“No pineapple! Hashtag not my pizza!” - Amelia Pekar, Feature and News Editor for The Collegian
Service | Religion | Outdoors | Life | Culture | Sports | Feature | News | Food | Fashion | Creative Writing | Backpage
November 8, 2018 | Vol. 103 | Issue 06
Everything You Need to Know about Veterans Day Interviews with two student veterans
Photo credit: Josh Griffin
Global News p.10
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Dear students and beyond, It is week 7 and I can feel the stress creeping its way in. I told a friend today that the air felt crisp outside, only to backtrack and say, “Crisp is much too nice a word, the word… the word is bitter.” We are past the crisp and refreshing; we have officially entered the bitter and bleak. But that goes beyond just the weather, it has seeped into academics too. I don’t know about you, but the end-ofquarter winds are bitter and I find that I’m often ill-prepared and ill-equipped. But take heart! Only one weekend stands before you and the beautiful Thanksgiving Break… basically, you can do this, you got this! Now I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people who responded to last week’s issue, and I want you to know that our coverage of the story about the men’s basketball team is not over. I would also like to thank the entire Collegian team who worked tirelessly to bring you journalistic content.
a current faculty member. But don’t worry, if you are craving more factual input, next week we will have more information about the results of the appeal process and more. This week, however, we have focused on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and have chosen to celebrate those who have chosen to serve and risk their lives for our freedom. Now I would like to thank veterans and current military personnel for their service; we are thankful for you! Well everyone, we hope that you finish this week strong and that you can find a moment of rest in these pages. After all, You know how it is, you know how it be.
Requirements for letters to the editor: 300-350 words. Be aware that we will be editing your work for grammar inconsistencies, so please be professional. Email it to ASWWU. email@example.com before 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Josephine Baird Editor-in-Chief
In response to this issue, we have included two submissions. One from an alumni and the other from
Week in Forecast Thurs 11/8 54°/29°
Fri 11/9 54°/35°
Sat 11/10 52°/30°
Sun 11/11 52°/29°
National STEM/STEAM Day
Microtia Awareness Day
Marine Corps Birthday
University Assembly - CSP 154 - 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
ASWWU Outdoors Caving Trip Departs
Vancouver Alumni Event
Women’s Basketball vs San Diego CC - Home Game 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Women’s Basketball vs San Diego CC - Home Game 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Village Housing Application Open for Winter Quarter
ASWWU Money Dive WEC - 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Women’s Basketball vs Salish Kootenai 2:00-4:00 pm
WWU Drama - Fall Show 8:00 - 10:00 pm
WWU Drama - Fall Show 2:00 - 4:00 pm
WWU Drama - Fall Show 8:00 - 10:00 pm
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Collegian Staff Josephine Baird Editor-in-Chief Angelica Chan Assistant Editor Kyra GreyEyes Layout Editor Amelia Pekar Feature and News Editor Matthew Fennell Columnist Editor Geoffrey Lopes Head Copy Editor
Feature and News Writers Meaghan Ashton Rose Sperl Zachary White
Jocelyn Griffin Ella Meeks Audrey Tampake
Designers Columnists Megan Spracklen Emily Ellis Alex Parkhurst Inez Aguirre Griffin Leek Niqolas Rudd Isaiah Taylor Nicolette Horning Gabriela Hutuleac Tobi Brown Regan Hinshaw
ACA/SM/Service Religion Science Student Culture Student Life Outdoors Sports Food Fashion Creative Writing Humor
Mon 11/12 50°/33° Winter Quarter registration opens for Freshman LLU School of Medicine Interviews ASWWU Spiritual FREE Coffee - Admin Building 7:30 - 10:00 am
McKenna Butler Garren Miler Hannah Thiel
ASWWU Update ASWWU Outdoors Caving Trip / Nov. 9-10
The Caving Trip is now full! If you are still interested in attending, you can be placed on the waitlist by emailing aswwu. firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASWWU Money Dive / Nov. 10 In the WEC pool on Saturday night, November 10th starting at 7 PM.
Club Photos Next Week!
Free Coffee at the Admin Building / Nov. 12
Outside of the Admin building on Monday, November 12 from 7:30-10 am
Free Cinnamon Rolls / Nov. 16 In Bowers Hall, starting at 8 AM until they’re all gone on the morning of Friday, November 16th.
ASWWU Photographer Job Opening
New ASWWU Forum
Tues 11/13 50°/39° Removal of Incompletes from Spring and Summer Quarters Last day to withdraw from a class (no refund) Last Day to request outof-schedule exams for Fall Quarter
Wed 11/14 55°/38° National Pickle Day Women’s Basketball at Whitman College - 6:00 8:00 pm
Thurs 11/15 55°/39° National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day University Senate - Alumni Boardroom 3:00 - 5:00 pm
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The ACA Program and Global Citizenship By Meghan Spracklen Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) is an international intercollegiate program offering students the opportunity to study, learn foreign languages, and travel in other countries. As the world becomes more globally connected, knowing more than one language is becoming increasingly important as a tool for potential careers and within personal life. According to U.S. News, someone who knows a second language can enter the workforce expecting to be paid 10-15 percent more than if they weren’t bilingual.1 Through the ACA program, a student can not only learn another language, but also be immersed in a new culture. ACA offers programs in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, and Spain for each country’s native language.2 Students can apply for just the experience or, more frequently, to complete a language minor or major. Walla Walla University participates in this program by helping students travel to foreign universities for a summer, quarter, or school year. Professor Jean-Paul Grimaud, WWU French professor and one of WWU’s ACA advisors, says that compared to other Adventist colleges, WWU has sent the most students abroad through the ACA program over the last 10 years.3 “It does
show that our students demonstrate a high interest for globalization and diversity,” Grimmaud explained.4 While there are many reasons that traveling can benefit and improve an individual, the learning and service skills students gain are some of the most valuable reasons. Studying abroad can benefit spiritual lives and develop someone’s capacity for empathy. Grimaud clarifies this process: “It is a de facto transformative experience that frees students from fossilized intellectual, social, and spiritual conventional schemata that usually constrains the mind and behavior.”5 An awareness of the experiences and lifestyles of those around the globe can change how you see your own life, and can alter your behavior to become more aware of how people affect each other. Once an individual is aware of their role in the world, they have the opportunity to become better at serving others. Grimaud explains that learning another language abroad deeply changes someone’s brain. These transformations can be critical to understanding another’s struggles and perspectives, and both of these understandings impact how a student acts in his or her role as a global citizen. There are many excuses that students give to not study abroad, including complaints
means that individual students can complete the program fully without paying more than they would during a normal school year at WWU.
