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Friday, February 19

An inspiring blog: The Spartan Student

Every so often I bump into a blog that makes me salivate with envy. The Spartan Student is my most recent find. Written by Ken Ilgunas, a graduate student at Duke University, it follows Ken’s experience living in a van on campus so that he can graduate debt-free.

For the Cliffs Notes version of his blog, Ken published an article that can be found on Salon.com:

“I pledged that I wouldn't take out loans. Nor would I accept money from anybody, especially my mother, who, appalled by my experiment, offered to rent me an apartment each time I called home. My heat would be a sleeping bag; my air conditioning, an open window. I'd shower at the gym, eat the bare minimum and find a job to pay tuition. And -- for fear of being caught -- I wouldn't tell anybody.”

What I find most fascinating about this blog are Ken’s explanations for how he copes with year-round van-dwelling:

  • · He cooks using a small propane device and never washes dishes (disgusting, I thought, but he claims it’s never made him sick). He brings water back to the van each night for cooking and consumption.
  • · He screwed hooks into the walls of the van to hang his clothes so they wouldn’t wrinkle.
  • · For entertainment he’s found an empty classroom that’s never locked where he can watch TV or movies at night. He also spends a lot of time in the library.

Ken is a fan of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and his 1994 Ford Econoline van is his own version of a small cabin in the woods. I’ve contemplated having my own Walden many times. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but reading about people like Ken make me itch with envy at the simplicity of their lives.

13 comments:

  1. An oldie but goodie! One of my readers just sent me this link. Very interesting stuff:)

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  2. Good luck Ken!

    I read your another blog, and it's good. Keep going!

    Regards
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