Thanksgiving break reminds Whittie that most people fall somewhere between treebark-eating ultrafeminist and homophobic oil baron on political spectrum

Annelise Ellingboe, Inexplicable Corn Nut Addiction

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First-year student Ernest Wilderby experienced severe culture shock after leaving Whitman for Thanksgiving for the first time since beginning school. Having become a kind of Cultural Bubble Boy within Whitman’s socially-conscious walls, the real world suddenly felt abrasive and intensely callous to the structural issues of justice Ernest had been examining in his classes. “It seems like even the liberals I trusted before coming to college are… problematic.” Ernest relayed in our interview, shaking his head sadly. “My elderly but liberal aunt — who I always respected! — asked me if climate change is real. I was so shocked I just choked out a guttural ‘mmbghh climatechange?!’ and went to eat my vegan mashed potatoes in the corner.”

Ernest reported feeling unable to stop himself from constantly breaking down the many -isms at play in the conversations he overheard at the seemingly endless family dinners he attended. “It’s not like my family was even saying heinously conservative things. They don’t support a border wall or anything…  It was well-intentioned political discussion.”

Glad to be returning to campus, Ernest says he thinks he will now be better prepared for his next venture into the Real World for winter break, and plans to spend the next three weeks thinking about what he should have said in every awkward conversation he had.

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