Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

President’s day weekend: How some chose to spend it

by Aisha Fukushima

Three days, 72 hours, 4,320 minutes: no matter how you put it, the possibilities of what you can do are endless. For some, the main objective is to stay on campus and overcome the allure of procrastination. For others, getting off campus and finishing up little projects is ideal.

Without a doubt, three-day weekend is not principally about celebrating President’s Day on campus. Rather, it is a means of breaking away from habit or daily routine. Adding another day to the week free from mandated work suddenly allows a rare flexibility and potential in Whitties’ schedules.

Matt Stenovec and his teammates are spending the weekend playing two lacrosse games against schools that are nearly twice the size of Whitman. Stenovec is optimistic about the games. “We’ve been working well together as a team,” he said.

Due to some recent changes in leadership, captains have been running practice with the help of Peter Lewicki, a committed Whitman alumnus, to help prepare the team for games like those occurring over the weekend.

Gabriel Gill-Austern, a senior politics and sociology double major plans to spend 12-14 hour days in the library where he will do some intellectual exploration by working on his two honors theses.

“In a sick way, I actually kind of enjoy it,” said Gill-Austern. His excitement for his studies mostly stems from the focus of his research: conflict, reconstruction, and culture in war-torn northern Uganda.

“I studied abroad [in Uganda] and returned over Christmas break to do more research. So, the only really difficult thing about it is that I never feel done . . . I can never justify taking time off to do anything else. But come April 11th, oh my. . . .” said Gill-Austern.

Though Gill-Austern’s plans may not differ heavily from his regular schedule, the library is likely to be a bit quieter as other students like Shayna Tivona get off campus.

Sophomore Shayna Tivona will be returning home where she will be spending most of her time working in a quilting store in Ashland, Oregon. In her workplace, the coworkers spend their time gossiping and sharing their excitement about quilting while customers run in and out of the store indulging their “fabric shopping addiction.”

For Tivona, returning to the store seems to be both a literal and figurative way to explore the patchwork of personalities and experiences that shaped her before coming to Whitman. What makes their work so interesting, said Tivona, is the patience and emotional investment that goes into quilting: “You need to be able to ignore the ache in your back, the twitch that will sometimes settle in your eye . . . what is in your head is communicated through your hands.”

Altogether, this visit back home seems to be a way for Tivona, to be revived in mind, body and spirit, as is true for her many of her peers as well.

Ellie Klein, the upcoming ASWC Public Events chair, spent her weekend at the National Association for Campus Activities Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Klein explained, “I go to different educational sessions and showcases everyday to learn more about programming in general and find specific bands/comedians to bring to campus.”

This action-packed, four-day conference includes appearances by entertainers like Hanson, Raining Jane, and Danny Glover. “[It’s] fun in theory, but I am basically up and going from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. everyday,” Klein said. Thus her break serves as means of exploring a field of interest, and taking liberties with experiential learning.

Ultimately, throughout the year, students often find themselves asking for another hour in the day. As a result, this three-day weekend, no matter how it’s spent, symbolizes a taste of freedom that accompanies every holiday.

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