Sunday, November 30, 2008

Glasgow Thanksgiving 2008

Entry for 29 November 2008:

For several years, I missed Thanksgiving from travelling, twice to Belgium and once to Rome. For this reason, it was important not to miss out this year. We collected some fellow ex-patriot American friends from church, Melissa and her three daughters, plus Franny and Robert (a native of New Zealand and a Brit) and put on a regular American Thanksgiving feast, complete with turkey, green beans, green and fruit salads, bread, vegetarian entre’, as well as special dishes: cranberry-orange relish (ours) and southern sweet potato mash in hollowed out oranges topped with melted marshmallows (Melissa’s). And to top it off: pumpkin pie made from pumpkin we’d cooked ourselves (with a little help from a some canned pumpkin that my friend Jo had found for me at a store in Edinburgh). It was all great, but the pumpkin pie was a particular hit with the kids and adults alike.

Franny questioned us about Thanksgiving, as she tried to find the cultural equivalent in the UK, but the best she could come up with was Christmas dinner. Do we have any rituals associated with Thanksgiving, like the Queen’s Speech or Christmas crackers? Not really, unless you count watching (American) football (which none of us do). No, it’s really all about the food and the gathering of family. By the end, we were all quite full from eating so much, had had lovely conversation, and felt quite satisfied with our own slightly-delayed Scottish version of Thanksgiving.

Of course, Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks, although this too is not really part of any particular ritual. I like to think about things to be thankful for:

1. I was finally feeling well enough today to go out for a run. I took it easy, since it’s been 5 weeks since I ran last and I still have a bit of the cough left. Even though it was a cold morning, it felt great to get out on the road again. It’s great to be feeling better, too.

2. I’ve finally begun making progress on my adjudicated HSCED paper, which I’ve been sitting on for 5(!) years. It needs a lot of work to deal with the 10 pages of editorial feedback, but really needs to be done soon. So I’ve been working on it for 15 minutes each morning. It may take me months to finish the revisions at this rate, but if I had done this 5 years ago, the thing would have been finished at least 4 and a half years ago…

3. Lucia, our new diploma course director, has arrived in Glasgow full of enthusiasm, and I had a good visit with my colleague Lorna, so it’s clear that Help Is On The Way.

4. With my friend Antonio Pascual-Leone, an EFT researcher and ex-student of Les Greenberg’s, and one of Les’ current students, Susan Wnuk, we have put together a nice little panel for the SPR meeting next June in Santiago, Chile, on research advances in EFT.

5. Relatedly, data are really beginning emerge from our Social Anxiety study in the research clinic, and the outcome results in particular so far are looking very promising. It’s really good to see this moving forward, and we are following up various leads for funding the next stage of this research.

6. Our families are doing well, including our kids, who have managed to find themselves surrogate families to celebrate Thanksgiving with. I'm really looking forward to seeing them, along with our US friends and family in a few weeks.

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