Happy Thanksgiving, from Biosphere 2!
Let us set the scene for you: It’s a windy morning in Tucson, Arizona, and eleven girls stumble out of bed, bleary-eyed and eager to start the day. Within moments, the silent air is filled with cheerful voices: “Lulu, Amanda, Mozelle, get up,” and “Five minutes til dance class!” and “Harmoney, I need to get in the bathroom!”
The courtyard between our two casitas is transformed into a dance studio, the students into dancers. Claire leads her jazz-themed P.E. class. By 8:15, the girls are gathered around the breakfast table. Ellie holds a cereal bowl in hand, and Maia studies the whiteboard. Announcements, gratitudes, reminders, homework assignments, and the schedule for parent phone calls are scrawled in messy handwritings, covering the board.
Soon, the breakfast table is cluttered with textbooks, pencils, and “The Myths of the First Thanksgiving.” The students’ words bounce back and forth across the makeshift classroom as they discuss the complicated history of today’s holiday. Five dates are added onto the board- 1565, 1619,1621, 1637, and 1769. Each date represents a “first Thanksgiving” celebration, but which one is the real one? Throughout history class, we examine each date, each story, each version of history. We dig into indigenous perspectives and talk about the National Day of Mourning Parade. It is taking place in Plymouth, Massachusetts as we speak. The discussion ends with each student answering for themselves: “What does Thanksgiving mean to you now?”
In literature class, our eyes trace the words as Drew reads an essay by Robin Wall Kimmerer on gratitude. The words soak into our circle as we reflect on what we are grateful for in our own life.
Now, at noon, the sun sets our kitchen alight and pleasant aromas waft through the house. Everyone has brought a meal from their Thanksgiving celebrations at home, even an Israeli salad from Rimone, bringing her own favorite to a holiday she’s never celebrated before.
Later, we will sit around a table decorated by Emory, Phia, and Mary and share these foods and traditions. But right now, we wanted to share our gratitudes with you:
I am grateful for my loving community, who supports me every step of the way!
I am grateful for my immense support system that has enabled me to participate in TTS!
I am grateful for my family, friends, and community back at home and here on TTS that has contributed to helping me be the better version of myself.
I am grateful for my new TTS community for making this experience so special and supporting my growth and learning everyday.
I am grateful for all the families I have: the one I was born with, the one I have found here at TTS, and the one made up of my friends at home (and my dog).
I am grateful for memories that I will forever keep with me.
I am grateful for my family, who have supported me in my journey to TTS. And, what Ellie said.
I am grateful for the time that the TTS teachers have put into making this experience amazing.
I am grateful for the outside world.
I am grateful for my family and friends back home who continue to support me in everything I do. I am also grateful for the friends I have made here.
I am grateful for my family.