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Thanks for ND

Kyle Witzigman | Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving wasn’t supposed to be that great. For the first time, I wasn’t with my family for the holiday.
I decided distance wasn’t going to stop some traditions. I made one of the few dishes I know: banana pudding. I had the ingredients and plenty of time. The lack of kitchen utensils didn’t deter me. With makeshift items, including my room key as a can opener, I succeeded.
I woke up the Malaysian international student down the hall for his first Thanksgiving. I was going to have him watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He answered the door with bed head and a groggy stare. I quickly described giant balloons and a bunch of (poorly) lip syncing singers. His stare turned into a glare. He said, “You Americans,” and went back to bed.
Later, I ventured to North for the holiday buffet. It was actually pretty good. Our lunch group was comprised of students from coast to coast. We discussed respective Thanksgiving traditions.
The Tuesday preceding Thanksgiving, my seminar professor invited the four students staying on campus during the holiday to her home.  On Thursday, her husband picked me and my banana pudding up.
The four of us listened to our Professor and her husband’s first date story.  A Minnesotan, Virginian, Illinoisan, Arkansan and two Mainers shared thanks, and discussed the upcoming USC game. We then watched “Love Actually” while eating pumpkin cookies, ice cream and banana pudding.
After returning to campus, some guys in Alumni invited me to their poker night. I lost.
Thanksgiving wasn’t supposed to be that great. Yet, I found myself surrounded by friendship and great conversation. Again, Notre Dame proved why it was the right choice.
What I thought was going to be a lackluster holiday ended up exceeding my expectations. No, I wasn’t in the presence of my uncles discussing football or my aunts coordinating Christmas plans, but I realized I’ve become a part of a larger family: The ND community.
And ultimately, that is something to be truly thankful for.
Kyle Witzigman  
Morrissey Manor
Nov. 23