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Maroons Give Thanks

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by Kristi Rolf

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! To mark the holiday this year, I anonymously polled Maroons to see what is on their minds during the 2022 season of gratitude. Looking for a dash of humor, I first asked, “RC students, what are you thankful for (wrong answers only)?”. The responses were Roanoke at its most sarcastic. 

I sent out this poll on a sunny day in early November when leaves were heavy underfoot. These conditions gave our wonderful groundskeepers their moment to shine very noisily. One student says they are grateful for “the wonderful music of the leaf blowers.” A sniffly Maroon noted “the way the landscaper spread pollen in the air.” The last of the leaf-blower haters observed “they even make sure to do it first thing in the morning to wake me up! I don’t even have to set an alarm!! So thoughtful.” 

Despite the mild hassle it causes, let’s take a moment to genuinely appreciate the efficiency of the RC groundskeepers when they handle the bazillion leaves descending onto our sidewalks every fall. 

Turning attention to dining services, this student couldn’t help but feel gratitude for “fish served twice today in commons.” Checking the menu, I saw it was true: we were blessed to have salmon for lunch and tilapia for dinner. I personally love the salmon, but I know seafood is a controversial topic. 

My favorite tongue-in-cheek response is this person who is thankful for “how nice and warm it is in the library. So cozy it’s like I’m sitting directly in the middle of a campfire.” In Fintel’s current temperatures, I think students would be most comfortable studying in swimsuits. If only we could get a tan while we do homework…

While I love the humor I got from the first poll, I wanted to get serious answers as well. So I followed it up by asking “RC students, what are you ACTUALLY thankful for?”

Responses were flooded with love for Roanoke staff. People specifically mentioned “the people at Rooney’s” and “understanding professors.” One respondent summed up our communal gratitude, noting “all the staff here (…) are all incredible wonderful kind people and I appreciate them so much, and also the friends that I’ve made here.” 

Excuse me while I wipe a delicate tear off my cheek.

Let’s close this collection of things Roanoke students are grateful for by recognizing something we can all appreciate. That is, “a beautiful campus :).”

Happy Thanksgiving, Maroons!