Grimaud has spoken with many returned ACA students and says, “They usually say that the outcome is way beyond what their expectations were and what they were able to imagine. The transformative dimension is definitely what they see as determinant.” 8
Sagunto. Photo by Meghan Spracklen, July 1, 2015.
about potentially adding an extra year of school before graduation, or that the year could be expensive. In response to the extra schooling, there is the argument that the long-term benefits can cancel out the potential negatives by improving career prospects and personal growth. Grimaud also points out that one school year abroad can change the path of a student’s whole life, but would only be roughly 0.93 percent of their lifetime.6 This makes the time excuse seem less significant in light of its impact on a student’s life. Furthermore, the ACA website addresses the financial comparison: “Ordinarily the total cost of the year abroad will be less than that of a year at a consortium college in North America, unless students elect to do extensive traveling on their own.”7 This
While often seen as a personal pursuit, participating in the ACA program greatly contributes to an individual’s understanding of the world and impacts their capacity and desire to serve others. 1 https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2014/01/29/the-business-benefits-of-learning-a-foreign-language 2 https://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/student-academic-services/academic-records/adventist-colleges-abroad-aca/ 3 Answering Questions about the ACA Program [E-mail interview]. (2018, November 1). 4 Ibid 5 Ibid 6 Ibid 7 https://www.acastudyabroad.com/ 8 Answering Questions about the ACA Program [E-mail interview]. (2018, November 1).
Ruud Remarks By Niq Ruud ASWWU Outdoors, the Walla Walla University student association’s outdoor-focused branch, has become a “big deal,” according to the university’s own Jonathan Robert Nickell, son of Jerry and Toni Nickell. According to WWU’s website, “ASWWU Outdoors provides students with a variety of outdoor recreational trips, educational courses, and rental gear for outdoor adventures. We believe that being outside is one of the best ways to relieve stress, make friends, and grow closer to God.” As one might expect, they have trips which cater to both “first-timers and seasoned veterans,” all of which are targeted at walking the fine line between fun and safe.1 Last spring Tyler Humphries, a senior engineering major, was promoted to the branch’s director position after working as a trip leader the two previous years. “I’m having a blast as the ASWWU Outdoors
Head,” said Humphries. “The department has so many areas to grow in. It really gives a purpose to my year. I can’t wait to release the information for some new trips we will have winter and spring quarter.” He, along with his team of staff, have already hosted a variety of outdoor trips and opportunities this year. Their first trip, a camping excursion along the Snake River was “Fun!” according to WWU’s
The view from the top of Eagle Cap in Oregon’s Wallowa mountains. Photo by ASWWU Outdoors.
webpage. The second, a backpacking trip, was “Pretty!” The third, a mountaineering adventure which topped-out over 10,000 feet, was “Neat!” More recently, two conjoined sport climbing and mountain biking trips were respectively “Sendy!” and “Gnarly!”2
has two more events on the docket, with a caving trip near Trout Lake on Nov. 11, and a Christmas-themed cabining trip on Nov. 30. Not to fear, however, as there will be plenty more climbing, hiking, riding, backpacking, and even surfing and rafting trips to come in later quarters.
ASWWU Outdoors is much more than just their weekend trips, however. Various outdoor education classes, ranging from topics like overnight backpacking to snow travel and avalanche safety have been hosted. They also rent out various kinds of outdoor gear to the University’s students.3
For more information regarding future ASWWU Outdoors trips, visit aswwu.com/ pages/outdoors and follow their Instagram page @aswwuoutdoors. Or to just get stoked, watch this awesome promotional video featuring a valuable purple kayak: vimeo.com/162930740.
“ASWWU Outdoors is awesome because of the cool experiences you have with your friends in spectacular outdoor places. The memories you will make on our trips will be some of the best of college. Not every weekend can you say you used a 20hole outhouse or had a rowdy time rafting the Deschutes,” said Humphries.
Have a story or something even better from the out-of-doors you’ve just got to share? Hit up email@example.com and let’s chat.
The student association branch already
1 aswwu.com/pages/outdoors 2 Ibid. 3 twitter.com/WallaUniversity/status/997135926215233538
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Active Compassion By: Emily Ellis Sabbath is the culmination of the week for members of the Jewish community, a time to come together and experience community, rest, and connection with the Divine. It is a holy day, a day of celebration, a day designed to encounter the presence of God. Oct. 27, 2018 was a Sabbath day in Pittsburgh, PA, a Sabbath day like any other. Children getting up early and waking up their parents, urging them to get to the synagogue on time, husbands and wives enjoying the leisure of the morning and eating together after a long week of work. Slowly, members filed into the Tree of Life synagogue, briefly caught up with one another to see how the week had gone, and sat down to listen to Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers lead the service. Shortly after the service started, gunshots were heard. Panic quickly ensued as the people looked around to see 11 of their family members and friends lying on the ground, dead. Among the members shot were physicians, two inseparable brothers, and a couple who married in the same synagogue 50 years prior; each member a pillar of the church who had the ability to make almost anyone feel valued and loved. They had come to worship in the synagogue, they had come to encounter Yahweh. But this sacred place, a place that was supposed to be a safe haven, became the space in which they breathed their last breath.1 One member of the synagogue was a bit late to the service that morning: Holocaust survivor Judah Samet. This man, who had seen his mother shot in the head by a Nazi soldier and barely survived Auschwitz, stepped into his place of worship only to witness a young man gun down his friends. In an interview with CNN he said, “It just never ends. It’s never completely safe for Jews.”2
Photo by Jeff Swensen, Getty Images.
In response to this disaster, members of the Muslim church have raised over $200,000 to support the families and friends who lost loved ones in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. What is beautiful about this is that the Muslim community already had a strong, long-standing relationship with the Jewish community in the area. Both sides have actively chosen to focus on what unites them rather than what divides them. Rabbi James Gibbson in an interview with CNN said that, “History may have divided us, but faith brings us together.” The Muslim community knew local members and had their phone numbers. They weren’t helping strangers, they were helping friends. Their goal is “to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action.” The most powerful act of love and compassion is not through sharing sentimental words or through a well-meaning statement posted on Facebook. Rather, it is through action that we are able to meet others in their deepest sorrows and love them as God has loved us. Prayer has a time and place, but if it is not coupled with action, it is dead. One might argue that the Adventist Church has more in common with the Jewish community than the Muslim community does. We share many of the same beliefs and hold similar practices, and yet all the Adventist Church has done is promise to pray for those grieving in Pittsburgh. General Conference President Ted Wilson, who resides just a few hours away, released this statement: “We sorrow with the families and friends who lost loved ones last Sabbath during the shooting that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven precious lives were lost, and several more injured, simply because they were Jewish. Let us pray for the families affected and for the
spirit of Christ to reign in hearts so that hatred and bigotry will be put away. Let us pray for Christ’s soon coming, and when God’s perfect peace will reign at last.”3 Dan Jackson, President of the North American Division, also released a statement: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is deeply saddened and troubled by the shooting that took place during Sabbath services at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2018, where 11 people lost their lives and four more were injured. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed, and to all our Jewish brothers and sisters.”4 The local conference president, Gary Gibbs, released a similar statement: “How shall we respond to this tragedy? On behalf of the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, I invite my fellow members to join me in the following. Let us: Pray for the survivors, family, friends, and fellow members of the victims. Pray for our country that people will submit themselves to the True God who alone can bring civility.”5 Words and prayers are empty if we do not act. Are we spending more time, money, and energy working towards compliance than showing compassion? Have we spent more time focusing inward and staying within the walls and safety of Adventism than reaching out to those who are hurting locally? Are we so focused on a worldwide mission that we neglect our own neighbors? The Commission and the Gospel message loses its power the moment we limit it to simply preaching. Our opinions, thoughts, and deepest condolences are meaningless unless we set an active example. If all we do is post political statements on Facebook, share ideas via captions on Instagram, or put stickers that
