December, the final month of 2020, has arrived at last. And with it, so has shivering in five hundred jackets, drinking hot chocolate that is ninety percent marshmallows, and celebrating the heart-warming festivities of the season.
However, I must save my December appreciation for another post. Why? Well, this Wednesday, Mississippi School of the Arts celebrated Thanksgiving!
After one week of virtual learning and a week-long break, students returned to campus to find a make-up Thanksgiving lunch! As numerous students celebrated Thanksgiving at home or did not celebrate at all, the specialty lunch proved a delicious surprise and a welcome-back to campus. Due to the pandemic, I myself did not visit any relatives over the break; therefore, a filling meal surrounded by friends—six feet apart, of course—lifted my spirits. Tablecloths and fall-themed plates and napkins clearly realized the extravagance of the situation. And, most importantly, the food exceeding expectations.
From my personal experience, the ham was tender and had a note of sweetness. The roll was generous, soft. The mixed vegetables tasted buttery and perfectly cooked. The stuffing had an irresistible allure that truly surprised me…and, if you are a daring soul, some cranberry sauce stirred in elevates the side to another level. And with a glass of sweet tea, I approached the dessert station only to find no cheesecake, which struck irrevocable tragedy within my rapidly deteriorating heart. However, all was not lost, as literally a second later the cheesecake was replenished!
COVID-19 has shaped 2020 in a way no one ever anticipated. Worry is a permanent resident in, at least, the back of every mind. So much suffering and disappointment has reigned over this year, and often optimism becomes something intangible and unavailable. But there are moments when fear loses its influence. For much of MSA’s community, the campus is home and the residents family. Therefore, something as trivial as cheesecake means a great deal; food brings people together and replaces emptiness with fullness. Plus, cheesecake exists as a superior dessert…no disagreements need.
In conclusion, meals matter, people matter, and so does cheesecake. Take care of one another—wear a mask in public and be responsible with your health. But do not allow the pandemic to prevent you from enjoying this time of the year! I am thankful for this postponed Thanksgiving lunch in the Phoenix, and I am thankful for the effort it demanded. Joy lives in the seams of the most unexpected situations, such as a cafeteria during an uncertain school year.
See you all in the Phoenix! I hope you all enjoyed MSA’s annual Thanksgiving lunch—I know I did. Enjoy your week, find something to be grateful for, and cut out some snowflakes! (: