Friday, March 30, 2012

Cardboard Village

This is a noneducational story, but I figured I'd share anyway.

Last night, I participated in the Cardboard Village. Basically, organizations (or people) sign up and build a cardboard house in the quad (the house can only be made with cardboard, tape, and tarp). The house has to be occupied at all times in a 24 hour time period by various members of the group. Participants are only allowed one blanket per person (no pillow, no cell phones, no space heaters). Additionally, there is no food allowed in the house. Basically, the "homeless experience" (or as close to the homeless experience I'll get as a non-homeless person) knocked on my door.

I answered.

As I was in my cardboard box, colder than I've ever been in my entire life despite the fact that I wore layers and layers of clothing, I felt weak, defeated, powerless, hungry, and uncomfortable. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't because I was shivering so badly. I tried to text (on my banned cellular device), but my hands were so stiff, even through two pairs of gloves. So... I sat there. For hours and hours. Miserable. And angrier than I've ever been.

I guess the moral of the story is that good things can come from anger. If something really, really, REALLY ticks you off, fight it. I know I am.


  1. Glad you had a meaningful experience. I have participated in Cardboard Village a couple's always interesting!

  2. I have never participated in Cardboard Village because I have always been too busy on the day that it happens. I always wanted to, but it just never worked out. I did notice that there were far fewer houses this year, and it made me sad. It also made me think of the time that I was going to a concert at Heinz Field, and I saw three teenagers go under a highway overpass and disturb a place where a homeless man made his home. It made me angry. Although I cannot understand how angry you were that night, it really makes me sad that people have to live like that each day.

  3. I wouldn't say this is a non-educational story! I think you learned a lot from this, and I think we can learn a lot from reading it! Not every educational experience is in a classroom, and, personally, I enjoy them MORE when they're not! I'm glad you made it through the night, Tym!!