Because sometimes you just have to let it out.
To celebrate the coming of Our Glorious People’s Dean’s Date, one sophomore had a raucous proposal.
Julie Leary ’12 sent this late-night missive to the Whitman Wire, the listserv for all of Whitman College:
I hereby declare tonight, January 12, 2010, the night of the first official WHITMAN WAIL. At the stroke of twelve tonight, open your window and share in the pain of your fellow Whitmanites with a one-minute WAIL!
Honestly, I could use some moral support right now. And tomorrow is my birthday.
Apparently her birthday wish struck a chord in Whitman hearts (and throats), because @ precisely 1200 hours, the opening minute of D-Day rang clear with the wretched cries of suffering Whitmanites. Windows were flung open, tortured souls were laid bare. Men, women, and children alike took part in the communal cry. And with that– that brief, cathartic burst– we all returned to normalcy (read: misery), exactly one minute later. The First (hopefully Biannual) Whitman Wail was complete.
For now, there are papers to be churned out, printers to be jammed. But that midnight wail might let the midnight oil burn a little easier.
Update: Julie notes that she was paying homage to the older tradition of the “Holder Howl”– and in retrospect, similar sounds of despair did seem to be emanating from other areas of campus.