promote social justice on our water bottles, then our words are meaningless. “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”6 I urge you to find ways to put your words into action. If you feel compelled to help the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, here is how you can help: get in touch with our Circle Church team, which has been attempting to contact the Tree of Life’s rabbi. To give money to them directly, visit their website: https://www.tolols.org/give. You can also go to the Launch Good website where the local Muslim community is uniting to raise funds for the Jewish community: https://bit.ly/2SqWDT6. Prayer is a powerful devotion only when coupled with active compassion. 1 https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/27/us/pittsburgh-attack-timeline/index.html 2 https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/30/us/holocaust-survivor-pittsburgh/index.html 3 https://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story13081-presidential-statement-of-condolence-in-light-of-recent-violence 4 https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2018/north-american-division-statement-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting 5 https://www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaConference/ 6 Matthew 25:43-45 ESV
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Sacrifice In Vietnam
A thank you to the man who saved my father’s life By Griffin Leek Veterans Day is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to celebrate with our armed forces and thank them for their years of service to our country. Every year when this holiday comes around, I take time to remember and reflect on everyone I know who is or was in the military fighting for our freedom. When I think of this day, a story comes to my mind that really makes me think about my current existence, writing this story right now. My father, who was drafted at 18 but voluntarily decided to serve in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, is lucky to be alive thanks to his friend who unknowingly sacrificed his life for my father’s. It came time for my father and his military brothers to deploy over Vietnam. Everyone quickly rounded up their gear and ammunition into their helicopters. At the time, however, my dad was gravely ill from an unknown virus and was unable to deploy with his colleagues. His good
friend, a truly brave soul whom I thank every day, took my father’s seat on the helicopter so he could stay back and fight his illness. About an hour after takeoff, something went wrong with the rear blade of the helicopter flying in front of my father’s friend. It broke off and flew through the air, going through the windshield of the helicopter behind them, tragically impaling and killing the man who unknowingly sacrificed his life for my life to write his story. His name is now forgotten, but his story will always be remembered throughout my life. This is my story of the unknown soldier who gave his life for my family and I, and I’m forever grateful. This is why I value and respect Veterans Day: it’s because of them and their service that literally give us this high quality of life in this country. This is why it’s good to be patriotic: you’re celebrating the lives of those who give us life daily. To me it’s a solemn and gratitude-filled experience to celebrate this day with the rest of our country.
Dear Veterans By Inez Aguirre Dear Veterans of the United States of America, I would like to take a moment in observance of you. A moment where nothing could ever express how grateful I am for your service. Nov. 11 marks a significant day; a day when the Great War ended. A day you gave us peace. I can’t imagine the pain, the loss, the fear, and the loneliness you must have felt at times. I can’t imagine being in your shoes. I can’t imagine leaving my family behind and not getting to see them for so long. I can’t imagine going into combat day and night, and through all of that to keep pushing, fighting, and protecting what belongs to you and your nation. I have never gone to war and I have never even considered serving, but for someone to have that service even cross their mind shows so much about an individual. So, I thank you. I am not writing to you to remind you of the terrible things that came with your service. I am writing to you to remind you that you are appreciated, you are loved, you are admired, you are recognized, and you are a veteran of the United States of America. I want to celebrate with you and honor you for your patriotism; the love you hold for our country and how willing you have been to serve
and sacrifice so much of your life for the good of our country. So to all who have served for the United States of America, I want to thank you and remind you that you have not been forgotten and that you indeed will never be forgotten. You were the change and will continue being the change for everyone who comes after you. Your legacy stands. Student Culture wants to hear your thoughts about the things that are happening on campus, so send us some quick quotes at firstname.lastname@example.org, or share your illuminating insights with Inez at email@example.com. We want this column to be a place where your voice can be heard, and we’re ready to listen! To start things off, here’s a message from someone on campus who has some veterans in her family: “The remembrance of Veterans Day provides a reflection opportunity to feel many different emotions like sadness, admiration, pride, and gratitude. For whichever emotions it evokes in us, we can recognize that these people in our lives or our communities were a part of history and that each person carries a piece of it with them. Each of them gave up some or all of their lives to better ours.” - Krista Neuendorff
It makes me happy to hear that under the Trump administration our veterans are getting taken care of the way they should. Last week, Donald Trump stated that November is now known as National Veterans and Military Families Month. 1 According to Military Times, Trump signed a new law into order called the VA Mission Act of 2018. This act changes the way veterans receive healthcare and other important services and amenities that will benefit their lives after hard times from serving. 2 Benefits and services under this act include improvements to recruitment of health care professionals, better-equipped community care programs and home-visit medical appointments at no expense. This is just a small sliver of what veterans receive under this new act. 3
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all service members, past and present, for making America a great, free country to live in. This story is dedicated to the unknown soldier who gave his life, not only for his country, but for me to be able to live freely and write his story.
1 https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-airforce/2018/11/01/trump-extends-veterans-day-celebrations-through-all-of-november/ 2 Ibid 3 https://veterans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/va_mission_act_ summary.pdf
So even if you miss out on thanking a veteran on Nov. 11, now you’re able to celebrate and remember our service members all month long.
Poll Responses Do you feel that the basketball team controversy has negatively affected your view of the WWU administration? Yes: “The administration overreacted to the situation. They lost the one sheep and instead of trying to save it they built a security fence instead.” “As Seventh-day Adventists, we are supposed to represent Jesus. Jesus didn’t kick out sinners, he came here for them. This decision will not result in those men coming closer to the church, but will drive them out. A choice like this will not clean up the alcohol on this campus, it will just create even more secrecy and unsafe situations for the student body.”
“It seems that the administration is dodging any questions involving how the investigation was really performed, specifically about why disciplinary action was taken on students that passed a drug test. Also the new policies are written as though the administration is trying to establish themselves as dominant over the students; random drug testing is akin to the idea that a student is “guilty until proven innocent” through testing. Yet even still, students who did pass the test were disciplined, so it seems that the true ideology of the administration is “guilty because I said so.” “The view of alcohol in the young Adventist world has significantly softened. I knew numerous people, including faculty and staff (even a VP), who chose to responsibly enjoy alcohol at social events. The story that people drinking are choosing a certain “lifestyle” is dated and has been proven to be straight-up false. I am disappointed that the administration chose to create even more stringent rules and double down on them rather than choosing to reflect reality. With the recent crackdowns on housing and social policies I fear Walla Walla may lose its open and friendly reputation. I’d rather like to avoid attending a western Southern.”
Editor’s Disclosure Note: While we received a “no” response to this poll, we did not deem it printable in the context of this issue. We appreciate your feedback, so keep sending in your responses!
