Despite what the University calendar says, Thanksgiving break did not begin yesterday. But that didn't stop hundreds of students from making the traditional early mass exodus home to celebrate the holiday. Across campus and the city, students congested at 30th Street Station and Philadelphia Airport, anticipating a Thanksgiving dinner filled with hot turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. At 30th Street Station yesterday, University students boarding trains for home said they were looking forward to at least four days with family, friends, and "real" food. One group of students waiting for a Connecticut-bound train debated whether the Thanksgiving break would be long enough for everything they had planned. "They ought to lose fall break and make this a nine-day weekend -- a whole week off," said College sophomore Will Malz. Still, many said they would be back in time for Monday's classes, despite the fact they had already decided to miss English, Philosophy, Oriental Studies and various other lectures today. "I can't skip -- I have classes on Monday and a lab I have to go to," College sophomore Mark Swanson said. Others stood outside the Quadrangle, a line of yellow and red taxis and shuttle buses lined up to ferry students to both the train station and the airport. College freshman Rob Sena waited at the front gate of the Quadrangle yesterday, ignoring cabs as he guarded several large duffel bags he planned to transport home with another student who lived close to his home. "I'm taking some summer stuff home, bringing some winter stuff back, getting some stuff cleaned, and pretending I'm doing some work by taking some books," Sena explained. Associate Professor of Anthropology Robert Harding said the students' desire to leave campus early hits home for him. Harding said he canceled his Evolution of Behavior class today under "extreme pressure from my daughter." "She said no one at her college has classes today," he said. He also explained that he added half of today's lecture material to Monday's class, and plans to blend the rest into next week so students don't miss any of the material. Professors are not the only ones who said they expect students to start break in advance -- several Philadelphia taxi drivers said they were depending on it. "We hear that there's a break for you all, so this is the busiest part of the city right now," said Kenneth Alexander, a driver for United Cabs. "We cater to the school kids before we go for the businessmen." Alexander said he had already made ten runs to 30th Street Station by early yesterday afternoon -- and was planning to tap business today as well. "I'll get out here tomorrow at 4:30 a.m. and work the whole day here until 4:30 [p.m.]," Alexander said. Students said they had generally not made elaborate plans for break, instead relying on family and friends to both keep them busy and help them relax. College sophomore Julia Miller said she was looking forward to visiting a teacher at her old high school in New York, but said that the rest of her plans were not extremely firm. "Then I'll just visit with family and cook," Miller said. "Make some pies." While many students flock home over the holiday, some find it more difficult and can "adopt" a family or spend the holiday with a professor. Ludo Schaffer, a resident of International House, said yesterday that over 100 students, many from the University, participate in a host family program which allows students to spend the day with families from the West Philadelphia or the suburbs. Other international students said that they will just spend the day with friends. Some added that they will probably have a small dinner, while one group was making plans to travel to Atlantic City by train.Comments powered by Disqus
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