An ESL Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving came early at ASPECT/Manhattan College this year. On Friday, November 16th, teachers, students and staff gathered at Quigley House for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner feast, including international fare supplied by ASPECT students.
ASPECT teacher Marian Belcher initially proposed doing something special to help students understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. She worked together with ASPECT student services coordinator David Andersen and other teachers to plan and promote a "pot-luck" dinner.
Marian's high-intermediate II skills students studied about Native American Indians, compared their history to the history of native peoples in their home countries and visited the American Indian Museum in lower Manhattan.
ASPECT housing coordinator Charles Fernando and ASPECT college placement adviser Christine Wilhelm each prepared a turkey for the event. Others brought a variety of covered dishes, including dressing, salads, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (with melted marshmallows), sliced ham, wild rice, cranberry sauce and many other Thanksgiving delicacies.
No one among the 70 or 80 individuals present at our midday feast will soon forget the glorious weather with leaves wafting through the air and the sun shining brilliantly. Conversation (in English) was animated and the spirit of Thanksgiving expressed itself in hundreds of ways during the two-hour-long dinner. Most of us ate at tables outdoors, while others stayed inside seated on couches in the TV room.
The ASPECT faculty and staff were impressed at the good attendance that afternoon, when students left their plates behind to go to their 1:00 elective classes. Our Thanksgiving Dinner was a great success, bringing our ASPECT community together to express gratitude for the many blessings of the season.
Reported by Robb Scott