Yale student who secretly lived in ventilation shaft


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/20/yale-student-who-secretly-live.html


OMG its Lazlo from Real Genius


As with many other gags of Real Genius, Lazlo’s housing arrangement was based on a still-living alumnus of Caltech. He was discovered during pouring of concrete to improve the dirt floor of the basement storage cavities.


This brought back memories.

When I was at Northwestern University in the 1980s, the lease on my apartment my junior year didn’t start until Oct. 1, but school started about three weeks earlier. So a friend and I camped out, very comfortably, in an unused office in the basement of our old dorm. We hung our clothes on the water pipes on the ceiling and slept in sleeping bags.

I don’t remember how we got a key but I think it was a master key to the dorm.

Other than avoiding entering the room when someone else was around, we didn’t really try to hide our situation.

“Where are you guys living?” an RA asked me one day.

“In the basement,” I said.


“Oh, OK.”


Reminds me of this guy:


All the comforts of home.


I was looking for the story of the NYU student who lived in the library, and found it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/27/nyregion/yes-some-students-live-in-the-library-but-not-like-this.html

But, along the way I learned that there’s now a whole tribe living in that library:



A friend of mine lived in a makeshift treehouse in woods on the university campus. I can’t decide which is cooler…


Back when I was an undergrad EE, one of our grad students did something similar when he was between apartments. Of course, he wasn’t roughing it nearly as much. He got permission to dump a bunch of his stuff in IEEE storage, slept under his desk in the GRA bull-pen, and showered in the basement lab’s safety shower. (The safety shower was an artifact of a bygone time when the basement housed a working IC fab. The fab, and the harmful chemicals associated with it were long gone by this time.)


I lived in a bunch of boxes piled up in the center of the university library with a big cardboard sign on top reading ‘Fort Kickass’


The University of Washington has had several documented incidents like that. The best is the guy who was living in the basement of the music building on and off for 12 years, and would play their pipe organ late at night: http://www.dailyuw.com/news/article_f70659e6-f347-5538-b516-575eb54744f4.html


And that reminds me of this guy:



For well, reasons, I guess, my husband’s alma mater banned graduate students from sleeping in their offices. Which my husband lamented as unfortunate: in the summer, his department’s grad student offices, located in the basement, were much, much cooler than your typical grad student apartment. One could toss and turn all night in a hot apartment or have a cool, quiet night under one’s desk.



I’m just excited a few people remember Real Genius.


I hadn’t realised until now that the guy from Real Genius was played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker


Oh you had it EASY. I used to dream of living in pile of boxes. We lived in a shoebox, and had to get up at midnight and lick the road clean with our tongues!



In a dorm at my school someone once left an access key in the elevator panel that allowed you to go to the topmost utility floor/roof access. From the outside it was basically a little outcropping building on the roof of the main building that housed the top of the elevator shaft and I think some HVAC. Anyway with the key in the panel we went all the way up to check out the utility room. Poking around I climbed a little wall ladder to a loft area and saw what looked like a normal dorm room - a bed, a desk, a place for clothes. Pictures on the wall. I didn’t see anyone but got spooked for some reason and told my friends we had to bail. We quickly rode back to a regular floor where I excitedly exclaimed someone was living up there. We suspected it was a facilities worker but after reading some of these comments - maybe it was a student.