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Give Thanks for Internet?

A symbol of Thanksgiving rests on my laptop with MBC’s website in the background. They’re not as incompatible as they seem.

Olivia Samerdyke, Editor-in-Chief

Nine or ten Thanksgivings ago, my family had ostrich as part of our feast, and as soon as my brother and I could be excused from the table, we were glued to the computer screen, trying to catch Carmen Sandiego and the weird national treasure she had stolen.  The Internet wasn’t even really on our radar screens yet, so to speak.

We haven’t considered more ostrich since then, and the Internet has firmly programmed itself into our lives.  Literally.  As a college student, I spend a lot of time online: doing research, Blackboard assignments, textbook shopping—and on the list goes.  I also do a lot of emailing—especially at this time of year when break is approaching.  What time can Dad pick me up?  Where should we meet?

And the combination of Thanksgiving Break and the Internet gave me an idea.

Classrooms tend to be rather empty the week of Thanksgiving Break because the students want to get home to their families.  Some professors cancel classes, but others don’t.  Complaints ensue.  The phrase “Internet Week” is already out there—so apply it to Thanksgiving week!

Instead of having to show up in classrooms, students and faculty can embrace the Internet and its potential for distance-learning.  Students can at stay at school until Wednesday morning or go home, but classwork will still get accomplished.  For example, Professor College might assign reading and then have a Blackboard discussion on it during regular class time.  Their students have to respond before everything turns into a pumpkin and six white mice.

The work gets done, and the students who have farther to travel have the option of saner travel, particularly with Christmas Break just a week or two in the future.  More importantly, nobody has to be the Bad Guy who kept people from going home. That certainly sounds like something to give thanks for—even if we never find the woman in red and the stolen Nile.


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