American holidays spent outside of America

While Marist Students migrate home for the holidays according to schedule, their abroad friends live off of a completely different calendar. Abroad students may be immersed in the greatest experience of their lives, but that comes with immersion into foreign culture and tradition.

The exclusively American tradition of Thanksgiving revolves around family coming together, and, above all, the over-consumption of magnificent home cooking. While abroad students may not have access to these Thanksgiving staples, they still celebrate in their own way. So far away from home, students manage to capture the spirit of a day specific to homeyness, home cooking and their home country.

Nadine Choucri celebrates Thanksgiving at the American style restaurant in London. (Photo by Katie Wilhelm)

Nadine Choucri celebrates Thanksgiving at the American style restaurant in London. (Photo by Katie Wilhelm)

Nadine Choucri and Katie Wilhelm spent Thanksgiving last year combing the streets of London for American food. They finally found a little restaurant in South Kensington that was advertised as American style. “I think I got turkey with cranberry sauce and a side of beans,” remembers Nadine. “Some restaurants in London actually have Thanksgiving menus,” says Melissa Kleimen who is studying there this semester.

Fortunately for Kleimen, she will not have to hunt down American food, since her family will be visiting for the holidays. “They’re getting a flat,” she explains excitedly, “so we’ll have a kitchen to cook Thanksgiving-like food.” Melissa Mandia, Kleimen’s friend who is studying in Florence, will meet up with the Kleimens for the holidays. “Thanksgiving to me is more about family,” Mandia explains, “I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces,” she adds.

A lot of programs serve a big meal for American students on Thanksgiving. When Brianne Kaine went abroad to Sevilla, Spain, her program rented out a restaurant and served a big Thanksgiving dinner for all of the American students. “We said prayers in Spanish and English of what we were thankful for,” Brianne remembers, adding, “of course, it wasn’t a full spread of food that my mom makes.

Last fall in Bolivia, Hazel Edwards enjoyed a potluck dinner with her abroad program.

Last fall in Bolivia, Hazel Edwards enjoyed a potluck dinner with her abroad program.

Hazel Edwards, who spent last fall in Bolivia and Peru, had a potluck with the rest of her program. “It definitely wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” she says, “but it was delicious and different from the diets we were eating in our homestays.”

While most programs acknowledge the American holiday, international schools do not give time off for the event. Even on the Florence campus, Melissa Mandia has class the morning of Thanksgiving. In London, Melissa Kleimen has to go to her internship before dinner with her family.

Such different traditions make the distance from home even more apparent over the holidays. “It was a weird experience because I was in a country where Americans were celebrating being thankful for originally escaping that country,” points out Andrew Brown of his Thanksgiving in London last year.

Regardless of the location, holidays are a time for family and memories. They often bring about the worst bouts of homesickness in the final stretch of the semester. “I felt extremely homesick when I was Skyping with my family,” admits Nadine Choucri.

For others, the authenticity of abroad overshadows the holidays that will dependably come again next year. “I’m only abroad once,” reflects Melissa Mandia, “and missing one Thanksgiving is worth all the experiences and memories I’m making here.”

Students enjoy piano below the music building

The basement of the music building is a quiet escape from the chatter and business of the student center’s main floors. Four doors line the hallway, leading to practice rooms and pianos. The only disturbances stream from the cracks of these doors, where students go to practice music. Continue reading

Students evacuate Sheahan Hall due to Carbon monoxide scare

Wednesday night, around 9 pm, a Carbon monoxide detector went off in Sheahan Hall, sending students and employees out of the building and into the rainy night. Faculty directed residents to the student center, while officials investigated the alarm.

True to protocol, a firetruck, ambulance and multiple security cars lined up along the walkway between Sheahan and Leo Hall. Their lights and sirens lit up the sky and could be seen from across campus. A crowd of Marist security, firefighters and housing staff gathered outside of their vehicles. Continue reading

The Red Fox Report travels “Back to the Future” of Marist

Fans of the “Back to the Future” movie referred to this past Tuesday, October 21, as “Back to the Future Day.” This was the exact day, in 2015, that the characters visited from the movie’s present day of 1985. 30 years ago, the film’s creators envisioned a 2015 with hoverboards, flying cars, Pepsi Perfect and the Cubs winning the World Series. Fans now see that certain parts of these predictions are more accurate than others.

To much disappointment, hoverboards are not a 2015 commodity, however some of the technology in the movie, such as tablets, video calls and fingerprint recognition, can be found in modern day. Society has come a long way in 30 years. The real 2015 finds itself somewhere between the fantasies of the science fiction movie, and the simpler times of 1985. To celebrate the collision of present and future, Pepsi released a limited edition line of Pepsi Perfect collectible bottles, fans dressed up like Marty McFly and the Red Fox Report took a look at how far Marist has come since 1985. Continue reading

Sodexo renovations are still not enough.

This school year, every single eatery on campus advertises big changes with big signs and claims. Sodexo and its different offerings have long been scrutinized by customers, but they seem to have reevaluated over the summer. While some changes improve efficiency in the food service, others are unwelcome and undetected by Marist customers.

For Sodexo management, these changes are a sign of a successful company.  “Especially with big companies like Sodexo, there is always something coming down the line,” says Michael Deluca, manager of the dining hall and food service. He explains Sodexo’s interest in “a new way of doing things, new menu items, new equipment.”

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This week in news: 9/27 – 10/4

This past week has been a relatively normal one on Marist campus. Classes picked up and workloads increased, just as everyone began to find their routine. More and more desks filled up at the library, while the walk there became increasingly more grueling.This week’s weather gave us a small glimpse into the intensity of happenings in the rest of the world. The Red Fox Report focuses that lens on the top news Outside the Marist Bubble this week. Continue reading

Fall weather dampens moods due to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Every year in New England, September serves as a transitional month between the sweltering summer sun and the biting chill of fall. Around this time of year, the Earth’s rotation brings about changes in the moods of ten million Americans, along with changes in weather.  These “winter blues” can be attributed to Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression. Unlike depression, SAD’s symptoms depend on the time of year. “The colder and less sunny that it gets, the worse my symptoms get,” says Julia Roth, who suffers from the disorder. Continue reading