What are Latin Students Thankul For?


Drawing by Cole Hanover '23

Drawing by Cole Hanover ’23

Gratitude. Thanks. Community. ‘Tis the season, but 2020 has been a very hard year. A hard year, yes, but Latin students remain optimistic and grateful. Thanksgiving dinners, for most, were much smaller, but feelings of thankfulness are bigger. The Forum reached out to Upper School students to hear what they are most grateful for. The responses ranged from quotes to drawings, and even a poem, yet the themes of gratitude were similar.

While the CDC, the IDPH, and Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that a Thanksgiving gathering larger than a household wasn’t safe, people were thankful for their friends and families even if they couldn’t share a traditional meal in person.


“I am thankful for my family and close friends because at the end of the day I know they will always be there for me. I am grateful for their support of my actions and interests and for the love they give me every day.”
Freddi Mitchell ’21


“I’m thankful for my family and friends who push me to find happiness and curiosity in the middle of this pandemic.”
Makenze Humphrey ’24


“Truly, I know this sounds cliché, but this year more than ever I am most thankful for my friends and family.”
Brandon Shiffman ’23


“I’m thankful for family, friends, privilege to go to a good school, freedom to do things I want.”
Elynor Starr ’23


“I’m thankful for my friends who have been finding ways to hangout and create happiness in this predicament, from Mia W. and Delilah Queen who have been sending me nonstop memes and tiktoks, to Freddi who set up an actually good Halloween event on Zoom. All of my friends have found ways to make me smile even when we are unable to see each other.”
Kazi Stanton-Thomas ’22


“I am exceptionally thankful to have my family together during this chaotic time.”
Ellie Baker ’23


“This year more than ever, I’m thankful for the time I’ve been able to spend with friends and family. Month-long lockdowns and a global pandemic have really put my relationships into perspective, and I appreciate them even more now.”
Henry Coleman ’21


“I am grateful for a family that supports me and always has my back. I am grateful for friends who have always been there for me. I am grateful for God, because he has gifted me a fortunate life. I am grateful for Chipotle because without them I would be stuck going to Taco Bell.”
Quinn Healy ’24


“I am thankful for my family, but specifically my brother because he is kind of like a mentor to me. He teaches me so much about life, social interactions, and the world we live in. Additionally, I am thankful for my friends. I have a pretty tight knit friend group. No matter what, we have each other’s backs and we love each other, so for that I am thankful!!”
Reese Benford ’24


“Over the course of the pandemic, I have grown to appreciate the small things like going to school, seeing friends and family, and going through my daily life without the fear of getting sick. Additionally, not worrying that if I got sick, I would be able to easily fight it. During this time, we as a people have become more resourceful and I believe that a lot of us will come out of this year more resilient and independent. I am thankful that I was able grow closer with my family and that I was able to attend a school where the teachers are willing to take the time out of their day to set up plans so that we can all succeed. Though it has been rough, I ,in a sense, am thankful for 2020 because it taught me to be more grateful for the little things.”
McKennzie Boyd ’24


“I’m thankful for my family and that I’m able to keep in touch with my friends through difficult times.”
Luca Tricoci ’23


“I am thankful for being completely healthy right now and that I am not injured. I am thankful for my friends for always pushing me to be better. I am thankful for my friends for always pushing me to be better. I am thankful for my parents because they help me participate in my interests and sports that I play. I am thankful for my family for allowing me to have so many opportunities to achieve my goals.”
Cole Goodwillie ’24


“I’m thankful for my family first of all. They have been really helpful throughout the pandemic. I am also thankful for the teachers that are constantly having to change their plans as the schedule changes among other things. Finally I am thankful for my friends who I’ve been able to turn to.”
Ascher Cahn ’22


“I am thankful for my family, friends, and community. Right now, more than ever, we must surround ourselves by the people that love and care for us the most, and I am very grateful and thankful to have those types of people in my life. I am also, of course, grateful for my dog who forces me to get up, go outside, and take her for walks during the pandemic when most ‘normal’ activities are closed or shut down.”
Akshay Garapati ’23


“I’m thankful for my friends and family who constantly support me.”
Caroline Culver ’22


Some people were specifically thankful for their health as well as the good health of their friends and family.


