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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

A Good Sport is Always Grateful

Last Thanksgiving I wrote about my family's irrational Jets fanaticism - how it dictates our celebration every time that New York team kicks-off on turkey day, and how one year it both ruined and saved our holiday.

Thankfully, the Jets are not playing this Thursday, which is only partly why I have more serious matters in mind.

The truth is I have much to be thankful for - so much, I feel guilty almost every day. And this year, without the distraction of my father and three brothers screaming at the TV (as they have been doing all season), I'll be able to spend the holiday just the way I should: revelling in the company of my family and lovely grandma (who I don't see nearly enough), enjoying every second of what I'm so fortunate to have.

This year, all I can think about is how thankful I am.

Let me backtrack to May of 2009, when I was graduating from SUNY Buffalo with a degree in English literature ready to accept the dismal professional future that faced me and my entire class. I knew I was entering the adult world at the wrong time - not that I had any other choice.

The economy was plummeting, my older friends were already getting laid off, and I was moving back home to Niskayuna, a place that I had hoped to avoid

But I had my family, and soon enough a fantastic job in a city I had always longed for. Suddenly, being a 2009 college grad didn't seem at all unfortunate, for me at least.
While the majority of my friends struggled to find work through the summer of 2009, I was putting my diploma and my brain to use here in Saratoga Springs. I was hired as the sports reporter for Saratoga TODAY (yes, my brothers are still laughing about that), and I became a part of the Spa City - a place that I, and probably many other Niskayuna teens, had been jealous of.

Immediately, I was in love - with my job (they actually pay me to write!), my coworkers (who I truly enjoy spending 40+ hours with each week) and my surroundings (that includes all the incredible buildings, fascinating people, and history that make Saratoga so unique).
But I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed at first.

One of my first assignments brought me to the football field at Saratoga Springs High School. I was covering the Blue Streaks pre-season, and I had no idea what I was doing. Like I said, football is not my thing. So, I called my older brother, Miki, and asked him what I needed to know.

He laughed, of course, before giving me the most comprehensive explanation that 10 minutes could allow. Miki, you gave me my wings!

From that moment, I learned that if I don't know how to do something, I just have to ask. By no coincidence at all, my entire family supported me (mostly my relentless question-asking) through my full-year as the sports writer. Ethan helped me with soccer, Shain inspired my swim meet coverage, my dad helped me decode baseball box scores and my mom shared my confusion - plus, Arthur Gonick helped with the rest.

Needless to say, I am incredibly thankful for their support. If I hadn't survived the sports section, I would have never moved on to become newsroom manager and now managing editor. Daniel, I also owe you a 'thank you' for taking the section away from me. Really, THANK YOU.

In the two and a half years that have passed between that shaky interview and this week's paper, I have connected with teachers, public officials, business owners, volunteers - so many members of the community. I have experienced Saratoga in so many ways and through so many perspectives, and I'm so very thankful that each day still introduces me to something or someone new. At this point, I feel like I've grown up here.

I am 24 (almost 25, which is still hard to accept), and I am still learning what it means to be an adult and a part of a community. But every day, particularly Monday through Friday, I am reminded of how I've grown up in Saratoga Springs and grown to love this city like it had always been my own.

So, as you can see, I have much too much to be thankful for this year: my family, my job, my co-workers, and this wonderful community that has taught me so much about growing up.

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