Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Being Thankful during the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving Break has always been bittersweet for our law students.  It is a break from the daily routine of classes, but rarely has been a true break from law school.  Most students have always had to study a good portion of the five-day respite.  This year, it is even more of a study period because Reading Day is the Monday following the holiday period, and exams start on the Tuesday.

A large number of law students are staying in town to devote themselves to studying.  I encourage them to take off as much of the actual holiday as possible so that they have some relaxation and fewer regrets over a missed holiday. 

One of our law students is hosting dinner at his house for any law students who volunteer at the local soup kitchen during Thanksgiving Day.  Other students have told me that they are getting together with study partners to celebrate the day.

Although many students are seeing the holiday period as just another week of studying, I hope they will take a few minutes to be thankful.  They have much to be thankful for although they may be feeling stressed right now.  Each law school community has its own list of things for which students can be thankful.  In our law school community, they can be thankful for the following:

  • They can be thankful for having a place to live that is warm and clean and safe.
  • They can be thankful for a surrounding city that has a low cost of living, easy commutes, and friendly people.
  • They can be thankful for having the intelligence to be admitted to a spot in law school.
  • They can be thankful for family and friends who support them financially and emotionally during their degrees.
  • They can be thankful for classmates who help each other as tutors, teaching fellows, and study partners.
  • They can be thankful for professors and administrators who honestly care about their success in law school.
  • They can be thankful for student organizations that support their interests and law school endeavors.
  • They can be thankful for the high-tech facilities of our new addition to the law school.

I am always proud of our law students this time of year.  One of our student organizations works with the Salvation Army to sponsor children who are "forgotten angels" during the holiday season.  This annual event helps law school participants remember to be thankful in the midst of exam studying and to share their bounty with others who are less fortunate.   

Last year, 300 children were sponsored by our law school family.  After this Thanksgiving Break, the law school lobby will once again have a fleet of bicycles and piles of packages waiting for distribution by the Salvation Army.  There will be scores of children thankful for the anonymous law school students who took time from studying to bring joy to others' lives. 

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  May you have many blessings to be thankful for now and in the coming year.  (Amy Jarmon) 

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