3 Random Things I’ve Learned At Whitman….so far

WOW…it’s been a while since I’ve posted. my apologies!

These are 3 random thigns I’ve learned at Whitman…..I’m sure I’ll come up with more eventually.

#1 EVERYTHING is Socially Constructed!

I’m not over-exaggerating here! Units of measurements are socially constructed! Who’s to say that an inch is really an inch? Why is one mile 5280ft? How come a foot is 12 inches, and who decided how long an inch would be? Hooking up is socially constructed! Would it be considered hooking up if it didn’t have a name? What if hooking up was called something else? Something like “flipping down”? Would it still refer to the same thing? Would it retain it’s original meaning? The term Hooking up doesn’t even mean the same thing from high school to high school…so everybody gets confused when they come to college and people from different high school’s are using the term to mean different things. These are some of the deep philosophical thoughts I’ve been having lately. Sometimes these thoughts keep me up at night…..it concerns me that dreams could potentially be socially constructed too.

It’s not an unusual thing to be sitting in class and hear a student announce “it’s socially constructed” in response to a question the Professor poses. It’s pretty much your go-to answer if you aren’t sure about something. We say it in part as a joke, but also in part with serious intentions….cause it’s funny that everything potentially means something else, but then its scary to thing that that’s the case too. These very words are socially constructed to mean what they mean…what if they meant something else? (MIND BLOWN!)

#2 Putting Sriracha on your food is almost as necessary as breathing

I dislike Sriracha with a deep and burning passion. But for some reason, the bottles of Sriracha in our dining halls, at the fraternities–even at off campus houses (I think they steal them from the dining halls) are very prominent. I see people pouring the stuff on their eggs, potatoes, beef, cookies, salads,…I wouldn’t be too surprised if people use it as creamer for their coffee. It’s disgusting. But, I’m pretty sure if the college discontinued its suppling of Sriracha at meal times that angry riots would take place on Ankeny field….protesting would take place outside Memorial Hall….and a mass letter writing campaign to the President’s office, demanding the prompt return of Sriracha, would be organized. It’s a pretty big deal here….

Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out, as if Sriracha is the key to perpetual youth…and I’m the only one that hasn’t gotten the memo. Clearly there is something special about it beyond the burning sensation one feels in their mouth–but I haven’t discovered what is so special about it. The only thing Whitman’s taught me is that it’s basically a necessity for the average Whitman student. lol.

#3 Time is a Spectrum. 

So there are a few points I wanna bring up about Whitman. Both related to how Time may not necessarily be as rigidly defined as you may have been brought up to think.

The first example being that time slows down here. For those of us who are from cities, we’re used to driving 15-45 minutes (maybe longer!)…to get to a friend’s house, the grocery store, the movies…etc. So you’d think that when you come to Whitman, where getting anywhere is no more than a 1-10 minutewalk , that it would be a piece of cake! NO! Wrong!! You come here, and suddenly walking from Jewett hall to your best friend’s room across campus (6 minute walk) seems like an eternity! Waking up, and walking the two minutes it takes to get to your first class feels like it should be considered “cruel and unusual punishment”. And the times when you get to the Library and discover you left your textbook in your room, instead of going back the three minute walk it would take to get it, you decide to get ahead on homework in another class because you have that book instead. When in reality, if doing any of those tasks back in the city took that little amount of time to do–we would be jumping for joy! Time slows down here at Whitman–and it is a very odd thing, but demonstrates how Time is also on a spectrum. You’ll be quick to adjust to “small town time” if you are from the city….so don’t worry; you wont miss that “but it’s so far awayyyyy” feeling you get when you move to Walla Walla.

The second thing is the Olin Hall clocks…..Olin Hall has its own Time Zone. Their clocks are like three minutes slower than all the other clocks on campus. The Humanities department (which is what Olin hall houses) clearly doesn’t think it is necessary to adhere to one standard time on campus (they think they’re soooo special lol). I remember freshmen year, I lived in Jewett (right next to Olin). I had an 8am class in Olin second semester.

7:55 am My alarm would wake me up: I would wake up and walk to the dining hall in Jewett wearing my Pajamas and grab a muffin and some milk.

7:58 am I would walk back to my room, grab my backpack and consider changing into normal close–then decide against it, and head out the door.

8:00 am Really, I should be late by this point, cause I still have to walk the two minutes it takes to get to my classroom.

7:59 am I’m in my seat, waiting for class to start. WHAT?! It should be 8:02 am by this point! Why is it three minutes earlier?!

I remember thinking that the professor must have been playing a joke on us the first week. Then, one day,  I decided to spend the extra three minutes I seemed to aquire as I walked into Olin hall and check out the other clocks. They all were slow too! Not that it matters…cause time is apparently on a spectrum…and the Humanities department views time just three minutes differently than the rest of campus does. (it’s almost as if time is socially constructed too??!??)

I’m sure there are more random things I’ve learned at Whitman….but I can’t think of them right now. I’ll post more as they come to me.

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