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Walla Walla University Students: A Faculty Member’s Perspective By Susan Bungard It happened last winter. I’m not sure why it took me so long to share this story, but now seems like the perfect time. It is a story about WWU students. It is a story about snow in the Blue Mountains on a weekend afternoon. A storm, actually—swirling snow showers, slippery roads, and the kind of cold that leaves snowflakes intact. A friend and I were driving up to the mountains to snowshoe—a welcome adventure after a week of work. The snow thickened as the vehicle climbed, and then suddenly, around a curve, we saw several cars were stopped and a long trail of brake lights that led to a semi-truck and a small, bright car off to the side. “Oh no!” I said, “I hope it’s not an accident!” We watched through the snowy windshield as figures were moving in and out of the car, to the truck, and back. “They look okay,” my friend said. “Hmm, yeah,” I replied. The better part of me that is curious, impulsive, and helpful wanted to jump out of the car, tromp through the snow, and go see if I could assist somehow. But the other part of me, apprehensive and afraid, stayed seat-belted in the vehicle with the motor running, heat blowing, and wipers gliding back and forth on the windshield. We waited. A sermon podcast was playing. We listened to the compelling message of the sermon and watched the dimming of the brake lights ahead as snow collected on the vehicles. Eventually, up in front of the truck, we could see figures piling back into the small, bright car which, with some difficulty, navigated out of the snow and back onto the road.
When I got back into the vehicle, the truck driver came up to the driver’s side window and my friend opened the window. The truck driver, leaned over the door and amicably asked if we were doing okay in the snow. “Oh yes, we are,” we both answered, “How about you? You were stopped back there, right?” “I sure was,” she laughed, “I was stuck is what I was! I thought I was gonna have to spend the whole d—n winter here!” At this she paused to cackle through missing teeth, and we laughed with her while the car quickly filled with the scent of her tobacco habit. Still hanging heartily over the open window, she added, “But them kids pulled their car over, got out, and helped me put chains on all my tires. There’re a lot of tires on that truck! I was trying to get ‘em on myself, but couldn’t. Then all them kids came over and got ‘em all on for me, and here I am!” We said how wonderful that was and how glad we were that she had gotten help. I sat there quietly, knowing that the car to which she referred was filled with Walla Walla University students. I was proud. I was humbled. I was nearly in tears. Just as the truck driver was about to walk away, she leaned over once more, looking at us intently, and said, “I didn’t think they made kids like that anymore.” With that, she thumped the side of the door, shook her head with a look of wonderment, and walked back to her truck. We drove on, eventually getting out of the car to contend with the wind and snow to “walk” in “shoes” that seemed to me like flattened bird cages strapped to my boots
The oncoming traffic that had been stopped now began moving slowly and our line began to move as well. “Oh, good,” I commented, “I’m glad everything was okay.” A moment later l looked over as the small car passed us—the bright car that had been stopped on the side of the road near the truck—and said, “Hey! Those are WWU students! I recognize them!” I waved wildly from the passenger’s seat, though the snow likely obscured my friendly gesture. Again, I was glad that they were apparently unharmed and going their snowy way, as were we. A couple of miles ahead was a store and restaurant. Since I had to use the facilities, we stopped there and when I came out of the store, the semi-truck driver was parked behind our vehicle. I waved at the driver who was standing outside the truck, recognizing it as the truck that had been stopped Photo by Bryan Aulick. on the hill and was now on its way.
(but of course it was fun!) and then we drove safely back to Walla Walla.
nity together this quarter, every quarter, and every year.
For days, I glowed in the awareness of this story. I felt like a proud parent. A proud teacher. A proud member of the WWU community. And all I had done— literally, all I had done—was witness a compassionate act by students who were simply practicing the “better part” of themselves. By doing that, they helped a female truck driver go down a wintry road with a story about kids that she didn’t think existed anymore.
Now a reference back to my story in the mountains. I believe that we, as a WWU community, are stopped on a snowy mountain road, so to speak. Our brake lights are on, our vision is blurred with swirling controversy around issues and policies, and we are trying to decide: who does the hard work in the snow, putting chains on the truck tires? Who gets out in the cold? Who works together to get the whole line moving again and moving well? My answer? We all do.
I’m writing as a faculty member to say that I know these kind of students exist. I see you every day here at WWU. I see your good hearts and helpful attitudes. I see you in class, on campus, in the community, and hear about your experiences overseas as student missionaries. I see how you share your compassion, your talents, your gifts, and your lives. I also know you make mistakes. We all do. You make good decisions at some times and bad decisions at other times. I know that college is a particular season of learning, growing, and figuring out life as the days fly by. To you students, I say, make as many good decisions as you can. Our lives are constructed of choices. Yours. Mine. Ours. WWU is a small, close-knit community. We have abundant opportunities here to learn, serve, worship, and grow together as students, faculty, and staff. Actually, a strong sense of community is what makes Walla Walla—Walla Walla! It’s not a given, however, it’s a gift. We need to continue to nurture and build a sense of commu-
I believe that it takes all of us—WWU students, faculty and staff, parents, community and church, board members, alumni, and constituents. We all need to keep community between us alive. We need to keep having difficult conversations, making concessions and commitments, pursuing challenging negotiations, living with generational and other tensions while keeping our hearts and minds open to each other and to God’s grace.
For me personally, sharing this story is “getting out of the car.” I choose to not stay where the heater is blowing, the sermon is podcasting, and the windshield wipers are gliding across the windshield. I want to get out of the vehicle during a storm. I want to say to WWU students whom I know and cherish (past and present), parents of these students, fellow faculty and staff, and the closer and wider community that we need each other. We need to work together, learn together, and grow together. We need to find our way forward together. Together. With God’s grace, together.
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Everything You Need To Know About Interviews with two student veterans
By Rose Sperl Most people have limited interactions with veterans, especially interactions regarding their service. Some have a family member or neighbor who has served and are willing to share stories and personal experiences. For those of us who do not know anything about the military, it can feel intimidating when you don’t know the terminology, what is okay to ask, or what this Sunday’s national holiday is all about. If you can relate, no need to worry. Here is everything you need to know about Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a federal holiday that takes place on Nov. 11 every year. It originated from a celebration on the first anniversary of the end of WWI. Congress declared an annual observance in 1926 by the name of “Armistice Day,” and by 1954, the annual date and current name “Veterans Day” were assigned. 1 Not to be mistaken with Memorial Day, Veterans Day is about honoring all those who served in the U.S. military, while Memorial Day specifically honors service members who have given their lives for our nation.
Photo by Andrew Schwartz.
