This week we pause to take a breath during a busy fall semester, but more importantly we take a moment to contemplate gratitude. As we gather around tables with friends and family, we are given the opportunity to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.
Over the past week at Emma Willard School, the theme of gratitude has permeated our thoughts and spaces. Ninth grade boarding students spent time reflecting on practices that are nourishing. Resident faculty Jennifer Ulicnik shares, “While we immediately think of the ways that we nourish ourselves with food, we asked the girls to think about other ways that we nourish ourselves.” Students spent time at three stations, one of which included making a gratitude wreath covered with notes to others on their hall.
Residence halls filled with displays of thankfulness like the gratitude tree in Sage 2 Long. The students on Kellas 3T made a poster to express their gratitude to members of the faculty and staff, which is now hanging in the Student Life office for all to read. School Council encouraged the community to contribute to their “gratitude turkey” displayed in 2eCafe. Each feather of the turkey is filled with messages of thankfulness.
The white boards along the walls in the 2eCafe were filled with compliments and thanks to advisors, classmates, and house parents before the campus emptied for break. Admissions gathered their team of campus tour guides and treated them to a pizza party to thank them for leading 75+ tours since the beginning of October.
On Friday, the community took a moment before parting ways for a well-deserved break to enjoy a special Thanksgiving meal together. Advisee groups gathered around each table, along with faculty and staff members. Each participant had the opportunity to write notes of gratitude to another member of the Emma Willard Community, which would later be placed in their mail boxes. Students put off heading to the line to fill their plates, instead opting to fill out more gratitude cards!
As school days rush by, it can be easy to lose perspective on the things that really matter in life. This Thanksgiving holiday creates space in our lives to slow our pace, appreciate our families, enjoy conversations with loved ones, and share words of gratitude that often go unsaid. We hope that your holiday week is filled with uplifting messages and thankful hearts. May we carry that spirit of gratitude with us through the holiday season and into every day of the new year!