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Thankful for Thanksgivukah, among other things

November 28, 2013

HanukkahFor the only time in our lifetime, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same day, and I am thankful for that. Last year, I “lit” candles in my dorm room while sharing the moment with my family on FaceTime. It was a good compromise, but nothing can match being  with each other as we partake in a tradition our people has been doing for thousands of years. Many times, Hanukkah falls while I’m still away at school, so even though it’s rather early this year, that works out quite well for me because I can spend the holiday with my parents and my brother.

My family, who is always proud of me and encourages me to do whatever it is I want to do, is what I am thankful for this holiday season. As the years of college pass, I am beginning to realize that soon enough, I’ll be out in the working world, who knows where, and I won’t necessarily be able to spend every holiday with my family. So, I am thankful that we are able to spend most of Hanukkah together this year.

I am also thankful for my family away from my family, the friends at KU and elsewhere who put up with my rehashing of the volleyball team’s strengths and weaknesses and with my constant quest for story ideas.  The old friends with whom I Skype or get coffee and chat for hours on end. The new friends I learn from, in the classroom, newsroom and office. The close friends with whom I can talk about absolutely anything, who don’t take ‘nevermind’ for an answer. I am thankful for all of our chats, whether they’re on the floor, through a mirror, at E’s, at the library, at a restaurant, on FaceTime, in the office, in a car or in Allen Fieldhouse.

This semester I have had so many opportunities to learn about what I want from journalism and to allow my journalism to do good for the world. I’m thankful for my positions at USA TODAY College, The Breakdown, Good Morning KU and KUJH News. I look forward to producing more next semester, and I look forward to continuing in my position at the Dole Institute of Politics. This semester has been a challenge in some respects, but I have learned from each experience. Those challenges have lit a fire under me that make me want to strive to do great things in my last three semesters at the University of Kansas.

And it’s possible I would not have quite gotten through this semester the same way if it had not been for Jayhawk volleyball. I know my love for it is a little incomprehensible, but going to those matches always brings a smile to my face.

In looking back on the year, I must mention that I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take my birthright trip to Israel last January. It brings a new meaning to my Jewish identity, as well as to celebrating Hanukkah this week. I will forever remember the feeling in my heart when I set eyes on Jerusalem.

And in looking ahead, I am thankful for the support system I have of family, friends, coworkers, and past and current teachers and professors. Post-college life gets closer by the day, and it’s a scary world out there. Knowing I have support in whatever I end up doing is an immeasurable feeling.

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