Staff ed: What we’re thankful for

Under the stress of midterms, it’s easy for students to forget how many things there are to be thankful for at Washington University—and the Student Life editorial board is no exception. We know we tend to criticize a lot, but hey! We’re not completely ungrateful. As a nice reminder to us all, here are some of our favorite things on campus.

As a sleep-deprived student who spends a disproportionate amount of time in the Danforth University Center, I am grateful for Cafe Bergson. Over the past three years, I’ve developed a nice rapport with the workers. Plus, they never seem to judge me for ordering a blueberry muffin and an iced coffee for an 11 a.m. breakfast, only to return two hours later for a chocolate chip cookie. Dining Services at Wash. U. is generally amazing, but Cafe B holds a special place in my heart, especially since Whispers has been under renovation for the past year and a half.
—Ella Chochrek, Editor-in-Chief

This semester especially (but also, always), I’m thankful for the trees on campus. They give us oxygen, they’re beautiful to look at, they’re nice shady spots to study under when the weather’s nice, they provide an ecosystem and food source for the abundance of squirrels that have the run of the place—and they ask for nothing in return. With my spotty knowledge of tree identification, I’m elated when I recognize the ginkgos arching over Olin Library, the oaks supporting slackliners by Mudd Field and the tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipfera, my favorite) lining Forsyth Boulevard. Even (especially) when I’ve just had a minor breakdown in the middle of the DUC, spotting a familiar leaf on the ground is immensely comforting. These trees are like old friends, and they never let me down.
—Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor

This year, I’m thankful for the libraries on campus. Whenever I huff and puff my way onto Danforth Campus in the mornings, I often find myself steering toward Olin Library to sit down and recombobulate myself for a few minutes before class. While Olin Library is nice and all, my true sanctuary is the Ronald Rettner Earth and Planetary Sciences Library in Rudolph Hall. When I wake up in the morning, I strategically try to plan my day so that I have time to make the trek to sit and do work in it for a little after class. Seriously—I fantasize about this library’s wide cubicles, warm lighting and gentle hum of its poster printer. I don’t know if it’s the elusiveness of its hours or its distant location, but something about the EpSci Library holds a special place in my heart.
—Aidan Strassmann, Senior Forum Editor

I am thankful for teaching assistants. For every computer science class I’ve completed at Wash. U., there are four or five TAs who have donated a significant amount of their time to helping me cross the finish line. From labs to exams, the concepts have seldom come easily, but I can always count on someone to spend extra time explaining things to me once, twice or even three times over.
—Aaron Brezel, Managing Editor

I am thankful for the person who decided to make iced tea refills on campus free (you didn’t know they were, did you?). Like most people (in my family, at least), I need a steady stream of caffeine throughout the day in order to remain a functioning, relatively-pleasant-enough-to-interact-with person. But at a certain point in my day, I need to start limiting the coffee so that I don’t feel like complete and utter trash. And I have a budget to keep an eye on. Thankfully, the University somehow understands this one need of mine and facilitates my transition to tea—one free refill at a time. Just be careful not to save the cup for too long, I hear old plastic can be bad for you.
—Noa Yadidi, Managing Editor

More than anything, I am thankful for the people of Wash. U. Whether it be waving as a friend walks by on Mudd Field or just joining a random table during Tuesday Tea, the people make Wash. U. my favorite place in the world and make leaving so soon so hard.
—Wesley Jenkins, Director of Special Projects

Especially these days, I am thankful for the engineering buildings on the East End of campus. To be clear: I have never been in Green Hall, or any interconnected building for any class, nor do I intend on ever taking an engineering class at Wash. U. But it is really cold out now, and those buildings are a true lifesaver when I am walking to campus from my apartment in the morning. Every morning, after spending approximately 45 minutes waiting to cross the street at the corner of Forest Park Parkway and Skinker Boulevard, there is no better feeling than opening the doors to Green Hall and getting to walk those sweet, sweet heated hallways and cut the amount of time I have to spend out in the cold down. Plus there’s a cool statue of something I think might be a DNA double helix? Thank you so much, engineering buildings.
—Jon Lewis, Senior Sports Editor

As we all loosen our belts in preparation for the annual Thanksgiving feast, I would like to express my gratitude for the Wash. U. dining experience. I appreciate that Wash. U. understands that college students are basically nocturnal creatures and keeps the dining halls open accordingly; that the dining staff are always generous with their smiles and with their portion sizes; and that everyone is always willing to share their fries. To all this holiday season, may your half-and-half be crisp and your favorite table be free.
—Jeremy Goldstein, Copy Chief

I’m thankful for the reason we’re writing this editorial—Thanksgiving, the related break and all other Wash. U. breaks. Let’s face it, school can get rough at times in the waves of exams, projects and problem sets, not to mention the whistling winds urging you to secure an internship for summer and spend 10 hours a week in your favorite extracurricular activity. We all need a respite from the rat race, and Thanksgiving is the perfect one. It’s right before finals, gives you that extra boost into December and is the world’s best food holiday. Thanks, Thanksgiving—I’m counting down the days to you.
—Rohan Gupta, Senior Sports Editor

This holiday season, I’m infinitely grateful for the Beary Sweet Shoppe. Whether I’m picking up chocolate-covered pretzels for a movie night, nonpareils for a study snack or toffee just for no reason at all, Beary Sweet somehow has everything I’ve ever wanted and needed for the past two years. Is it bad that I’m contemplating becoming a resident adviser just so I can live on the South 40—and thereby right next to Beary Sweet—until I graduate?
—Ali Gold, Senior Cadenza Editor

While I am definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving break, I, like many other Wash. U. students, dread the two weeks that will follow once everyone’s back on campus. So this year, I am thankful for understanding professors. In past semesters, these last few classes have been crammed with exams, papers and presentations, and I appreciate those professors that have either deliberately planned the syllabus to avoid this chaos, or who are willing to meet with students to talk about changing a deadline. Thanks for making our lives a little bit easier before finals.
—Elizabeth Grossman, Copy Chief

  • Kimberly Kay

    Hanusia, You must come on the next Arbor Tour. We have one every semester! Kim Shilling