Friday, November 19, 2004

Living without a home !!!

Student is living without a home
By Sarah West
Published: Friday, November 19, 2004

Imagine getting dropped off at Old Main Hill the week school started and having nowhere to go.

It might seem crazy, but that's exactly what happened to Eric Woolley, a sophomore majoring in psychology, at the beginning of this school year.

"My parents just drove me up here [Logan] with all my stuff and just kind of threw me off Old Main and drove away," Wooley said.

He slept his first night on Old Main Hill because he didn't know how to get around or where to go.

"Who needs a house? Home is an abstract term," said Broden Howell, a senior majoring in sculpture. "The open road will be his school."

There are a few spots that Woolley normally sleeps. There's one up Green Canyon that he really liked to go to when he had his father's truck for the first two weeks of school.

Woolley said he found a purple and green bike that didn't have a seat, and rode it for four weeks. The front tire had a little split in it so it leaked air slowly and progressively died on him. Woolley didn't want to deal with putting air back into the tire so he chucked it.

Woolley occasionally sleeps at friend's houses, he said, especially when it's raining. He said he was miserable and just wanted to stay dry.

"I pretty much just find a good place to sleep away from everyone. I live in two sleeping bags that fit one inside the other and a pad, and that's about it. I have a tarp but that's only if it gets cold or rainy," Woolley said.

Woolley's said his friends don't think he can continue living outside because they don't think he realizes how cold it's going to be.

"I wish I could tell you what I'm going to do [for heat], but I don't know," he said.

So far he's only gotten cold one night back in the third week of school where temperatures dropped to 45 degrees.

"It's awesome," Keith Lewis, a junior majoring in psychology, said about Woolley's life style. "It brings out the hippie in all of us ... until it got cold and then I couldn't do it."

Woolley's planning on living outside at least for this school year until April or May. But after that he's not sure what he'll do.

Brian Anderson, a sophomore majoring in English said as far as housing costs go, he's thought about why he is paying $900 for an apartment when he could just be out on the Quad for free.

Woolley keeps big and heavy items in one spot and takes a backpack holding everything he needs for the day, including his sweater, hat, water bottle, paper and school supplies.

Woolley doesn't cook his food like most students. Instead, for the first month and a half to two months he ate green apples all day, every day from the trees at Lundstrom Park. He'd also go to the Aggie Stop and get a corn dog.

Now, Woolley goes to the Old Grist Mill and Great Harvest about once a week, and he eats whatever is on campus and what his friends will give him.

"I've noticed there are a lot of microwaves on campus, so I've thought about getting canned food for Friday dinner. You know, that's my treat for the week."

He's only taken two or three showers the whole time he's been up on campus at the HPER, and one shower at a friend's house. However, he does shower when he goes home on weekends.

Woolley said his favorite part about living outside is meeting all the people.

"The worst part of sleeping outside is every night I have to go either back to the spot where I was or else find a new spot. If I'm down in the homes in the valley, I have to trek back up, grab my stuff and find a place to sleep."

Woolley's alarm clock stopped working because the batteries froze, so now he just wakes up on his own. He said he usually wakes up at about 10:30 a.m., which is when his first class starts.

Michael Sowder, Assistant Professor of English and Woolley's poetry teacher said, "his living outside keeps alive the spirit of Henry Thoreau, who said we should live simply, close to nature and use our free time for higher pursuits."

Sowder also said he's rooting for Woolley to make it through the winter, but if he decides to come in, he understands.

"I'm always amazed at how he comes into class from the mountains - on time, clean, smelling of clover, and full of Tom Bombadill good humor," said Sowder.

Woolley likes to write poetry. Some of his poems are written on napkins because when he was a cook and a lift operator at Park City Mountain Resort, that was the only paper available to him.

Woolley said people have asked Woolley what's going to happen if he finds a girl.

"I guess I'll just take that into consideration," he said.

Woolley doesn't have a job, so he has a lot of free time. When he's not in class, he goes up the canyon, hangs out on campus or goes to a friend's house.

Maren Andrew, a junior majoring in English, said she always sees him at school functions, such as the free movies.

She said, "This kid knows how to budget."


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