Our first postcard is from Mary Raschko, Assistant Professor of English at Whitman College. Professor Raschko has been at Whitman since the fall of 2014. Whitman College is known for being one of the "Colleges that Change Lives" and for providing an excellent liberal arts education to students who love outdoor fun in the Pacific Northwest.
What is your favorite thing about the school?
I love its exclusive focus on undergraduate liberal arts education - that means everyone's focused on the same mission, there are no graduate or professional schools that compete for funding or attention, and the scholarly work we do on campus involves undergraduates.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
A wooded area with a waterfall that the students call Narnia.
What is unique about this school, as opposed to other institutions where you've worked or studied?
Especially in fall and spring, Whitman tends to feel like summer camp. We have a main field, rather than a quad, where students are often playing ultimate frisbee, volleyball, flag football, or lacrosse. Our library (open 24 hours a day) sits next to this field, with big windows that look out on it. So it's easy to switch between work and play. We also have an extensive outdoor program - you can rent skis or snowshoes in the winter or equipment for camping or standup paddle boarding in the springtime. Students can sign up for lots of different excursions around the northwest (sea kayaking, a moonlight hike, and rock climbing are advertised at the moment), many of which are targeted toward beginners.
Any fun factoids about this institution?
One of my favorite events is the "Instant Play Festival," where Whitman students write, rehearse, and publicly perform plays in a 24 hour period. We're a pretty informal community in which lots of professors go by their first names. There is cool art almost everywhere you look - in the student center, the library, the academic buildings, even in the stream that runs through campus.
Best pizza on/near campus?
My favorite is the pizza truck Why Not Pizza?
Best ice cream on/near campus?
The Patisserie, a few blocks from campus, has great gelato and amazing baked goods.