Of course we all look forward to Thanksgiving Break here on the Hill. Though we love our campus and friends dearly, we also love a few days without class and a fantastic home-cooked meal. I chose to spend the break with my friend Barnabas in Boston. I saw it as a chance to meet some new people and explore a new city, but I didn’t think it would changed the way I viewed myself as a McDaniel Student or McDaniel as a whole.
We left at 7pm after classes on Tuesday and arrived at Barney’s house in Boston at 3am Wednesday morning. After sleeping for most of the morning on Wednesday, I awoke to meet both of Barney’s parents and enjoy a delicious breakfast that made Glar pale in comparison. However, there was a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I felt like a Cowboys fan in the middle of a pack of Redskins’ fans at the game on Thursday (Go Skins!), and I realized it was because I was not with my family on this holiday for the first time in nineteen years.
Living only an hour away from my home at school, I see my parents plenty. Still, there is something very nerve racking about breaking a tradition you had not realized the importance of; then add the feeling of lost in a big city and you have an early nineties Christmas movie. (Home Alone 2, best Christmas movie ever right?)
Later in the day Barney and I went into the city to see the historic sites which put me in a better mood. My mom is a huge fan of American history as was my grandfather; so if there was any acceptable way to spend Thanksgiving away from my mom, it was to spend it looking at important pieces of history like the burial grounds of John Hancock, John Adams, and Paul Revere. Touring, what locals call, the “North End,” which to this day embodies the image of colonial Boston complete with crooked streets, alleyways that you have to turn sideways to walk through, and the Boston Harbor all these sites representing the precursors of the ensuing fight that would allow our nation its freedom.
All this time I had been wearing my McDaniel College hoodie to proudly represent where I come from just as Boston boasts a proud history of brave men. And it was just as we were outside of Paul Revere’s house on North Street that I was stopped by a guy shouting “Hey! Do you go to McDaniel College in Westminster?” Of course I said yes,and the guy proceeded to tell me that he was an alumnus of the school. He had attended McDaniel back in the eighties. He described in detail how Red Square used to be a parking lot, and what it was like to have Gill Gym only be composed of the single gym brick building we refer to as old Gill these days. He told me his time at McDaniel was the best of his life and that he wouldn’t trade it even for a free tour of Paul Revere’s house (okay so I made that up, but good lord the house looked so cool and tours were so expensive).
It was so cool to encounter randomly someone who had attended and graduated from McDaniel, a student body of about 1700 students, in such a large city with over 600,000 people. I didn’t feel so homesick after that because I realized that home is all around. At McDaniel, a huge part of your education is to make you a citizen of the world. I’ve never been out of the country, but I can definitely say that I feel as though I am quickly becoming a part of a great community of alumni and students in this country and that when I wear my McDaniel hoodie I am home as far as I’m concerned.