We all know those idyllic, sunny photos of students hanging out on Ankeny that saturate Whitman’s website, brochures and very popular Instagram page. But most outsiders aren’t aware that this is a LIE! This imagery completely erases the brutal fall and winter months that comprise the majority of the Whitman calendar year. Everyone lies on social media so I was going to let it slide, but yet again this year, visitor’s day “happened to be” on the one day that it’s sunny outside, reinforcing a false image of Whitman College.
Even I took to Ankeny that day, engaging in Frisbee throwing and other cliché lawn activities that it had literally never been sunny enough to participate in until this one fucking day. Maybe I’m just bitter. I have to slog through snowy pathways in the pitch dark of 4:00 p.m. for three months straight to earn a day like this and these high school seniors just waltz on down to Walla Walla to see it. But the joke is on them, the weather is never gonna be this good again. As I looked out to the pathways, I saw dozens of excited prospective students, naively believing that this shit happens every day; that the 300 days of sunshine means warmth rather than bitterly cold nights when the wind whips across Ankeny like a frozen tundra. I too fell into this trap when I attended Spring Visitors day. Whitman is a wonderful place… but not for the faint of heart.