Circuit 5 Letter from the Editor

Allie Felt

Rachel Alexander, Editor in Chief. Photo by Allie Felt.

As the end of fall semester approaches, many of us start thinking about the world beyond Whitman. For most students, winter break means a long trip home, often the first in months. Even for the few who do stay on campus or spend their free month traveling, the absence of class schedules and routines can leave time open for exploration and connection, in Walla Walla or on the other side of the country.

We’ve chosen to focus this issue of The Circuit on community, acknowledging that for many of us, late November and December involve more time spent off campus than on. In these pages, we go beyond Boyer Avenue to look at Walla Walla, Whitman, the wider world and the places where they intersect.

It’s hard to go a day on campus without hearing some remark about the “Whitman bubble,” a kind of enchanted reality we all live inside which prevents us from connecting or engaging with the community that surrounds us. While there’s an undeniable accuracy to some of this narrative, intersections between Whitman and Walla Walla have always been more nuanced, more complicated and perhaps more present than many of us realize.

In these pages, we bring you stories of communities and the people in them. Writer Emma Dahl takes a look at the Magic scene in Walla Walla, tracing the history of the game back to its founding at Whitman. Local political activist Norm Osterman details the long history of productive collaboration he’s had with students fighting for change and social justice in the Walla Walla valley. And photographer Tanner Bowersox and writer Serena Runyan team up to bring you the story of everyone’s favorite Bon Appétit employee––the well-loved Rhonda the Omelet Lady, who serves breakfast in Prentiss Dining Hall.

We hope that this issue of The Circuit will show you a new side of the place you live for most of the year. Whether you consider Walla Walla home, a second home or just a place you happen to be passing through for a few years, this valley offers places for connection and engagement to anyone who’s willing to seek them out.