The holiday holds varying meanings to Americans. To learn more, I talked to a couple veterans about their experiences. Josh Griffin, an army combat vet and current senior BSW student at WWU, told me that for him it is a day to remember veterans that went before him, and to reflect on their service and contributions to our country. 2 Shane Scalf, a Marine Corps vet and parent of a student on campus, held a similar view: “I take time to think about all the sacrifices my family and I have made over the years. When I am going about my day, I enjoy seeing other veterans being appreciated ... I know there should be nothing but gratitude for people who have signed their name on a contract to defend the United States.” 3 If you’re out and about this Sunday and see a veteran, or are visiting a relative who served, should you thank them? The important thing to remember is that each veteran is different and has his or her own unique preferences. However, as a general rule, Griffin and Scalf agree that it is appreciated when civilians extend their gratitude. A simple “thank you for your
Local Discounts and Events: • There is a Veterans Day parade this Sunday beginning at 11:11 a.m. in downtown Walla Walla; come show your support! • Free 16 ounce coffee at Hot Mama’s Espresso • Free haircut at Great Clips • Free drink at Roasters Coffee • 10 percent discount at Home Depot • 10 percent discount at Walla Walla Bread Company • 25 percent discount at Jiffy Lube, and more! service” will suffice. Scalf elaborated on his response: “I know I really didn’t know how to react when someone thanked me. As I have thanked other veterans over the years I have realized I should thank them and not expect anything back.” 4 If the conversation progresses past that, it can be intimidating when you’re unsure which questions are okay to ask. As previously stated, each person is different. With that in mind, is it okay to ask about an individual’s military experiences? “I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, absolutely. I’m very open about it,” said Griffin. 5 However, it depends on how well you know them. Scalf added, “I would say ‘no’ to anyone who just met the veteran. It can be hard and many people are not willing to share. Asking them may sound like you are trying to ask how bad it was or it may sound like you expect them to open up to you about some really dark stuff. However, if after you get to know them you may ask something like ‘Did you enjoy your time in the military?’ then they are free to gloss over anything they don’t want to get into.” 6 Veterans continue to face obstacles after serving. Reintegrating into society can be a difficult experience, especially for combat vets. Griffin shared that he struggles with PTSD and anxiety, as well as degenerative cartilage of his knees, chronic pain, limited physical capabilities, and hearing loss. “Reintegrating into society is hard; we feel like we don’t belong anywhere,” he
said. 7 Although there are support services in the area, it can be tough to meet the needs of all these men and women. Griffin is in his senior year pursuing a Bachelor’s and then Master’s in Social Work to become a therapist for veterans in hope of using his experiences to help others. When asked what WWU students and community members can do to show support for veterans this Sunday, Scalf suggested inviting a veteran or organization to speak for an event, and have students learn why we have this holiday. Griffin invited students to consider a new perspective: “An overwhelming amount of veterans don’t consider themselves as heroes. I believe a hero is anyone who does the right thing when the right thing is not the easy thing to do. To stand up for a peer or give your seat to a pregnant woman, you might not be saving a life in a third world country, but for that person, it means the world.” He urged the importance of respect for our nation. While some demonstrate their political stances by trampling the flag or mocking the national anthem, he says “the flag has a very deep meaning for me.” He continued, “You can disagree with politics and the government—I do—but I still love and respect my country.” This Sunday, take a moment to reach out to family and friends who sacrificed so much to serve our country. If you find
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t yourself in front of a veteran, consider buying them a muffin or simply saying â€œthank you.â€? After sitting down with two vets, I feel confident for the upcoming holiday, and so grateful for the many men and women in my community who have served this country. 1 https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/veterans-day-facts 2 Interview with Josh Griffin 3 Interview with Shane Scalf 4 Ibid. 5 Interview with Josh Griffin 6 Interview with Shane Scalf 7 Interview with Josh Griffin
Photo by Shane Scalf.
Graphic by U.S. Census
Photo by Josh Griffin
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The “F-word”: Fascism and America’s Identity Crisis By Zachary White The word “fascism” has been on the minds and lips of many people engaged in global politics for the past few weeks. Last week in Brazil, the far-right, dictatorship-praising, homophobic, misogynist Jair Bolsonaro won the country’s presidential election, making many around the world utter the “F-word” despite his denials of the label.1 Meanwhile, the United States, while facing a very different situation than Brazil, has also seen a series of horrific events that have caused many to contemplate the imminence of far-right authoritarianism in the country.2 While President Donald Trump recently labeled himself a “nationalist” and ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric in preparation for the
midterm elections, violent attacks like mail-bomb threats, synagogue massacres, and yoga studio shootings have shaken up the country.3,4,5 As easy as it might be to pin the current American crisis on a particular political climate or a particular political figure, it is precisely during these moments that we must contextualize our situation thoroughly and look deep into history for honest answers. Is America on the brink of fascism? This question seems incoherent to me, given the following passage from the most famous fascist polemic of all time, Adolf Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical book “Mein Kampf.” In chapter 11, “Nation and Race,” the
A 1937 banquet for the pro-Nazi German American Bund in New York. Photo by John C Metcalfe.
fascist leader makes chilling references to the U.S. while arguing that the mixture of “Aryan blood with that of lower peoples,” results in the degradation of society. In the following passage, Hitler identifies Jim Crow America as a gleaming example for Germany to follow: “North America, whose population consists in by far the largest part of Germanic elements who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale. By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture. The Germanic inhabitant of the American
continent, who has remained racially pure and unmixed, rose to be the master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood.”6 Here, the architect of the Holocaust—the mass slaughter of six million Jews and millions of other social outcasts—praises the U.S. during the height of Jim Crow segregation for its racial purity. When Hitler was writing this passage in the 1920s, it was illegal in much of the U.S. for two people of different races to get married. The lynching of black people was prevalent and routine, members of the Klu Klux Klan held political office not just in the South, but in Oregon as well, and an entire legal system of racism and discrimination was in place to keep black people “in their place.” It is remarkable, chilling, but perhaps not all that surprising that between hate-filled tirades against Jews and Marxism, Hitler found time to point to the U.S. as an example of the kind of social order he wanted to bring to Germany. Is “fascism” even the right word to describe the current crisis the U.S. faces if the most notorious fascists of the 20th century were taking notes on American race laws and lauding the U.S. as an exemplary Aryan ethnostate to one day emulate? It seems that the problems before us go much deeper than Donald Trump, the post-9/11 era, or even 20th-century fascism. Perhaps our problems began the day that a slave-owner could write the words “All men are created equal,” and not catch the cruel irony. 1 https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Is-Brazils-Jair-Bolsonaro-A-Fascist-20181027-0017.html 2 https://theintercept.com/2018/10/31/donald-trump-fascism-and-the-doctrine-of-american-mythology/ 3 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/04/republican-race-baiting-midterm-elections-donald-trump 4 https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ mike-pence-trump-american-violence_us_5bd67510e4b0d38b5884f4f9 5 https://www.wsj.com/articles/florida-yoga-studio-shooter-had-history-of-allegedly-harassing-women-authorities-say-1541367874 6 “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler.
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Washington State Working to Alleviate Student Homelessness By Meaghan Ashton Homelessness is an unfortunate predicament that affects adults and children who are unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, or adequate housing. Since 2007, the number of homeless students has tripled, so it should be no surprise that the impact of housing instability in student life influences student success.1 Let’s talk about this. Homelessness and concentrating on how to survive the day impairs a student’s life and distracts them from doing well academically. An estimated 1 in 25 students, as early as a kindergartener and as late as a high school senior, in Washington’s public school system are victim to homelessness. In more urban areas, such as Seattle, the homelessness rates among students rises to 1 in 13.2,3 That is one to three students per classroom. For students, homelessness can mean living on the street, in cars, hotels, or couch-surfing.4 This is the largest number of students experiencing homelessness in Washington state history.5 It goes without saying that students going through a situation such as homelessness are under a considerable amount of stress, and families are under an incredible
Photo from needleinthehay.net.
