Thanksgiving Isn't What You Think It's About

Thanksgiving Isn't What You Think It's About

You should do your research before celebrating.

It’s Thursday evening and your family piles into your grandma’s house, all hugs and kisses and "how have you been's". You’ve already watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the football game went well. Your grandma’s house smells like sweet potatoes and stuffing. You just can’t wait to dig in after they all say grace. Good old Thanksgiving, the American Holiday. How did that holiday start off again? A bunch of pilgrims and Indians sat together at a table, breaking bread and feeling thankful that they made it through the winter together. At least that’s what was taught to you in kindergarten.

You see, that’s not where thanksgiving came from. No, the Indians and the pilgrims did not sit together around a cornucopia breaking bread and feeling thankful. No, it was much more different. Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a holiday recognized in a few other countries too, such as Canada, the Caribbean Islands, and Liberia as a day to celebrate the harvest. This tradition of harvest celebration through feast has gone back even since Henry VIII before we had even gotten to the New World.

As far as the “Great Feast” that the American Thanksgiving revolves around, the Plymouth Feast is sort of a myth in its own. There isn’t any solid documentation of when this first feast actually occurred and what even happened at that feast. There are several dates between 1621 to the 1660s claiming to be the year of the famous feast. In fact, the day hadn’t been proclaimed as a national holiday until during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln.

The Native Americans had been depicted as friendly and helpful to the Pilgrims who had stayed in their settlement. They helped them grow corn, a crop the English were not familiar with, and according to legend, they shared a meal with them to show gratitude. There isn’t much that was documented about all of this and a lot of it is told through oral tradition. However, if you consider how the American Government had treated the Native Americans decades after and perhaps consider that not too long after the alleged year of the feast, nearly 400 settlers were massacred by Native Americans near the settlement, there might be a chance it didn’t go exactly that way.

The biggest issue with Thanksgiving is its depiction of Native Americans and how the history is taught. Growing up, our class would act out the feast, half of us dressing as pilgrim and half of us dressing as the Native Americans as if dressing up as another culture was even remotely okay. We didn’t learn about how our country treated Native Americans until several years later. We had this idea that things were great for the settlers and Native Americans. That genocide wasn’t a thing that happened. Thanksgiving kind of covered up genocide and acted like it didn’t happen to them.

Perhaps, we need to look into what has happened as a result of Colonization and how it had and does affect the lives of Native Americans.

This month is Native American Heritage Month and I think it would be smart to perhaps learn about the histories of the Native American people as well as learn about how the depiction of Native Americans can be harmful to them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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22 Signs You're a Region Rat

Close enough to Chicago to claim it yet still maintain our own identity

You can take someone out of the Region, but you can't take the Region out of someone. In a mysterious way, it always seems to bring you back. You have to admit to having pride a little bit of pride relating to at least one of these instances.

1. Being called a "rat" is a compliment, not an insult.

2. You're not even phased when a camel's walking down the middle of the street.

(The language may be a bit much, but what else would you expect from the Region?)

3. You never called Southlake "Westfield" when it changed ownerships. TG it's Southlake, again.

4. There's no better greeting than the sweet smell of the BP oil refineries in Whiting or the steel mills in Gary.

5. You call the expressways by their number, not their name.

"Which is better to avoid Chicago traffic, 80/94 or 90?"

6. Also, yes it is "expressway." It's not "freeway" or "highway." Don't bother arguing.

7. You see more Illinois license plates at gas stations, liquor stores, and cigarette places in the Region than actually in Illinois.

8. It's a sin if you haven't been to Pierogi Fest in a while. It's a greater sin if you've never been to Pierogi Fest.

How can you live with yourself turning down the opportunity to hang out with Mr. Pierogi, Miss Paczki, and the Babushka Brigade?!

9. Pretty much anywhere south of Highland (aka Munster, Schererville, St. John, Dyer, etc.) is considered very fancy.

10. Whenever introducing yourself to new people, you say you're from Chicago just so you can avoid "wait, where is *insert Region city/town* again?"

11. People telling you that you have a Chicago accent and Chicagoans vehemently disagreeing with them.

12. Getting a grimacing look from people when you say your hometown isn't that far from Gary.

13. Lake Central should be its own town with how many kids go there. Seriously.

14. You know how Lincoln's and Miner Dunn are underrated gold mines when it comes to good food.

15. You ride or die with Chicago sports — Bulls, Hawks, Cubs, Sox. If not, you may be ostracized (you probably will).

Even staying loyal to Da Bears because 1985 will always be da best. (There's still a sliver of hope).

16. St. Thomas More and/or SJE always dominated the CYO Christmas tournament during basketball season. Actually, they pretty much dominated in any sport.

17. No other area has anything on our alcohol tolerance. Not a thing.

18. Getting our sources of information from NWI Gazette instead of NWI Times.

19. Following @RegionRatRants never fails to make you laugh, then cry with its accuracy.

One minute it's hilarious for how true it is, the next it's shame for how true it is.

20. By the time the Cline exit off of Calumet gets fixed, hell would have frozen over and it'll be the 12th of never.

21. Your heart breaks a little bit every time Munster Donut is closed because someone drove into it. Again.

This is why we can't have nice things.

22. No matter how much you look forward to leaving, it'll always be home to you as "Chicago's little sibling."

Cover Image Credit: AA Roads

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What Are Snow Days Anyways?

Especially in Maine, they don't exist.


I have grown up in New England my entire life, and anyone who knows New England weather knows that one day it will be 50 and sunny and the next we will have 3 feet of snow. There is not a happy medium, in between. But snow days have drastically changed over the years especially as I moved from Connecticut to Maine for school.

As a kiddo, I loved snow days, playing in the snow and then having a big ole cup of hot chocolate all cuddled up under the fuzziest of blankets. They were amazing. No worries, no school just a fun day at home.

But then, I got older.

And moved, to one of the snowiest places in the country.

The snow days became scarcer and scarcer. And we get a lot of snow up here in Maine. But there is no point in canceling school for 5 inches of snow when "everyone" knows how to deal with it up here. So classes are rarely canceled.

Sometimes, I really really miss the snow. And coming for me that's saying something because I really am not a fan of the snow, in any way shape or form. It may not be the snow itself that I miss but the break. Having a day off to regroup and reorganize and catch up or whatever is needed.

That's what I miss.

"Mental Health Days" are super super important. They help you keep your sanity. They keep you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. They prevent injuries and illness whether it be from a virus or just emotional stress and draining. Mental health days are good for so many more reasons too.

And plus sometimes, YOU JUST NEED A DAMN DAY!

But as I get further into my college career, while I missed the snow days and the mental health days more than ever, I also really didn't want to have a snow day. Weird right? At first, I was just thinking that I was going crazy. Because who wouldn't want a day off, especially a full-time student who is also working full time.


This is why I knew that if we had a snow day I would still have work to do. My professors would most likely just make me responsible for the material missed and let's be honest who actually sits down and thoroughly covers the material missed. And I can't ask questions from the comfort of my bed.

But in reality this last snow storm, I didn't want the snow day for completely selfish reasons. If we had a snow day on Wednesday, my exam would be moved to Friday. And then I would have two back to back exams in my hardest classes on a Friday morning. Yes, it would give me more time to study but like then I will over study for one and not study enough for the other.

So I'm being selfish!

And my friends think I am totally insane and ruining their chances of a day off. BUT I DON'T CARE.

It is okay to be a little selfish every now and again. Take the time for YOU! Do what is best for you and think whatever makes you happy. Stop worrying about everyone else, for every second of every day and


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