My First Semester Living in a Tipi

teepee dreamcatcher
Four months, five feral cats, two girlfriends, and 18 credit hours later, I've completed my first semester of tipi living. In that time, I've reaffirmed a lot of my preconceived notions but also learned quite a few things that I would have never expected to:

  • Regardless of the temperature, you'll need to wear long sleeves and pants. In the warmer months, it's the mosquitoes. In the cooler months... Well, it's cold.
  • Surprisingly, I prefer goosebumps over mosquito bites.
  • Having a tipi cat is a great way to keep mice, lizards, insects, and snakes out of your tipi house.
  • Having a tipi cat is a great way to attract stinky, nasty, feral cats into your tipi house.
  • Getting rid of your cellphone, especially a smartphone, is a great way to detach from the outside world, when you're at home.
  • Getting rid of your cellphone, is a great way to get detached from your girlfriend.
  • The Clemson CAT Bus is priced great for students. Its free.
  • The Clemson CAT Bus is not scheduled at all for students. It stops running at 5 PM.
  • Daylight savings time sucks.
  • White collar people are a lot more taken aback by living in a tipi than blue collar folks.
  • The way the government calculates property taxes is just plain stupid.
  • There's a leash law, even for cats, in Anderson County.
  • Being tall, having a giant fro, and wearing the same leather vest almost every day turns you into "that guy" around campus.
  • A lot of people have no concept of life without electricity.
  • Even when I live in a tipi, my food supply is nearly same as any other college kid.
  • Eggs don't need to be refrigerated (this ones actually learned in New Zealand).
  • You can't ride the Cat Buses barefoot.
  • Bi-Lo's have great little cafe areas at the front.
  • Bi-Lo's management staff looks down upon doing arts and crafts (especially paper meche) in the cafe areas.
  • If I wear it around the tipi, it will get a clay stain.
  • Cat hair doesn't stick to leather.
  • Explaining Google Voice to some is quite difficult.
  • Some girls would never go for a guy who lives in a tipi.
  • Some girls would totally go for a guy who lives in a tipi.
  • You can actually train a cat.
  • When building a cellar, it's best to do so on the north base of a hill.
  • A raised garden bed makes for easier and more efficient gardening.
  • You appreciate showers a lot more.
  • Fike makes you pay for full body towels, but 5 or 6 of the little, free hand towels work just as we'll (plus, they can be used as wash cloths and to stand on).
  • Even when I'm trying to, It's really hard for me to fatten up for winter.
  • Trying to explain this plight to almost any girl is met with blank stares and/or a sassy retort.
  • There are two main ways to go about chopping firewood: maul or sledge and wedge.
  • Sometimes, you wish there was a better answer, but it simply does not exist.
  • The temperature at the tipi is often much lower than the predicted low for Pendleton.
  • Pallets are 40"x48" inches.
  • Lowe's will try to knowingly sell you wood with mold already growing on it.
  • The US Postal Service will deliver mail to a tipi.
  • Don't keep anything of value in a tipi.
  • When people complain about not wanting to get up in the morning, it's really hard not stare at them blankly and then say, "Really? It's hard for you? Because I live in a tipi and it was below freezing and still dark out when I woke up for my 8 AM today. But I'm sure it was a lot harder for you."
  • I don't smell like campfire as much or as often as I thought that I would.
  • It's a bit odd trying to keep your address somewhat of a secret.
  • Some people will literally stop their car in the middle of the road and stair at me/the tipi. Others will be a bit more coy and slow down to a pedophile roll and loop around the block a couple times.
  • I have a new found respect for the bulldozer and backhoe. It took me a week of hard labor with hand tools to do what those machines could easily manage in a half hour.
  • Every time I start seeing another girl, I have to have a "this is how to use the toilet" talk.
  • There's something about peeing outside that just feels so... right.

If you're looking to learn how to hitchhike, check out my book- The Hitchhiker's Guide to: Earth.

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