extra time and effort in hopes of inspiring America’s future generation of leaders and innovators. And based on the fact that you’re here at Stanford gearing up to change the world, I think it’s safe to say that they succeeded. Give credit where credit is due.
They don’t have to be long notes. Nor do you have to be as ambitious as I’m trying to be. But the fact is, through their commitment to your education, your teachers provided you with a gift that you can never truly repay. A gift for which you can only be thankful.
Stanford students, I implore you to let your teachers know how much they mean to you. Join me this Thanksgiving in truly giving thanks.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero