Thanksgiving, SCM Style

Dan Li, SCM Class of 2015
Dan Li, SCM Class of 2015

I still remember how surprised I was when Bruce (Arntzen, executive director of the SCM program) first called us a “family” in his email to the class. Coming from Asia, I thought family meant parents and children. But day after day, I started to like the idea of calling our class a “family” more. It makes me feel that I am not alone in dealing with the stressful school life. Every time I walk into the SCM lab on the weekends to finish my homework, I am happy to see some family members there too.

A big celebration for American families is Thanksgiving. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. Today, Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family reunions and turkey dinners. One week before Thanksgiving, our family gathered together on campus to have our SCM Thanksgiving dinner party.

SCM Class of 2015 Thanksgiving Potluck DinnerFrom August to November, we had numerous dining out trips, bar trips, apple picking excursions, movie nights, museum trips, Halloween pumpkin carving, soccer games, badminton games, basketball games…but rarely were we able to get everyone to attend the same activities at the same time given people’s differing interests and course schedules. The Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be the biggest event for our family after the Thompson Island trip because: everyone needs to eat (a wise observation by Bruce!).

SCM Class of 2015 enjoying the bounty.
SCM Class of 2015 enjoying the bounty.

Our SCM family is composed of members from 18 countries all over the world, as you can see from the below graph I generated using Tableau. Yes, we learned Tableau in one class during the orientation in August, and I can’t wait to use it in other areas.

SCM Class of 2015, by country origin
SCM Class of 2015, by country origin

In line with the diversity of countries, our Thanksgiving dinner was a feast of American food, Indian food, Chinese food, Korean food, Mediterranean food, and of course turkey! Our Social Event Captains selected a good date for the party – it was after midterm exams and the slowdown of fall recruiting, and before finals. People felt a little bit more relaxed and had more time to cook. As a result, about 85% of the family attended the dinner – those missing were on the trip back from an Apple onsite interview.

The SCM Class of 2015 Thanksgiving Feast
The SCM Class of 2015 multinational Thanksgiving Feast.

We even had three “SCM kids” this year: real kids under four years old rather than college kids. Our family also had a dad-to-be at the time as well as his baby did not want to say “Hello, World” before the party and insisted on celebrating Thanksgiving with us in his own cozy environment. Using the statistical skills we polished in math class during the orientation, we can see the standard deviation of the age of our party guests was pretty big, even though the median was around 30, which was a little bit lower than the average age of the SCM Class of 2015.

SCM Real Kids, Class of 2015
The real SCM kids.

With a full belly, we will move onto the next milestone of our journey. Somebody thinks it would be final exams, but I think the next milestone may be the second case study of the course Logistics Systems, which alumni may “fondly” remember and prospective students will learn about soon enough.

SCM Class of 2015 Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner
SCM Class of 2015 Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner
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Thanksgiving, SCM Style

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