How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!
The Tempest (V, i)
Here at Teen’Scape, we revel in this wonderful world as we get to engage, experience, and be rejuvenated by the queries from our daily interactions with teenagers and our younger and older visitors. Teenagers live in a confusing, yet exciting world and as librarians, we want to encourage their curiosity. If the teenagers are curious about how to apply for a job, we help. If our patrons want to learn more about the traditions behind Dia de Los Muertos, we answer those questions also. I personally choose to foster the exploration of STEAM concepts and diversity whenever possible through the encouragement of looking at the world closely. One method of adding excitement to learning is by exploring convergences and coincidences.
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. - Henry Miller
At the end of this November, there is a holiday convergence that will next happen again in about 77,000 years. Hanukkah, the Festival of Light and the Feast of Dedication, and Thanksgiving Day, a day of giving thanks will coincide this Thursday on the 28th. Hanukkah is a multi-day festival that commemorates the miracle in the Jewish faith of a day’s supply of oil lasting 8 days. Hanukkah, this year, begins on Wednesday and continues for the next 8 days with a series of traditional prayers, songs, foods and festivities. Depending upon the congregation, traditions followed will vary. Thanksgiving Day has much religious, secular and cultural importance in United States society. It is traditionally celebrated with a feast on the fourth Thursday in November with a turkey and serious fixings.
In Teen’Scape, the teenagers will be learning about these two traditions through exploration of combined Thanksgiving and Hanukkah crafts. We will make Thanksgiving-themed menorahs on Tuesday, November 26th at 4pm. Additionally, we will build a giant Thanksgiving-themed dreidl out of a broomstick handle and cardboard boxes. By building this dreidl, we will learn how tops and spinning toys work. Will we be successful in making an evenly weighted top or will our dreidl always land on ג (gimel) when the lucky teen will get everything in our gelt (chocolate coins) pile? We will be spinning the dreidl in the Rotunda on Saturday, November 30th at 1PM.
Even more importantly (and appealing to our teens) is the talk of the traditional foods. Latkes are usually made with shredded fried potatoes and served with sour cream and applesauce. Why not serve it this year with cranberry sauce to bring a Thanksgiving spin to it? Another idea is to make deep-fried donuts called Sufganiot, normally filled with jelly. Why not fill with a pumpkin filling?
Come visit us at Teen’Scape virtually and in person. Have a wonderful holiday season from the Teen’Scape family to yours.
Photo Credit: Thanksgiving Day on Skid Row by Gary Leonard, from the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection