Aggie editors reflect on what they’re thankful for
Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful to the people who have taught and supported me—and I am not exclusively referring to instructors. I am immensely thankful for the professors and teachers I have had over my years of education, but there are so many other people who have left me with nuggets of wisdom. My mom (a wonderful preschool teacher herself!) and my dad (who is always available to FaceTime and share his knowledge on countless topics) have always supported my endeavors and taught me by example. I know the value of staying informed—listening to NPR is a daily necessity—and I strive to be a compassionate person. My older sister lives across the country now but continues to provide me fashion advice, cover letter editing services and a listening ear. Being part of this incredible Editorial Board is an honor, and my fellow editors, who I am lucky enough to call friends, consistently provide new insights and perspectives that spark thought-provoking conversations (and often a healthy amount of anger or laughter). I am beyond grateful to all the staffers at The Aggie for their hard work, adapting to the unprecedented circumstances and producing work that serves to inform our community. It’s not easy to be a student right now and it’s not easy to be a student journalist, but we are doing valuable work and I am proud of all we’ve done over the past quarter. And to my friends from home: thanks for finding the meaning in my drawn out anecdotes, for your words of wisdom, for the masked and socially distanced walks over the summer and for your patience when I forget to hit send on my texts.
Margo Rosenbaum, Managing Editor
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being healthy and able to keep doing what I love: exploring nature. I attribute my love of the outdoors to my childhood spent hiking and camping with my family and dogs. After every hike, horseback ride, camping trip, dog walk, bike ride or road trip, I find a new appreciation for the natural world around me. Escaping to the outdoors has always been a way for me to find peace. Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve felt deeply connected to animals and dedicated to protecting their homes. I thank my family for teaching me to appreciate nature and my boyfriend, Ben, and best friend, Kylie, for continuing to explore it with me. I’m thankful for writing as a way to reach others and express my thoughts about science and nature. Now more than ever, I understand that we need to protect our natural lands before it’s too late. A great start is recognizing how much we can learn about respecting and preserving nature from Indigenous people. It’s time to honor the knowledge and history of Indigenous peoples if individuals like me want to keep exploring the natural wonders this country has to offer. I thank any like-minded environmental steward who believes in science and recognizes the impending doom of our planet. It’s up to us to ensure future generations have the opportunity to spend time outdoors just like we can today.
Sabrina Habchi, Campus News Editor
When asked about the place I am most thankful for, I can answer without hesitation: Davis, California. I’m absolutely convinced there’s some kind of magic in the universe or something in the distasteful water of this sweet little cowtown that attracts the most kindhearted, compassionate, intelligent, fun-loving people who can make me laugh until I cry with just one well-placed joke (honestly, one poorly placed vowel). It gave me my beautiful best friend, Katie, who is the person I would call at 4 a.m. in an emergency, the one I most want to talk to after a bad day and who I think of when I think of home—which is why it is incredibly fortunate that we grew up just 15 minutes apart in the same city. As if Katie herself is not enough, she has also brought people into my life that I am so blessed to know (Mary, if you’re reading this, I am your #1 fan). I would be utterly lost without you Doyle, and I cannot wait to see you so soon. Not only was I lucky enough to meet Katie here, but I have also met my other future bridesmaids, my wonderful colleagues on the Editorial Board who I am fortunate enough to call friends and my phenomenal professors who have shown tremendous kindness while constantly pushing me toward my best. Davis, thank you for the legendary Farmers Market, for coffees from Mishka’s, for Arboretum runs and below-freezing nights and beautifully colored trees—for giving me the people who make 10 hours feel like 10 minutes. I am eternally grateful.
Eden Winniford, City News Editor
I’m thankful for the people in my life who I can always count on to cheer me up. Even when I get overwhelmed with schoolwork or it feels like the world is ending, calling my family always helps me to destress and puts a smile on my face. I can’t wait to see and hug them all again once it’s safe. Watching dumb reality TV with my housemates and decorating for Christmas together gives me the sense of community I need, especially since I can’t see my family much this holiday season. Last weekend, we even dressed head-to-toe in flannel and took awkward “family” pictures together to print out and send to our real families. Meetings with the other editors are always a highlight of my day as we almost cry with laughter and keep a running list of inside jokes. And finally, I’m thankful for my boyfriend for always making me smile—whether it’s by cooking me chicken parmesan, playing co-op video games together like it’s a part-time job or staying up all night and getting donuts at 5 a.m. I appreciate them all so much, and I’m thankful everyday that I’m lucky enough to know and love them.
