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A Whitman Week

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I keep promising to update more often, but life keeps getting in the way. And for that, I’m going to blame Whitman. Why, you ask? Because there is just too much awesome stuff to do. So starting from last Monday, let’s run through all the lovely Whitman activities I participated in last week.Monday: Model UN meeting. This isn’t a new thing, and is in fact pretty standard by now. However, I’ve recently taken on the position of Delegate of the Records, as the previous delegate is currently abroad in France (and we miss her very much). In fact, we’ve had a massive reshuffling of our entire executive council. So now that a bunch of newbies like me are sort of in charge, we suddenly realized that wow, we really need to go to a conference, and wow, we need to plan that. We decided on Vancouver-Portland MUN (VPMUN), which is, inconveniently, this weekend. So in the space of a week, we’ve had to single-handedly decide that we were going, book a hotel, make travel arrangements, get our absences excused, and, oh yeah, prepare for the actual conference. Which has been difficult since the conference just gave us our country assignments today.

Tuesday: Whitman Teaches the Movement. This was an amazing opportunity offered to Whitman students interested in education, history, and community outreach. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Whitman students were trained as teachers and sent out into Walla Walla public schools to “teach the movement”–the civil rights movement. I chose to teach an eleventh grade class, and was assigned the topic of MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. My partner and I went to Walla Walla High School to teach an American history class about Dr. King’s letter and the civil rights movement in Birmingham. Unfortunately, the class had never learned about civil rights before, and had only gotten as far as World War II in their history classes, so the lesson wasn’t as effective as it could have been. But that’s the point of the project–Washington state received a failing grade on a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center of how well states taught about civil rights–you can find the report here. Whitman students are truly making a difference in Walla Walla by teaching a subject which schools do not–even though the movement is just beginning. I was really honored to be a part of it, and I’m excited to participate again next year.

Wednesday: ohmygodihavesomuchworktodo. Oh right. College has work too. Wednesday was the day that I realized that I had an Encounters essay on Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Writings and The Communist Manifesto and/or Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals due today. Plus an essay for my history class on how early Christian church fathers successfully adapted the Christian religion to Roman culture, due this Friday. Plus an essay for my political theory class on Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses on Livy and/or Martin Luther’s On Secular Authority and/or Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, due next Friday. Plus reading for all three classes as well as my Macroeconomics class. Oh, and planning for Model UN, and possibly another paper for that as well, and working at the Admission Office, which has been swamped since winter break ended. Plus blogging. And also sleeping and trying not to get sick. Well, the first essay is done, I’m caught up on reading, VPMUN is planned, and I’m blogging right now!

Thursday: SA Application. One of the most unique aspects of Whitman res life is the presence of Student Academic Advisers–basically RAs for your schoolwork. I am so thankful for the existence of SAs that I decided I really really really really really want to be one next year, so I applied. The application was due last Thursday and included a short written application and two letters of recommendation, but with the added criteria of two individual interviews and another group interview with other applicants. While the process is admittedly a bit intimidating, it’s comforting to see how much effort the Whitman administration puts into finding the cream of the crop to help the new students transition. Fingers crossed that I might have the honor of joining them!

Friday: 4-West Fun Time and Spring Break Service Trip Meeting. With the beginning of a new semester came new and exciting events within my section. One recent event that we organized was “4-West Fun Time,” in which members of my section gathered on Friday afternoon to play board games and just enjoy each other’s company. The sun also made an appearance, so we went outside to enjoy the sunshine while we played Seven Wonders and Cards Against Humanity. Unfortunately, I had to leave a bit early to attend yet another fun event–a dinner and movie night with my Spring Break Service Trip group. Whitman puts on annual Spring Break Service Trips, which are pretty self-explanatory–a group of Whitman students who do community service over spring break. My service trip is called “Urban Education,” and while we don’t know exactly what we’re doing yet, we are partnering with a public charter school in downtown Portland and will be working with them to learn about education in urban areas and the effects of charter schools on the surrounding community. We ate homemade Moroccan tagine and watched a documentary about public charter schools in New York City, and how competitive they are. It was not only fascinating, but fun too! We’re working on a group cheer. And then it was the weekend, and I wrote an essay and did a lot of reading, and now it’s Monday. Hooray? Bottom line: you will be busy at Whitman, but you won’t regret it–it’s just too dang fun. You may not always have time to blog, however. :)

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