What Korean Middle Schoolers Are Thankful For


Nate carving the turkey during our first Thanksgiving away from home

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday – the food, the football, the family time, the mellow-ness, the drinks and again, the food. I have a fairly large family and our Thanksgivings can be described in 3 words: loud, delicious and ridiculous. In a good way, of course – there’s an obscene amount of yelling (my sisters and I are just very vocal), far too many drinking games, exactly 3 screaming children and also a handful of screaming adults..from, well, the drinking games.

This will be the second time of my life missing this amazing holiday (I even came back from traveling around Southeast Asia last year specifically to spend the holidays at home!) so in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to teach my little kiddies about this glorious day. The lollipops and rainbows version, anyway. I felt guilty not giving the “full story” about, ya know, kicking the Natives out of their land and slaughtering them after they so generously taught us how to harvest, but that’s not exactly what we’re celebrating – so my kids got the same edited and filtered version that I got in elementary school (they even refer to the Natives as “Indians” and I had to explain that they are not actually from India.)

So in between discussing a brief history, showing them pictures of traditional Thanksgiving food, talking about the Macy’s parade and football (and how the Niners are the best team!), and [in one class,] Skyping my family back home during Thanksgiving dinner, I explained what “being thankful” meant and asked them to name 4 things that they are thankful for.

(A few from my last class today)

I learned a bit more about my kids and can conclude after reading hundreds of lists that they are most thankful for:

  1. Chicken, hands down (in one class, more specifically, “chicken tortilla” – whatever that is exactly)
  2. League of Legends
  3. Pencils and/or pens

I’m not sure what the obsession is with writing utensils, but I understand #2 and would probably agree with #1, although I most likely wouldn’t put “chicken” on my top 4 things I’m thankful for in this world. A close 4th was family, friends, computers, cell phones and teachers, with honorable mentions going to “not being handicapped” and “being alive”.

I’m thankful that I can teach these awesome (although, a little weird) kids everyday, for my loving family and amazing friends, for Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and any other form of technology that has enabled me (and my kids today!) to keep in touch with people back home, for my wonderful boyfriend and travel buddy, and for all the friends I’ve made from around the world who are coming to celebrate with us tonight!

(Thanksgiving via FaceTime with my awesome family!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone 🙂


  1. I gave my smart class the real story of Thanksgiving, it was pretty depressing… they just stopped talking and stared at me. But of course, once we got to the food, they forgot about the terrible back story and were interested. Just like all of the USA? Haha.


  2. That’s such a great lesson to give. 😀 And, omg, laughed so hard at Sally’s comment!


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