Calvin Coffee, Opinion Editor
What am I thankful for in 2020? I’m thankful that Donald Trump will be a one-term president and that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris beat him with the most progressive presidential platform in history. Knowing that our country will be run by adults again is something I very much look forward to. As always, the support of my friends and family has been unrivaled throughout a particularly challenging year––I am thankful for them always. I’m especially thankful for everyone who has worked to fight COVID-19 and the many who protected us from wildfires this year. Also, and I find myself very grateful for those who have continued to entertain me throughout this isolated year, so thank you to all of the writers, podcasters, musicians, content creators, athletes and many others who have stopped me from going insane while we fight this pandemic. But more than anything I’m thankful to everyone who continues to follow all of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols––let’s keep it up.
Sophie Dewees, Features Editor
When I think of home, I think of playing guitar with my dad. Music has always been a significant part of my life, whether I was listening to Simon & Garfunkel or Steely Dan on road trips with my family, attending choir rehearsals starting in fourth grade or overhearing my dad play “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac on guitar. I first picked up a guitar about five years ago and spent at least half an hour alternating between strumming two basic chords. Since then, my dad has taught me countless songs, fingerpicking and more. Though Thanksgiving will look different for many this year and everything feels uncertain, it can be helpful to remember the little moments and people that remind you of home. For me, I’ll be forever grateful for my parents for fostering my love of music and my dad for always being available for an impromptu jam session.
Allie Bailey, Arts & Culture Editor
When the pandemic hit, I was expecting to have a terrible year. A few months in, though, I was proven wrong—2020 has given me more to be grateful for than any year of my life. In March, I found my person. I connected with someone in a way I didn’t think 2020 could possibly allow me to; if anything, quarantining expedited the process, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had this time. She is my Marvel movie marathon buddy, New York Times Mini Crossword competitor, co-chef, support system and a never-ending source of laughter. In August, I moved into a big house with lots of character and the best roommates. Living in a bubble with the six of them has been loud and messy, but so much fun. Card games and a good movie is now my idea of a party, and they have become family. In October, a month after starting my role as Arts Editor, I established real relationships with my fellow editorial board members. The thought of meeting four times a week was burdensome when I began; now, I wish I could see them daily. This group of people has been a source of light and inspiration on even the hardest days, sometimes in ways I can’t find anywhere else. I frequently laugh so hard I need to turn off my camera and their talents constantly push me as a writer and as an editor. I have found a new community at The Aggie, a privilege I am well aware of as most of us are stuck without our usual social connections. I feel extremely fortunate to have been surrounded by so many good people this year.
Omar Navarro, Sports Editor
This Thanksgiving, there’s nothing I’m more thankful for than still being here. In a year that has been filled with so much uncertainty, I am thankful for the health and safety of the people that I love and care about. With so much happening on a global scale and in my own life, I feel like just sitting down and acknowledging who and what I’m thankful for has been a ridiculously hard process. I’m thankful for my mom, my sister and those close to me who continue to support me through everything. I myself understand that I am not an easy person to deal with, but them sticking with me and helping me in my process means more than they’ll ever know. I’m thankful for everyone I have gotten to talk to in the Editorial Board, as they have become a big part of my college experience. It’s easy to go through the motions and take it for granted, but I feel like this year has been the most obvious to realize how even the smallest things can be taken away. Something like sports just disappearing for four months had a big impact in my life, as it was basically all I did or watched. I know that sounds weird, but I didn’t realize how important it was in my life, because I just thought it was always going to be there. I’m thankful that they are back, and that for those few hours I can get my mind off things, watch my favorite athletes play and interact with others online, talking about the things I love. This has been the toughest year for many worldwide, including myself. There’s so much more I can list, but I will make sure to acknowledge them and never take them for granted again.
Madeleine Payne, Science Editor
In my family, there’s nothing we love more than good food. My grandma—the “cooking queen”—is always eager to help with any tricky recipes or offer any kitchen advice. At her house, where my extended family normally congregates for the holidays, her Tivo recordings are almost all cooking shows, from Alton Brown to Jacques Pépin, and she has one full bookcase dedicated to her cookbook collection, which includes an old binder with newspaper recipes she used while raising her three daughters in the 1970’s. She is best known in our family for her celebratory meals, like her famous cioppino for Christmas dinner and bûche de noël for dessert, but for me, her most memorable meals are often unexpected; during a particularly rough week for my family last winter, she kept us all fed with a constant supply of lentil soup and my favorite, scalloped potatoes. Though the pandemic is keeping much of our family at a distance this year, I am especially grateful for how my grandma created those memories centered around food and family, and I’m looking forward to the day we can all come together again over a home-cooked holiday meal.
Written by: The Editorial Board