Even the concept of "being thankful" for things was difficult to explain, especially to the younger students in my private classes. With the 5 and 9 year old siblings I taught yesterday, I ended up asking them to write down things they liked. So the little boy said the only thing he's thankful for is football.
I actually ended up learning new things about the holiday in preparing a Thanksgiving-themed lesson. For example, some historians believe that the Native Americans showed up at the "First Thanksgiving" feast not because they were invited, but because they heard a ton of gunshots and thought the Pilgrims were being attacked.
And I watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving about 10 times.
This may also have been the Thanksgiving that I ate the most food. The English teachers at my school organized a fantastic Thanksgiving Day lunch. Since I am ovenless, I set aside my dreams of chocolate pecan pie and made a Waldorf Salad - I figured that was something uniquely American and easy to make in a short time. However, it's a lot more difficult when you can't buy seedless grapes.
Salad (mine and a more typical salad, although it had apples and walnuts in it as well)
Some kind of soup with pan-fried bread and lemon. I can't remember what it was called, but it was good, and I am the most picky when it comes to soups.Chicken
Baked mashed potatoes
DesertsLemon cheesecake (I definitely had two pieces of this and then was given another heaping serving to take home with me)
Coffee flavored flan
I raced home from our 4 hour lunch so I could go struggle to explain the holiday for my hour and a half long class, and then had a little time to sit in my apartment before Thanksgiving Round 2. [I also said a quick hello to my new roommate who moved in yesterday! Because there just wasn't enough going on this week already.]
Dip (the one I tried was cheese and tuna, which was so delicious, I didn't even try the other)
Cucumbers and carrots
Main courseTurkey (some of the best turkey I've ever eaten in my life)
Baked macaroni and cheese
Green bean casserole
Peas with ham
Cornbread and baguettes
Several of the teachers have asked me if this was my first Thanksgiving away from family. It was weird to realize that it was. There is no holiday that I associate more with family, so it's strange to think that it passed without me being able to see or talk with them. Nevertheless, I had a terrific day - although now I have a lot of sleep to catch up on.