Meet Rucker Manley

The Art of Giving (or, “What I Did on My Thanksgiving Vacation”)

Once a year, I throw a party.  Now, I can’t tell you what kind of party it is, but it’s Beersgiving, and you, prospective graduate student, are invited.  Except next year, it’s in Los Angeles.

So here’s how it goes.  Fellow screenwriter Chris and I invite a bunch of cool (and not lame) of-legal-drinking-age people over to one of our apartments and prepare a feast: last year, it was cajun-rub turkey, and this year, it was apricot-tequila turkey (and not as good as last year.)  Usually, we’ll try to get together and do something wholesome and family oriented.  For example, the year of the very first Beersgiving, we watched the cult smash megahorror, Jordan Downey’s ThanksKilling. Gobble.

That’s all hogwash, though.  How I celebrate holidays of lesser capitalist prominence isn’t what’s important to me about both of these potluck-centric parties.  I don’t consider myself any sort of saint, but after at least four years of undergraduate study, I came to a realization: there are a whole lot of people that have to spend certain holidays alone.  I wanted an opportunity to make that easier on people, and I lured them in with turkey and macaroni and cheese, and it totally worked.

Your graduate cohort is a family, which means that for the next two years (or however long your program lasts), you’re stuck with them, usually for the best.  They’ll build you up, cut you down, and won’t come to your Thanksgiving party, but these precious people will also have the heart to look you in the eye and tell you exactly how and why your advertising campaign or script or essay on the Messiah in musicals sucks so bad.

I’ve really come to rely on the people in my program, but don’t tell them that.  I’ve found that my reputation as “the honest guy” sort of proceeds me at BU COM, but whenever I’ve needed something from one of my cohort, a quick text message and look over whatever I’m working on reminds me that yes, graduate students are much better people than everyone else.

This year’s party ended with a rousing game of Bang!, one of my favorite Spaghetti Western card games.  A certain film student knocked another film student out pretty quickly, and tensions there are high or whatever, but all-in-all, it was good.  Somehow, five meat eaters and four vegetarians consumed an entire sixteen pound turkey, which leads me to believe that vegetarianism might be some sort of ploy by the soy industry, but I’ll keep my theories on that to myself.

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