You’re Lookin’ Mighty Chophouse Today.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get talking about something else than weather, shall we?
So the psychology department is currently in a job search for a new Social Psychology professor, and they seemed to have narrowed it down to three potential candidates. Each candidate is visiting Clark and giving a speech on their work and taking questions. All students, graduate and undergraduate, are invited to attend to listen and later, if they so wish, to give their opinion into the hiring of the staff. It’s great because you feel as if you are really part of the process and they want to hear you voice. The first speaker, Ms. Tugce Kurtis, came and talked about her work on Silence in Cultural and Feminist Psychology. She spoke both of silence in the personal level, such as keeping secrets but also within cases of abuse, and silence in the social level, such as the master narrative that we call Thanksgiving.
While I will keep my thoughts on her as a candidate private, she made some very interesting points about Thanksgiving I thought would be great to talk about. She examined sixteen presidential speeches given on Thanksgiving (8 from Bush Sr., 8 from Clinton) and noted that of them, only 6 mentioned the Native Americans (all from Clinton), but none of them mentioned the plight of the Native Americans and the slaughter from the Pilgrims coming over to America. She then tested different ways people come to understand Thanksgiving if primed with one of these speeches or a speech given by a Native American on their “Day of Mourning.”
Of course, why would we want to celebrate Thanksgiving in such a way? Is there a way where we can recognize the evil that has been committed, mourn the mistakes and wrongdoings of our forefathers, but yet find a way to still celebrate our arrival? It seems twisted, and I’ve been trying to grapple with this problem for some time. I think, to me, Thanksgiving is not about the Pilgrims. Perhaps this is some cognitive dissonance. I just think it’s about being thankful for your current situation – not in relation to others, but just that you are happy you are where you are, and that you have some kind of support system around you that loves you. In this sense, I can still mourn the past while celebrating the present. Does the Thanksgiving narrative need to be about the Pilgrims?
And of course, what is a Thanksgiving post at Clark without mentioning Clark’s Thanksgiving dinner. This is the biggest cafeteria event of the year! Seriously, people wait in line an hour, sometimes two hours, earlier to get their food. And if you show up at 5, you can bet you won’t be even seeing food until 5:45, never mind trying to find seating. It’s a whole feast – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, rolls, and more pies than you can imagine. They do something similar at Christmas, but nothing beats Thanksgiving.
Unless, of course, you just got accepted into the Psych Honor’s program!!!! And then, what else is better than to go to one of the best restaurants in Worcester, 111 Chophouse. So I missed out on a Clark classic – but made up for it in one of the best (and most expensive) dinners I’ve had. It was great to get out with my roommates before the break. It was super expensive – so expensive, we made a joke about Chophouse in our Money Psychology class, that if you wanted to rate someone’s looks by quantity instead of quality, that saying they looked “Chophouse” was probably the highest compliment you could give someone in Worcester.
“Damn, you are looking Chophouse today.”
So happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be sure to blog about my three Thanksgiving dinners I have at home (French Canadians don’t understand the point of only one feast).