amount of strain. Obviously, their survival-mode attitude forces their attention to things other than their schoolwork, making them more susceptible to lower achievement, more absences, and a higher chance that they will not graduate.6 For instance, the four-year rate for students experiencing homelessness in Washington state is nearly 80 percent.7 The increase in homelessness amongst students can be contributed to state, local, and community factors like insufficient social services, unemployment or low-level jobs, and lack of affordable housing options. Schools have begun to stretch their limited resources and boost support to enable student success. Earlier this month, conversation in Washington State ignited, leading to action to alleviate the needs of homeless students. The McKinny-Vento Act, a federal action with state concentration that allows for $1 million of annual funding, strives to give equal educational access to homeless and non-homeless students.8 This act implements crucial services for homeless students such as transportation, tutoring and other educational services, school supplies, and early childhood education programs.9 With this being the ninth year in a row
that the homeless student population has increased, Washington State has taken appropriate action.10 Homelessness affects students past high school, college students are also at serious risk—hence the importance of having a conversation of
how homelessness can affect educational achievement. Having both social policy and ethical implications, finding means to eradicate homelessness must reach past the classroom. 1 https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/washingtons-homeless-students-face-steep-academic-struggles/ 2 https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-11-02/washington-state-works-to-meet-homelessstudents-needs 3 http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2018/ HomelessnessIncrease.aspx 4 https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-11-02/washington-state-works-to-meet-homelessstudents-needs 5 http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2018/ HomelessnessIncrease.aspx 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid.
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Tasting Notes: Sweet Potatoes By Nicki Horning From the time René Descartes said, “I think therefore I yam,” (some, including myself, argue he said “sweet potato”—we’ll get to that later), the Western philosophical tradition has begun to understand the importance of the tuber. However, it was only after humanity’s invention of crossfit that the sweet potato became ascendant. After years of WODs1, humanity has begun to realize that the sweet potato is the fundamental pillar to the examined life. In fact, if you were to closely inspect the first drafts of the blueprints for the Colosseum, you would find small dots below where each pillar would stand. It was not until recently that historians have been able to identify those dots as sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are both traditional and groundbreaking; they are ancient and modern. Good ol’ René was onto something. Something big. Not only was René the first to use yam as a verb, demonstrating the superfood’s utility in language, but René was also the first to reveal the philosophical truth behind the sweet potato. The sweet potato not only ties thought to existence, but also health to taste. It soothes modernity’s alienating relativism by providing a common dietary framework for all of mankind, regardless of moral persuasion. Thinking may initially lead one to first ask, “Yam? Is that just another name for sweet potato?” I realize that as the food editor I do need to clarify. Enter biology. Both yams and sweet potatoes are angiosperms, meaning flowering plants for those who do not have google close at hand, (I did. You’re welcome). Sweet potatoes are from the Convolvulaceae family and are actually dicots, or plants which have two embryonic seed leaves. Yams, on the other hand, are monocots of the Dioscoreaceae family ( just guess how many seed leaves these have. You’re in college. You can do it). Yams are usually drier, while sweet potatoes are more (sorry in advance) moist. That’s settled, then. We can move past first principles. We mean sweet potatoes. Also, if you’re reading this, Dr. Cowles, please give me extra credit. Sweet potatoes, like most truths, are often passed by in the grocery store. They are dry, brown, and feature the occasional lone hair peering out of their weathered skins, but upon careful inspection you may find they have an elemental attraction. They have a wonderful burgundy hue, pointed ends, and smell uniquely spicy when sliced. No, they don’t have the pizazz of an heirloom tomato, but the more you experience and learn about them, the more they will put you in a state
of awe with their innate handsomeness. After discovering this, one may realize they are also exceptionally cheap. Yet another benefit is that a single yam is often enough for a whole meal, with excellent fiber, iron, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, the antioxidant beta-carotene, and selenium. Cheap and healthy? Load me the heck up.
you thinkers who want to save money and time, and reap the glorious philosophical rewards sweet potatoes can impart to a seeking mind—it also involves steaming. 1 Workout of the Day
Sweet potatoes can be sweet with maple syrup and butter, or savory when roasted with rosemary, oregano, basil, salt, and olive oil, and generally have a pleasant, mild, natural sweetness to them. They also have a vivid color when plated and are less starchy and dry than regular potatoes. They dazzle breakfast scrambles and bring life to lunches or dinners. All this with just a few calories per potato. It seems too good to be true. They are truly a food upon which to build a diet. My boyfriend does, actually. Some of my most recent experiences with sweet potatoes are instructing my boyfriend that there are various ways of cooking sweet potatoes. While he had been experiencing great success with roasting, it was taking some tolls on his kitchen. It took hours and heated up his whole house (this is an issue in Southern California foreign to us PNWers). I taught him that by steaming his sweet potatoes he could decrease the overall heat in the house and complete the task a bit faster. He was mind-blown by my genius, though he had to FaceTime me in a spirit of scientific confusion, demanding I tell him precisely how much water to put in the pot. The recipe I have for you today is for
Sweet Potato Monster: • As many sweet potatoes as you please (do as many as your pot can hold! You can meal prep) • Granola (Andy’s sells granola in bulk) • Sliced Dates (optional) • Chia seeds • Shredded coconut • Almond butter (or peanut butter) • Cinnamon • Sea salt • Maple syrup (I mean, self-care)
Photo by Nicki Horning.
Method: Fill a pot with a few inches of water and begin heating it on the stove. If you have a pot that has a steaming basket, please use it and be grateful for that blessed device. Wash and cut the ends off of your carefully-selected sweet potatoes. Place them into your basket or straight into your pot if you’re a mere groundling like myself. Lid that pot and steam those ‘tates until you can stick a knife through them without resistance. Allow your sweet potato to cool (alternatively you can go ahead and purchase some aloe for that burn if you’re not going to listen) and slice about halfway through from the top. Press the sweet potato in toward its center from the long ends. Use a fork to mash the sweet
potato up a bit. You may now add your toppings—a sprinkle of this, a dash of that, a drench of the other. You might consider mixing your peanut or almond butter with a little maple syrup so that it can drizzle nicely—if you care about aesthetics. You know how it be. Once you’ve loaded your sweet potato, grab your fork and dig in. It’s called a Sweet Potato Monster because it’s scary good. Be sure to have a fountain pen and journal ready, as you will likely be overcome with philosophical truths. Marvel as you munch on your sweet potatoes for breakfast, dinner, and lunch.
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The Best Movie I’ve Seen All Year is Finally Streaming By Matt Fennell
Photo from www.impawards.com.
