Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Student who Learned Too Broadly tells all

Illustration by Helios Santoro

On Nov. 1st, she arrived at Penrose Library’s front desk in a haggard state. She smelled like she’d been soaking in Enlighten Mint Yerba Mate and her hand was reflexively curled in perfect 0.5 G2 pen holding position. She was dressed in the finest circa Spring 2021 Whitman College Bookstore garb. At the counter, she spoke with a voice rusty from disuse: “Tell the others, the Student who Learned Too Broadly is here at last.”

On Feb. 21, 2021, the day before much of campus learned Kathy Murray would be retiring, Claire McDaniels awoke from a deep slumber with a mission and two words as guidance: Learn Broadly. McDaniels said, “I had no idea exactly what it meant at first, but I just knew I had to do this”. 

She retreated to the library’s little known 5th floor. The important work of learning broadly could begin. During this time McDaniels tracked the circumference of her head, which according to her reports and The Wire’s official tape measure is three inches larger than when she was learning narrowly, and five inches larger than the average Whittie.  

The next year entailed learning so broad, it can’t be described. She read the entirety of Penrose twice to ensure she caught all details. She searched every keyword from all of her learning into Sherlock, and read every search result returned. And she did the same for hundreds of databases, even Birds of the World

McDaniels said, “I only felt I could come out when I had done what I set out to do. I can confidently say that my business here is to learn, broadly. And I did.” 

Claire’s ginormous brain and truly broad learning experience earned her an early graduation. She has immediately become one of the most sought after alumni, right behind the former drummer of Train and the ghost of William O. Douglas. When asked about her bright plans for the future she said, “I intend to use my fabulous Whitman education to do something world-changing, novel and impactful: consulting with McKinsey!”

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