“I am thankful for my friends and family who support me every day and especially in times like these I am thankful for my health.”
Daniel Braun ’23


“I am thankful for my friends, my family, and my health during this time, and my education. My always tbh but especially now.”
Adelaide Taylor ’24


“I’m thankful that I can spend more time with my brothers and with my family and that I am safe in my home and that I, and my family are healthy.”
Asher Patent ’24


“I’m thankful for my family and good health.”
Zemzem Mohammad ’21


Everybody has been binge-watching their favorite TV shows during the pandemic. Latin students are no exception. In addition to being thankful for family and friends, one student was also thankful for Friends, the television show.


“I’m thankful for my family and friends who always support me, I really don’t know what I would do without them. I’m also thankful for my health, especially now during the pandemic, and thankful for the great teachers and faculty members that are so passionate about their jobs even now when it is so difficult. And on a lighter note, I am incredibly thankful for Harry Potter, FRIENDS, and Home Run Inn frozen pizza for getting me through quarantine!!”
McLaine Leik ’23


Freshman Chloe Sedler is also thankful for the escapism of stories.

“This year I feel thankful for movies. One can choose to escape the world with alternate universes ranging from talking animals, happily ever after stories, and even some containing witches and wizards! Even if the plot lines can sometimes seems unrealistic and outrageous, they still feel less crazy than the current world we live in today.”
Chloe Sedler ’24


According to the New York Times, as of November 30th, there have been more than 13,601,900 cases of Coronavirus in the United States and at least 267,900 deaths. Health officials are cautioning that even though a vaccine is on the horizon, things are going to get worse before they get better. Infection is on the rise, hospitals and morgues are filling up, and everyone needs to be as vigilant as ever about health and prevention. Many students recognized the gift of being COVID-free.

“I’m really thankful for everyone in my family being healthy and covid free, I’m thankful for my family being financially secure at a time when so many families have lost jobs, and I’m thankful for all of my teachers putting in so much effort while having to deal with the challenges of teaching online.”
Evan Jones ’23


“I am thankful that I and those I love have stayed safe this year, especially given the incredible margin for health risks during these times. I am also grateful for those who have helped maintain a sense of normalcy for me during COVID: friends, family, and faculty.”
McKenna Fellows ’22


“I am thankful for my family and friends being there for me during this year. I am also thankful that I was able to have my swim season. Lastly, I am thankful for my family’s good health.”
Riley Ablin ’23


“This year I’m especially thankful for the family that sat before me at Thanksgiving dinner and the food that was on my table especially after seeing the tremendous loss flooding communities and families across the country.”
Carmen Pastrana ’23


“First off, I’m thankful for the good health of myself, my family, and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunities I have each day and the ability to pursue them. I’m also thankful to have a roof over my head and to be around such supportive friends and family. Lastly, I’m thankful for Latin—I’m thankful I have such incredible experiences each day.”
Armaan Shah ’23


Many students echoed Shah and Ablin in their thanks for Latin and appreciation of being able to continue their education and athletic activity.

“I’m thankful that I got to run my cross country season.”
Marianne Mihas ’21


“I am most thankful for being provided with a great education.”
Avery Rosenberg ’23


“I am very thankful for all of the Latin team. Due to COVID I was experiencing many difficulties and issues outside of school. My teachers worked with me and we came up with a plan to help me catch up and keep up in class. I can feel that they only want the best for me, and I am forever grateful for that. I love all of the Latin team, Go Romans!”
MiKayla Boyd ’24


“I’m thankful for my parent’s commitment to my success. I’m thankful for the athletic programs that I can take part in. I am thankful for the education I receive.”
Ava Falk ’23


Many children in America do not have adequate access to the internet. Latin students are grateful for access to the internet and the ability to learn virtually.


“I am so beyond thankful that through the pandemic, I have been lucky enough to have had access to the internet, which allows me to continue to get a great education.”
Emily Mendelson ’23


“I’m thankful for virtual activities that continue through the quarantine, such as the fall play, that allow me to make new memories with my friends, who I wouldn’t get to see otherwise. The more ways we can stay remotely connected as a community, the better.”
Cole Hanover ’23

Drawing by Cole Hanover '23
Drawing by Cole Hanover ’23


“I’m thankful that we are able to learn on a level so similar to normal during this pandemic. I’m thankful for all the amazing teachers, staff, administrators who have put in so much time and effort to help us learn in a safe and productive manner. I’m thankful for my friends and family, and I’m so thankful that they have all stayed healthy and safe during this time. I’m thankful that my parents still have jobs and that we still have food on the table. I’m thankful for all the amazing technology that had made this pandemic so much easier.”
Ella Reese-Clauson ’22


Notwithstanding the gratitude for the opportunity to learn and gather virtually, students were still honest about how exhausting the school year has been.