Over the summer, MoviePass imploded. Technically it’s still around, but with a bunch of rules and regulations that make it practically useless, it’s only a shell of what it once was. The dream of unlimited movies at the theater for $9.99 a month is dead, and people like Scott Rae—who went to see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” nine separate times with his MoviePass—killed it. In late July, while MoviePass was in its death throes, I decided to go see “Mission Impossible: Fallout” at the East Ridge UEC in Chattanooga, TN, but when I tried to check in, I was notified that MoviePass was no longer offering tickets for newly-released movies. I really didn’t feel like driving home without actually seeing a movie, so I begrudgingly bought a ticket to the next showing of the only film in the app still listed as eligible for check in, a movie I’d never heard of called “Blindspotting.” “Blindspotting” follows two best friends from Oakland, Collin (Daveed Diggs) and Miles (Rafael Casal), during the last three days of Collin’s probation. The two work for Commander Moving, packing families and the elderly up out of the city, all while hipsters and tech-bros slide in and take their place, much to Miles’ chagrin. A lot
of the film is jokey banter between the two as they drive from pick-up to dropoff, dealing with weirdo art dealers and grumpy ex-girlfriends while Miles constantly tries to hussle the junk they pick up to unsuspecting passersby and friends, and Collin just tries to stay out of trouble. It’s got the vibe of an early Kevin Smith flick coupled with the fun visual comedy and drive of an Edgar Wright movie. At the same time, the core of the film feels much more like an early Spike Lee joint, as it revolves around Collin seeing something that he shouldn’t have at the start of it all, and how he reckons with the trauma he now carries. “Blindspotting” is perfectly paced, answering questions about motivation and backstory just as they get to be too big to ignore, and the whole thing feels deliberate and dense, packing dozens and dozens of memorable moments into a brief 90-minute run time. This is a movie that contains a bunch of feelings and pieces and tricks you’ve seen before, but it fits them all together into something new: a delicious crystallization of why we love them in the first place—kind of like a movie version of Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch. The climax of the film is a clockwork emo-
tional rollercoaster—we can see the pieces falling into place but are powerless to do anything but watch, and it’s just so, so good. While “Blindspotting” does get a little heavy-handed in places, its themes of fear, trauma, injustice, gentrification, toxic masculinity, and male friendship are explored so well that it’s easy enough to look past some of that preachiness. “Blindspotting” is a movie about the things that, for whatever reason, we’ll alway miss, unless we know to look for them. Appropriately enough, I almost missed this movie, and if it wasn’t for MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe’s idiotic business plan, I wouldn’t have seen what I consider to be my favorite film of the year. “Blindspotting” went out of theaters almost immediately after I saw it, and since then I’ve been counting down the days till I could stream it again. Thankfully, that day has come, and as of Nov. 6, “Blindspotting” is available for rental and purchase on most major digital marketplaces. Pick it up and watch it as soon as you can. I promise you’ll love it. Matt out.
Education Over Discipline: The Perspective of a WWU Alum To Whom It May Concern,
Walla Walla University has a right to determine its policies regarding substance use and I endorse the idea that student representatives of the school should be held to a higher behavioral standard. However, I would like to clarify that scripture does not condemn alcohol consumption. It does problematize drunkenness. There are several examples of drunkenness leading to poor decisions and heavy consequences in scripture. For young people, the line between alcohol consumption and drunkenness is often blurred, so I understand the school’s perspective. However, compassion can exist in the face of drunkenness. In Genesis 9, Noah becomes drunk and uncovers himself in his tent. One of his sons finds him and tells the other two. These two do not turn away in disgust, nor do they voice their disapproval. Instead, they go into Noah’s tent and
cover him, averting their eyes as a demonstration of respect. After Noah wakes up, the son who merely reported the incident gets a curse, while the two who covered him get a blessing. Relating this story to WWU’s current issue, I fear that the administration is favoring the wrong model when dealing with substance-use policy violations. If WWU’s primary purpose is to educate students, then it should focus there first before doling out discipline. Immediate suspension seems to favor condemnation over compassionate care. Making the violators a public example seems to bypass the point of educating them. Considering scriptural issues of non-compliance, those who underwent punishment did so after numerous attempts were made to save them. Can the WWU administration demonstrate that same level of care? I recognize that the school is not a rehabilitation center and cannot provide the full spectrum of resources required by
students seriously struggling with substance abuse. However, it can and should offer its resources to individuals violating the policy for the first time, giving them a chance to change before removing them from the campus environment. Creating an atmosphere of fear runs counter to the 1 John declaration that “perfect love casts out fear.” I would urge the administration to demonstrate love first.
Photo from www.commons.wikimedia.org.
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You Are Smart By Tobi Brown When I first came to Walla Walla University, I enrolled as an engineering major. I was proud to be an engineering student. Every time I told someone my major, I was met with “Oh, you’re smart then.” It was an exciting feeling to be called smart without having proven anything. I met so many interesting people in my first year— some of whom I considered mentors. I recall them filling my head with determination, saying things like “We try hard to keep our female engineers here.” They wouldn’t have to try hard to keep me here. I saw being a female engineer as a challenge and a chance to prove people wrong. I spent most of my time on schoolwork and climbing the engineering ladder to ensure my future success. A few of my classmates gave up engineering along the way, but the rigorous coursework did not deter me. Compared to most of my peers though, I was a weak link. They were naturally gifted at science and math. They didn’t doodle in class. They didn’t have to stay up until 2:00 a.m. to get stuff done. They could rest easy by 10:00 p.m. I felt dumb compared to them, but when I told someone that I was an engineer, they still replied “Oh, you’re smart then. I could never do that.” I began to despise this answer. I questioned them when they said that: “Why do you think I’m smart?” They told me, “Well, because I could never do that!”
Illustration by Tobi Brown.
They could do that, I thought, if they just tried harder. I could do it too if I just tried harder. So, I did. I tried harder and was met with greater success. But still, I was discouraged. I wasn’t good enough. I recall conversations with my fellow engineers going like this: “What’d you get on the test?” “Not good.” “Me neither. But what was your score?” “85 percent.” Eighty-five percent! Boy was our “not good” different! But I was an engineer and I’d just have to try harder. I needed to have higher standards. Despite my struggles, I still felt as if I was a part of some elite club. The teachers would make light fun of other majors, calling them “easy.” They wouldn’t mention specific names, but we all knew which ones they were referring to—we made fun of them too. The ones who dropped out usually went for majors such as business, graphic design, elementary education, and psychology—pretty much anything that wasn’t engineering was considered “easy.” Someone I considered a mentor talked about how “product design was the graveyard of engineering.” I thought these kind of jokes were funny too. I was better than everyone, they told me. I was an engineer, and so I was smart.
