Turkey, pumpkin pie, and mashed and couch potatoes occupy the minds of the entire student body with the looming fall break. What students might not realize is the ISU faculty and staff are anticipating the break just as much as the students are.
Suzanne Hendrich, president of the Faculty Senate and university professor of food science and human nutrition, is looking forward to well-deserved family time.
“I’m going to visit relatives in the Georgia area," Hendrich said. "I will [get a break], but not everyone else does. I don’t really check my email when I go on vacation.”
Hendrich will be spending the majority of her break with family. They enjoy preparing the Thanksgiving meal together. Everyone in her family has their own specialty to contribute. Hendrich said she has mastered garlic mashed potatoes.
In addition the skills in cooking, Hendrich’s family is filled with movie buffs. She said she and her family plan to see the new "Lincoln" movie.
“Spielberg directed it, so I know it’s going to be great,” Hendrich said.
Thanksgiving Day will be filled with Macy’s Day Parade, food, family and, of course, football.
“We love football,” Hendrich said. “We always watch whatever NFL games are on.”
As for the next day, the infamous Black Friday, Hendrich’s reaction to the mention of the hectic day was a loud: “No! We avoid that religiously.”
She and her family will instead be enjoying “next-day-turkey sandwiches”.
“It’s turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and Thousand Island dressing all in a sandwich: It’s really awesome,” Hendrich said.
On the other hand, some professors will have a much different fall break schedule. Ann Smiley-Oyen, associate professor of kinesiology, will be shifting focus from teaching to the many other tasks on her plate.
“Most [of us] don’t take a break for the week,”Smiley- Oyen said. “I have a research proposal due soon, grading to do, preparation for teaching to do, committee work to work on, research data to process. I have much, much more than I could do in even three days.”
Although her week will be filled with many different activities, Smiley-Oyen said she will take a break Thursday and Friday. She and her family often have international students who don’t have the opportunity to go home during fall break, but this year, she, her husband and two children will return to her parent’s farm in Illinois.
“My parents are moving off the farm, so this is the last Thanksgiving there," Smiley-Oyen said. "It’s very bittersweet.”
She said her’s family enjoys the traditional festivities of Thanksgiving. This includes football and food, including made-from-scratch cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie made by Smiley-Oyen’s husband.
“The pie is very special,” she said. “He’s very Norwegian, so there’s always a lot of cardamom. We also enjoy lefse and the [Norwegian] cookie pepperkaker.”
The day after the Norwegian-filled meal, the Oyens, as part of tradition, go and chop down their Christmas tree. They also avoid “Black Friday” like the plague.
“I hate shopping,” Oyen said. “Only if you want to drive me crazy would I go near a store on Black Friday.”