As thousands of Jayhawks migrate home for the Thanksgiving holiday to spend some quality time with family, turkey and sweet potatoes, they leave behind a scattered few who have other plans for the three-day break from classes.
From the athletes with games to play to the studious soon-to-be engineers with big projects coming due, they’ll all mark the holiday in their own ways.
Monica Engelman, San Antonio sophomore
While other students are helping themselves to heaping helpings of green bean casserole, Monica Engelman will be focused on an upcoming serving of three basketball games on consecutive days.
And because the first game is on Friday, that means practice this morning — and no trip out of Lawrence for Engelman and her teammates.
Engelman’s family will travel to her this year, and for those teammates without family coming in to town, Thanksgiving dinner will be served at an assistant coach’s house.
The second-year guard said on the whole, she doesn’t mind the demanding schedule.
“I learned pretty quick,” she said, “that I would have to make some sacrifices for the betterment of the team.”
Kevin Shipley, Lincoln, Neb., senior
Kevin Shipley’s Thanksgiving will spent working out the details of his semester-long senior aerospace engineering design project, due on Monday.
He’d long planned to stick around over the break, knowing that there would be a lot of loose ends left to tie up.
His mother came down on Tuesday to pick up his sister, and they grabbed a quick Chipotle dinner before he got back to the details of his project.
By the time it’s complete, he will have designed an aircraft capable of launching a satellite into space, he said.
His twin sister — a journalism major — gave him some gruff about missing Thanksgiving until he reminded her that she’ll have to miss Christmas because of a winter internship she secured.
“I’m going to miss the food,” Shipley said. “Especially the pumpkin pie, my particular favorite.”
Angela Schwab, Louisville, Ky., junior
After experiencing some tire issues on her new car, Angela Schwab decided she didn’t want to risk the eight-and-a-half hour drive by herself back home for Thanksgiving this year.
She decided she’ll wait until Christmas to see her family this year.
Her employer didn’t seem to mind — she works at The Gap store on Massachusetts Street. She said it’ll be all-hands-on-deck at the store for Black Friday shopping.
Schwab said she’d initially taken the time off, but said the store added a few hours back on her schedule once she became available. She’ll still celebrate on Thanksgiving itself, when the store will be closed.
“I’ve got a couple of friends here,” she said. “I’ll get together with them, and we’ll be cooking.”
Ahmed Alyousef, Lawrence graduate student in law
Though traditionally, Ahmed Alyousef doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, since coming to the United States from Saudi Arabia for college, he said he’s come to enjoy American holidays, too.
Born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Alyousef is pursuing a doctor of juridical science degree at KU, the equivalent of a doctorate in law.
A Muslim, Alyousef said that growing up, the closest holiday to Thanksgiving is probably Eid al-Adha, a day of feasting where the family divides the meat into thirds — giving one-third to the poor and another third to friends and relatives, while keeping one-third for the family. He commemorated that holiday a few days ago at the Islamic Center of Lawrence.
This Thanksgiving is the first since coming to America when he said he doesn’t have any plans or dinners scheduled with others, and he said he’ll likely hit the books some to get some studying in.
“I’m glad I’ve got so many people around to celebrate with, either my holidays, or the American holidays,” he said.