Though I liked these jokes, every inch of my body began to dread the typical response. When I told them, “I’m an engineer,” I added, “And yes, I’m smart” so they didn’t have to say it. Peers who had dropped out of engineering were being gossiped about. They had given up their permission to remain in that elite club. The only logical reason behind this was because they weren’t smart. A society of subconscious narcissism was being cultivated by teachers and students alike. I finally rejected this society after long prayer and deep conversation with God. When people told me I was smart, I responded, “Yes, and so are you! You go to college, you love the Lord, you are smart. Just because I am good at something you are not good at doesn’t mean you’re dumb. There are plenty of things you are good at that I am not.” That response seemed to enlighten the listener. They walked away with a perk in their step having been called smart. I learned so much after just that one year. Meanwhile, my mind was drifting. I had felt a wind of change push me towards a different path, but whenever it came, I threw on my windbreaker. I knew I was smart, but I was afraid. Afraid that if I dropped out of engineering, I would be the butt of the jokes. Afraid that I would be excluded from the elite club that so generously accepted me before. But after a year and a half, I had finally had enough of pretending to be somebody I wasn’t. Another of my mentors had lent me a book by Ellen G. White called “True Education.” In a chapter called “The Lifework,” she writes about how God wants you to go where you have a general aptitude. My mentor assured me that I would be an excellent engineer, but she knew me well enough. She knew that I was truly keen on creating things, and that I had a natural gift for that. In fact, most of my mentors knew that. But my mother, a great inspiration to me, knew that I also had a “math brain,” as she liked to call it, and I wasn’t too keen on giving up all of the math and science credits I had earned either. I made a compromise between “starving artist” and “billionaire philanthropist.” I decided that I needed to switch and God was calling me towards something else. I was incredibly fearful of the engineers’ judgement, but my really close friends assured me they would understand that I need to do what I am called to do. So I made the switch to the graveyard of engineers: product design. The change felt
good for a while. I explained my decision to a good friend at dinner one night, mentioning how I knew everyone was going to think I was dropping engineering because I was giving up. I assured her it was simply because I had seen a greater plan on my horizon. She asked what I was switching to and I responded with product design. Then, nonchalantly, she said “Oh, I understand why they think you’re giving up. Product design is like engineering, but ... easy.” And then she turned to another friend to talk about something else. I was silent the rest of the dinner. I felt rejected, written off as just another one of those “not smart” people. The kind that gives up when things get tough. In reality, it would have been so easy for me to stay in engineering—done my work like I was supposed to, stuck to the plan like I was supposed to, faked a smile like I was supposed to. The hard thing was never staying in engineering, it was being vulnerable and being rejected. And that’s what happened. Although it stung, remarks that I “took the easy way out” helped me understand what was and is problematic with the label of “smart.” I believe that engineers are called “smart” too often. It is ingrained in their brain that they are somehow special and privileged to be a part of this society. They have convinced themselves that the reason they are putting themselves through such hard work is because they are doing the hard thing, and because it is the hard thing, then it must be the right thing. They have a picture of themselves subconsciously painted in their heads and it is arrogant. It is vain. And it is incorrect. Many people, not just engineers, have similar beliefs. They believe because they know something you don’t, they are better than you. Classier, more unique, smarter. I am not giving up engineering—I am choosing a new, more applicable way to utilize my inventiveness and creativity. I am continuing my journey to find myself and serve God. I challenge you to think before you speak. Humble yourself. Consider the other person’s journey. And remember that God’s plan for you may be different than someone else’s, but it is not better. Each and every one of you must remember, it’s not just for engineers. You are smart.
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Ask Regan Hey Regan. Whenever I try to talk to my best friend about things going on in my life, she always seems to turn the conversation back to herself. How do I let her know that I need someone to talk to who will just listen? Sincerely, Is This Thing On
Is This Thing On, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been sitting here for the longest time staring at my computer screen, thinking about this question. In a lot of ways, it may be one of the hardest I’ve had to answer. Not because it’s inherently difficult, but rather because it’s a universal experience—one I’m sure many (if not all) of us have gone through at some point. And, in some instances, I’m sure lots of us have been the friend who’s not listening as well. Here lies the issue—and I’m sure the reason why you wrote in in the first place. How can you tell your friend you need
someone to talk to without invalidating their own stories or issues? This isn’t easy to do, and has the ability to make you feel like a jerk in the process. After all, saying something akin to, “Anyway, back to me,” after they lay their feelings down about how their dog died tragically when they were 7 probably isn’t the best way to handle it. Still, it may serve you to just be upfront and honest with them about what you’re feeling. If you tell them truthfully, odds are that they will be more on the lookout to make sure you feel heard.
Thinking about you, Is This Thing On, and for the first time… I think I may have actually given advice!
Got a question you’re itching to have answered? Apply some ointment first, and then visit rebrand.ly/askregan to ask for advice!
So, set up a coffee date. Preface it by saying, “Are you free? I’m having some life problems and need someone to talk to.” This way, they show up ready to offer an understanding ear. And yes, while they may still bring up themselves, at least this way you both go in with the knowledge of what you’re there to accomplish. Plus, coffee! In the end, if they’re a good friend, they’ll put in the effort. However, sometimes we need to know that we are discounting each other. So, if after all this they’re still not getting the message, tell them so. Let them know, and if they truly care about you, they’ll be sure to put in the work to be the person you need.
the SWEET ONION
Last Week’s Fake Headline:
Connecticut County Council Candidate Calls for Careful Consideration of Cremating Criminal Cadavers
This Week’s Headlines
Find the fake headline! Look for the answer in next week’s issue!
Bad News, ‘Star Wars’ Fans: The ‘Episode IX’ Release Date Has Been Pushed Back 26 Minutes After J.J. Abrams Hits Traffic On His Way To Set Purrfect job; Russian town hires cat chief to attend to strays Eggs with benefits: Sydney’s same-sex penguins become parents
p a g e 1 6 | N ove m b e r 8 , 2 01 8 | Vo l u m e 1 03 | I ss u e 0 6
Faux Paws: The Gargoyle: Part I By: Regan Hinshaw I got my dog, Gatsby, in a Krispy Kreme parking lot when I was a freshman in high school. Having given an in-depth 23-slide PowerPoint presentation to my parents about our need for a second dog (“We can train her to grab us bottles of cream soda from the refrigerator!”), they broke down and decided to let me start looking for a tiny friend for our lonely, only-child Border Collie, MacGyver. About a month later, my dad and I found ourselves bee-boppin’ over to Tacoma to pick up the puppy that we’d fallen in love
with over the internet. Itty-bitty and beautiful, Gatsby was a 10-week-old Boston Terrier about the size of a pudding cup. Okay, maybe two pudding cups stacked on top of each other. Either way, we approached Krispy Kreme full of nervous excitement and a hankering for donuts— so, basically, the usual way of approaching a Krispy Kreme, even without the dog. Upon our first meeting, Gatsby immediately jumped into my arms, showering me with those sweet puppy kisses that are equal parts gross and endearing (at times, let’s face it, mostly gross). As she sat in my arms on our way to Petco to deck her out
Not Gatsby, but we know you’ll love a bunch of puppies either way. Photo by Shutterstock.
in brand-new swag, she tried desperately to get at the donut I was holding in my hand. It was in that moment that I knew she was truly mine. Now she’s almost 6 years old, a full-blown gargoyle that barks at inanimate objects and sits semi-patiently by the kitchen counter waiting for cheese “This is me demonstrating how to think.” slices to - Dr. Benjamin Jackson accidentally drop on the floor— “We usually like to make sure something works before we which hapname it. It’s a good thing we don’t do that with children.” pens more - Dr. Jonathan Duncan often than not, thanks to my “I had to read myself into the language of memes.” dad. She’s - Dr. Mathilde Frey, spoiled, on the book of Leviticus sometimes rotten, and the cutest patoot imaginable who has gotten Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be herself into more featured in next week’s Verbatim! trouble than I can say—but more on that next week.
As we headed home with mini-Gatsby back in 2012, I remember the way she watched traffic pass us on the highway. Her tiny head was just high enough to peer out of the window; people waved at her as they passed, all smiles as they cooed across the median. For many, this is still their reaction to seeing her—a chuckle and a grin—and every
I tripped on your shoelace yesterday and we laughed about how hilarious and dumb it was. Hope you tied those things.
You sit three rows behind me in class and we are in the same group project. And even though you are a guy, I think you’re beautiful. I like your hair and face. #ImAwkward. Signed, The One with Glasses
time I go home, it’s my reaction as well. Not to mention that we both still really, really like donuts.
I’m sorry for spilling soy sauce on your shoes. That’s it, really. Signed, Clean-Up on Aisle Me
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