Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 5
In the Chronicle of Higher Education there is an interesting article about a professor who quit to study dumpster diving for several months.

"Instead of applying for academic positions right away, the former professor decided that he and his wife, Karen, would try living out of Dumpsters for a while. As a criminologist, Mr. Ferrell has long studied those on the margins of society -- graffiti artists, outlaw-radio-station operators, militant bicycle activists -- and he was aware of the subculture of people who manage to survive on what others throw away. He wanted to find out how they do it, where they look, and whether he could live that way, too. It was a big leap, especially without a campus gig to fall back on, but it was also a big relief. "I was so glad to be out of the academic machine," he says.
During his eight-month experiment, Mr. Ferrell rifled through garbage heaps here in suburban Fort Worth, his hometown, where he and his wife moved after his resignation. He hunted for clothes, furniture, dishes, books, photographs -- whatever was useful or interesting. He kept a detailed log of everything he found. Karen took a job as a cashier at a grocery store making $9.50 an hour, money they used to buy food and keep the lights on. Everything else came from the trash. "What I found was that I could be almost 100 percent dependent on what I scrounged except for food," he says. "
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.