Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whittie of the Week: ‘No Shoes Nick’

by Lisa Curtis

The one thing I’ve noticed about Whitman is that everyone here seems to be a little weird.

Not in a bad way, in an interesting way. Everyone seems to have some bizarre talent or strange interest or unique habit that makes them stand out just a tiny bit.

Personally I think this weirdness is something that should be embraced. In all honesty, normal people are just plain boring.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we need some form of celebrating this uniqueness. Thus, the “Whittie of the Week” was born. But this column won’t be possible without input from you, the reader. So if you or someone you know has some very interesting qualities that you think merits celebration, e-mail me, