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Thanksgiving in Tigertown

14 November 2012 By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Editor-in-Chief and Megan Flannery, Arts and Life Editor No Comments
Students stick around for Thanksgiving break
Photo by Matthew Hazlett, Illustration by Production Team/ The Towerlight

Photo by Matthew Hazlett, Illustration by Production Team/ The Towerlight

While many students will pack their bags on Tuesday and head home for Thanksgiving, it is not an option for every student. Whether they are from California, New Jersey or right next door in Baltimore City, some students will spend their Thanksgiving break in Tigertown. Here are some of their stories.

Melissa Miller: Fresno, Calif.

On the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving, freshman Melissa Miller first has to catch a ride to Cheverly, Md.

She then has to take the metro to Virginia and her sister will pick her up from Washington D.C. and after that, they will drive to the Silver Springs Airport.

From there, they will pick up their parents and younger sister and head to Dayton, Md.

“If Douglass [House] didn’t close I would have just stayed,” Miller said. “I would have just gone out to dinner and then went back to my room to sleep.”

Miller is from Fresno, Calif. and going home for Thanksgiving break was not an option, she said. However because Douglass House along with the Glen Towers, Scarborough and Prettyman Halls all close for Thanksgiving break, Miller will have no choice but to leave campus for the weekend.

She’ll attend Thanksgiving dinner with her nearby uncle, from Dayton, Md., catching two cars and a train to get there.

“I see all these people whose parents can just pick them up because they live 30 minutes away,” Miller said. “Meanwhile I’m stranded. I have to use the bus. I have to use quarters. Where do you even get quarters?”

Miller said that a normal Thanksgiving dinner for her is spent at her grandparents’ house, three hours away from her home in Fresno. Typically there are cousins, grandparents, uncles and aunts all gathered around a big table with lots of food.

“Usually Thanksgiving is so big and fancy. I’ve never had Thanksgiving with this uncle before so it’s going to be weird,” Miller said.

Luckily for Miller, she has two older sisters who also live on the East coast. They, along with her parents and younger sister, will all be able to be together in Dayton, Md. this year.

But while she said she is thankful to be able to see her family for Thanksgiving, Miller said all of these plans could have been much less complicated if she had been allowed to stay in her dorm for the holiday.

Whether she is in Dayton or Towson, what will not change is the cold weather. Miller said that is what will take the most getting used to.

“When they said we might get snow last week, I was freaking out,” Miller said. “I’ve never seen snow in November. It doesn’t ever snow in Fresno.

Stephanie Uva, New Jersey

A typical Thanksgiving day for senior mass communication major Stephanie Uva begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She goes to her aunt’s house for dinner and then to her uncle’s house for dessert.

Normally, she gets to see both sides of her family on one day. But this year she will see neither.

Uva, who is from New Jersey, will be spending her Thanksgiving break working at the Baltimore Country Club.

“I most likely won’t be cooking a turkey, or having any of the other food I normally get to eat when I go home,” Uva said. “I am hoping to spend the day with some friends from work who also can’t go home.”

Uva said this will be the first Thanksgiving she’s spent apart from her family. And though it might be tough, she said she would rather save up her days off.

“BCC has an unspoken policy that is like ‘work one holiday, get off the next holiday’,” Uva said.

By working Thanksgiving she’ll be able to have off for Christmas and New Years.

Uva said her family could come visit her, but because her work schedule is still up in the air, it is unlikely that they will. Instead she said she hopes her friends from work will be around to celebrate with.

“Otherwise I will be in my apartment by myself, because all of my roommates are leaving for the weekend to spend it with their families,” Uva said.

Jackie Stelmaszczyk, Baltimore City

Jackie Stelmaszczyk’s father emigrated from Poland at the age of 9, and learned American customs gradually. Thanksgiving was one of those customs. It was one he did not celebrate until he was 15 years old.

Because of that, Stelmaszczyk, a graduate student, said Thanksgiving is not so important to her family.

While many consider Thanksgiving a time to re-connect with family, Stelmaszczyk said it’s just another opportunity for a family dinner. Polish culture focuses on other holidays.

“Christmas Eve is a huge Polish celebration, so I would never miss that,” she said.

Stelmaszcyk is visiting her family briefly, but is choosing to use the majority of break to relax in her Towson Run apartment.

Stelmaszcyk’s week consists of a mandated 10-hour internship and a 20-hour assistantship with the Housing and Residence Life Department, and she said Thanksgiving provides a welcome break.

“I was in seven-week accelerated courses, and with my 30-hour-a-week schedule, I had to take a break,” she said.

As an assistant coordinator in Glen Tower B, she typically monitors students and assists with concerns of the residents. She said she does not mind continuing her duties over break because many within the Glen Complex leave for Thanksgiving, and some of her co-workers travel much farther to visit family, which she considers to be important.

“Some travel to Philly or to New York,” she said.

She intends to catch up on some of her favorite TV shows, and maybe a shop a little, she said.

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