Every Thanksgiving, as we prepare elaborate meals and greet family members and friends from across the country and world, one question constantly arises: What are you thankful for on Thanksgiving? Although Thanksgiving is a pleasant reminder to give thanks, I believe that in order to show true gratitude, we need to be thankful throughout the entire year, not just on a day in November. As I thought about what I am thankful for, I took a moment to reflect on all the great things in my life that can be easily overlooked.
First off, I can absolutely say I am thankful to attend Sturgis Charter School. There is so much to appreciate at our school, from the tight-knit community that my peers and I have built in the past few years to all of Sturgis’ teachers who put in countless hours of work and preparation behind the scenes to help students grow into amazing young individuals. It is still crazy for me to think that my acceptance into Sturgis all depended on a lottery, and I can never show enough appreciation that my name was called that day.
I am also thankful to attend school in the historic town of Hyannis, where the philosophies of innovators like John F. Kennedy and William Sturgis are still reminiscent today.
Finally, I am thankful to be able to grow up in the United States. I am eager to vote in elections once I am old enough since the right to vote is something that many people in other countries do not have. I am also grateful that I can share my ideas and opinions through the Sturgis StormWatch. Many people are not able to let their voice be heard, so I proudly exercise my right to freedom of speech every time I write an article for the StormWatch.
Whether we realize it or not, we are surrounded by plenty of things to be thankful for. It’s important that we do not take these things for granted. By doing this, you will find that there is always something to be cheerful about.
Little Known Thanksgiving Facts
Food at the First Thanksgiving
Today, the typical Thanksgiving feasts consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and much more. The food featured at the first Thanksgiving, though, was rather different. The colonists and Wampanoag most likely enjoyed shellfish, deer, squash, lobster, clams and cornbread.
For many families, watching football is a key part of their Thanksgiving celebration. Upon the foundation of the NFL in 1920, annual Thanksgivings games have been held each year. Today, three Thanksgiving games are held annually. Two of these games always include the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions.
Thanksgiving always occurs on the fourth Thursday of November. This is because President Abraham Lincoln chose this date in 1863. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving back one week. FDR did so in hopes of boosting sales during shopping season in the Great Depression. In 1941, the date was changed back.
First Thanksgiving Duration
Some Native American tribes traveled days to participate in Thanksgiving. Because the distance was so great, the Native Americans wouldn't stay for just one day. Instead, the Thanksgiving festivities lasted three days.
What I'm Thankful For
Many people underestimate the small things in life. Many times we do not recognize what makes our lives special, meaningful, and worth living. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to take the time to sit down and think about how lucky they are and to enjoy the small things in life. I tried this cathartic exercise out myself, and it helped me realize all the things I have to be grateful for.
I am thankful for having such a good education at Sturgis. I am also thankful for having a house and bed to sleep in. I am thankful for being able to express myself how I want. I am thankful for my family and my friends. I am thankful for the delicious food I eat everyday. I am thankful for access to the internet which allows me to connect with the world. These things make up the person I am today.
New Teacher Spotlight: Dawn Spunzo
Recently I caught with Sturgis East’s new Wellness teacher, Dawn Spunzo, to ask her a few questions as she adjusts to her new job. I was pleased to learn how wonderful, genuine, insightful, and relatable she is!
1. What are some of your hopes and goals for your new students here at Sturgis?
“I hope that they will use wellness as a chance to take a break from their studies and stress and to learn calming techniques to use whenever they need.”
2. Is this your first time teaching? Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
“This is my first time solely teaching high school students, though I have been working with people of all ages, kids and adults, since 2013. I became a yoga teacher, and Diane Kovanda was my teacher in 2012 and 2013. I have been teaching ever since. I also used to teach kids baking and cooking. Before I became a yoga teacher, I owned a bakery in Cataumet.”
3. What are the main concepts, practices, or ideas that you want your students to learn and focus on in Wellness class?
“Awareness, cause and effect, meditation, and movement are most important to me.”
4. Before you arrived at Sturgis, students wrote notes for you about what they enjoy most about Wellness and what they want to continue. What was your reaction to reading their notes?
“I loved it, they were so helpful. I was thrilled to know that I was already on the same wavelength as the students. Everything they wrote was validating my plans for the class and thought process behind how to teach Wellness here at Sturgis. I love all feedback, good and bad.”
5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
“I love walking in the woods with my dog. I also love baking, spending time with my kids, watching sci-fi movies, and of course, yoga.”
6. Where did you grow up? When did you realize you wanted to become a Wellness teacher?
“I grew up in Rehoboth, Mass. While attending school, I was unsure of what I would grow up to do. Later on I worked for a woman who inspired me to learn yoga and meditation. My mother has always been an inspiration for me to eat healthy and exercise.”
7. What do you see as the greatest threat against the health of high school students?
“Cell phone use and social media.”
8. As a followup to that question, do you have any advice about high schoolers’ overall wellness you would like to share?
“Take breaks from screens. Get outside, distinguish between what’s real and what's made up, whether it be your mind or other people.”
I would like to thank Mrs. Spunzo for her time and wish her the best of luck as she begins her journey at Sturgis! I look forward to being her student this year!
James Prygocki "Smashes" the Competition in Gaming Club Tournament!
The video game club, meeting every Thursday in room 212, recently had a club tournament. Featuring the game Super Smash Bros. Wii U, the tournament proceeded over the course of a few weeks, and was a series of one-on-one battles between club members in this popular fighting game.
In Super Smash Bros. Wii U, players are pitted against each other in a flat arena, where falling or getting knocked off three times means elimination. The characters used to fight come from a range of different classic video games, from The Legend Of Zelda to Pokèmon. Each character has their own unique skillset, and while most are easy to learn, they all require a lot of skill and effort to master. For example, Samus, as a primarily ranged character, with missiles and energy blasts and a couple short melee attacks, tends to poke at the enemy over a period of time from far away, while Ike is a more physical character, using his sword at close range to deal tons of damage to the enemy at once with huge combo attacks. At the beginning of the tournament, each challenger chose a specific character to play and played as them throughout the tournament. This way, one can be sure everyone showed up with their most skilled and comfortable characters in mind.
The results of this tournament are as follows:
- First Place: James Prygocki, using the character Samus
- Second Place: Michael Bilodeau, using the character Ike
- Third Place: Lyle Edwards, using the character Marth
- Fourth Place: Elias Higgins, using the character Wario