Connor Brown, Nick House, Stephen Westich, Bianca Wooden, Dr. Matthew Milliner, Courtney Gall, Jordan Barney, Anna Li, Anna Tipton
I am convinced millennia from now, the supercomputers that control the earth with discuss in postlingual amaze- ment at the paradise that was the early 21st century lib-
eral arts college. College is Utopia, a refuge from the outside world, a place where a bunch of squishy children learn to be adults and then revert to their prior adolescent ways. Even the tough parts—long papers, chapel probation, floor meetings—all swaddle us. We have more than the ear of great professors, we have them staying up late on weekends reading our 6 page, double-spaced, 12-point-font essays on the problem of evil, a subject they have grown better than and we have grown tired of finding primary sources for.
When I got to Wheaton, I assumed the promise of this place is that we can achieve perfection. A liberal Protestant with an affinity for Jesus, even I could realize Wheaton was special, as if Christ Himself had given Jonathan Blanchard the keys to the tower and engraved his name on Old Main. I sought to transform myself into one of these Evangelical superhumans who surrounded me. I tried to love on just about everything I could—I looked past the flaws, even the overtly phallic archi- tecture of the BGC. I had applied for a student visa to the City of God.
Of course I say this with a sense of irony. Utopia is a famous translation of “no place”. There is obviously a lot of disappointment at a place like this, a lot of hurt does occur. I remember my junior year, following the death of my uncle Ed, a long suffering alcoholic and kindred spirit, my time at Whea- ton was spent in hatred. I hated that people wanted to be nice, I hated that professors saw potential in my late papers, I just wanted someone to know what I knew, that Wheaton wasn’t perfect, that the world outside us was full of horrible things and our joy was pretty inconsistent with reality.
Salvation is not the promise Wheaton has to offer, the promise is acceptance. What makes this place special is it
teaches us we aren’t crazy for believing in things unseen, we aren’t weirdos for passing up a chance to go to a state school for free, but most importantly, we are affirmed in thinking we have something worth giving people. Even in our rejection of each other we offer a strange sense of affirmation. People at Whea- ton always stress their love for their brothers and sisters. Even when they find your actions undesirable, off-putting, and sinful, they still want to accept and affirm you. Yeah still doesn’t make me go to sleep at night with a smile, but I guess even hurricanes have silver linings.
Wheaton is a place of belief, not just in God but in each other. People are looking to affirm others. To see them as better than they are. This is where the Pub fits in. I have found Wheaton to be a rare place because it offers something I have seen nowhere else: Victory. Wheaton creates winners. It won’t make you a millionaire or a superstar (you will prob- ably end up making $40,000 with a formerly cute spouse like the rest of us) but it’s full of small victories. It’s a place of D3 All-Americans, Jameson Essay Award Winners, Drone-Flying Photographers (the only requisite for any video or photography contest), Time.com Front-Pagers, MSNBC Feminists, Under- ground Kings, KJV Masters, and completely unqualified Pub Editor-in-Chiefs.
This magazine is proof of our brief ascent into Utopia. Read these pieces defiantly. What college junior is qualified to speak about Keats Ode’s? Anna Tipton. Who can write a poem about a volcanic explosion that occurred 13 years before she was born? Anna Li. Who knows Plato and the Old Testa- ment outside of their vernacular? Stephen Westich. Who took eight emails to get him to send us an essay? Professor Milli- ner. The Pub may be nothing more than the cool, fun literary magazine on Wheaton College’s campus, but our winners are speaking. Celebrate, as they have in your accomplishments. Accept their victory speeches and keep writing your own.