There’s a saying in tournament basketball, “Survive and move on.” The game was scrappy, maybe ugly, and even distressingly in doubt, but the team somehow secured victory. Everyone likes winning by big margins, but stamina and durability aren’t tested that way.
The original Thanksgiving acknowledged stamina and durability in a different way. It wasn’t about abundance yet, but survival. Native Americans knew how to win against the elements, but the Pilgrims needed help. Help was there, and thus we celebrate Thanksgiving, now in a lavish way, with memories of those non-lavish times, even harsh times.
At a community college, there are those who are acclimated to the educational landscape and moving along with the knowledge of how to adapt and succeed. There are also those who are still pilgrims. Times might be lean or harsh for them, trying to grow their academic rows of corn. As much as teachers like to share their own rows of corn, a student can’t live indefinitely on the teacher’s mature ears.
Education is about new people learning to plant and harvest their academic corn. When they struggle, I can give them some corn to keep them from starving, but they’ll be happier and more reflective once they’ve learned to plant and harvest for themselves, with a little coaching along the way as needed.