“I’m thankful that we got a cross country season because I got to see my friends every day over the fall to run and play spikeball. Also I’m thankful there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic with the progress of all the vaccines and that next year things will hopefully be more normal. I’m thankful we get a whole week off for Thanksgiving and that winter break is close because remote learning zoom classes can be exhausting.”
Will Del Hierro ’23

Students were also thankful for all the work and risk of America’s front line workers and first responders, as well as the enormous amount of work and effort from Latin’s faculty and staff.

“I am thankful for everyone working on the front lines to help stop the spread of the virus and that all of my close family and friends have stayed healthy during this time. I’m also so grateful to go to a school that has worked so hard to give us the same learning experience online.”
Zoe Weiss ’22


“I am grateful for my friends because they are always there to check up on me, as well as my family for coming up with fun things to do when we are stuck inside. Also, I am grateful for my teachers for still giving us work and grading our assignments even when we can’t come into school to learn from them in-person, since it is probably frustrating for them to teach us online.”
Annie Hallinan ’24


Some students were very specific, thankful for what we might otherwise take for granted.


“Among many things, I am thankful for having a good bike, which I can use to both get around town and exercise. I am often in a situation where I cannot be driven somewhere, and having a bike really helps me out.”
Eli Elterman ’23

– Family
– Friends
– Being able to have the opportunity to travel
– Random, very nice people
– Well paved roads
– Waitresses that call me honey
– Bees
– Fossils
– The pink balls that were sold at the book fair
– Well kept grass
– The singular piece of ice I kicked from my house to school for 2 weeks straight
– National Parks
– People that brew their own coffee
– Microscopes
– Snowflake patterns
– Stretching
Anton Schuster ’23


“I am thankful for friends and family, FaceTime, Christmas lights, the Latin community, my teachers, and Chicago at night time.”
Coco Schuster ’24


“I’m thankful for having a roof over my head and food to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and other holidays.”
Payton Rice ’24


Students were grateful for the gift of time.

I am thankful for my family, friends, and my own health especially during these times. I am grateful that I have supportive and loving family and friends that make it fun to be spending more time at home.
Mia Lapiere ’23


“I am thankful for time, the time I get with those I love such as my family and my friends. I am also thankful for social media because it has been able to connect me with those people during this trying time. Let’s not forget how much it also entertains me. Finally, I am grateful to see the good in the world through the videos I watch and the images I see everywhere.”
Leo Romano ’23


Not all students’ gratitude fit into particular categories. Some respondents really understood the role other people play in shaping their happiness and wellbeing.

“I’m thankful for the people, whether I really know them or not, who genuinely try to bring positivity or optimism to my day. It’s so easy now to just allow yourself to be upset or disappointed with the dullness of every day, but whenever I’m greeted by other classmates, teachers, family members, strangers, even if it’s just exchanging a few words, it makes me appreciative of everyone else’s efforts to make it a good day—it reminds me of all the things that are still present and still having a positive impact on my life.”
Jane Baer ’22


“Something I’m thankful for is the people in my life who’ve helped me develop and grow into the person I am now.”
Randy Pierre ’21


Just as Randy is grateful for the people in his life who have shaped him, the lessons of this Coronavirus era have shaped us all. Mirabel Chin ’23, coined a new phrase, Coronasgiving, in a poem she submitted in response to The Forum’s Thanksgiving inquiry to describe this very different Thanksgiving. The phrase is appropriate for all the optimism and thanks submitted by the Latin Community. 2020 hasn’t been easy, but there is so much to be grateful for.


thanksgiving this year was different.
not in a bad way, it’s true.
but unfortunately for me, you see, i could not see you.
at least i have my family,
who are the foundation of my fragile house.
and as the world is lit, aflame, a fire that cannot be doused,
and even though we’re six feet apart,
at least i still have them and can carry them in my heart.
Mirabel Chin ’23