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Thank Goodness: Escape and Sleep

By Jeffrey Chang


This year’s Thanksgiving break brings the usual exodus from the MIT campus, with a four-day weekend for students and other members of the MIT community to do as they please.

President Charles M. Vest said that he and his wife plan to be with family in Charleston, West Virginia. “I hope to spend as much time as possible playing with our two grandchildren... and to play a major role in cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” Vest wrote in an e-mail.

Students have range of plans

Graduate Student Council President Barun Singh G said he plans to go home to Montgomery, Alabama and have a Thanksgiving dinner with his family. “I’m flying out on Thursday morning and will be coming back at the end of the weekend,” Singh said.

Michael Shaw ’07 is also going home for the break, although he said he would never miss a class. Shaw is taking an Amtrak train on Wednesday as soon as he gets out of class. “I can’t wait to get home to New York,” said Shaw. “I’ll watch a little football, and have a nice turkey dinner with my family.” He is coming back to MIT on Saturday morning, though, because he has a ten page paper to write and three problem sets to complete during the weekend.

Denise “Dida” Bland, an employee at the COOP store in the student center, will be hosting a large dinner at her house in Mattapan with her extended family. She will work until 4:00 pm on Wednesday, then has the next two days off. “This is my second year of Thanksgiving here [at MIT],” Bland said, but the first time she does not need to work on the next day. “Now I can do some shopping,” she said.

Fraternities empty for holiday

MIT’s fraternities will be much quieter than usual. At Theta Chi, only two or three of the brothers are staying at the house, and they will be making a modest turkey dinner.

Only four people are staying at Pi Lambda Phi, said Michael T. Jensen ’07. “They’re probably going to get together with some friends and cook dinner,” he said.

The Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity will be holding their annual “Angstgiving” dinner for brothers and their friends who aren’t going home. “We cook the dinner,” said Michael P. Short ’05. “It’ll probably be a traditional thanksgiving dinner, with some untraditional things... ’cause it’s us,” said Short.

International students on campus

Not everybody is leaving, though. Many people, and international students in particular, will be staying on campus.

Jingwen Ouyang ’08 is choosing to stay on campus because she has a basketball game next weekend in New York, and her mother is in China right now. “I plan to have a dinner with my friends in McCormick,” which will be organized by a cooking group.

Rezy Pradipta ’06 is an international student who will be having dinner with a host family in Quincy, MA. They have invited him to their Thanksgiving dinner for the past few years, he said. “It’s a little bit quiet” on campus during the break, but he will probably “just do whatever...I have a lot of assignments,” said Pradipta.

“I will probably stay here,” said Polish international student Jakub K. Kominiarczuk ’08. “I was invited by a friend from Harvard to go with him to his host family’s house and have a thanksgiving dinner with them.”

Kominiarczuk said there was a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday in Russian House, but he didn’t go. If there are more dinners on campus, he would definitely attend, Kominiarczuk said. “Free food is always good ... that’s the healthiest type of food.”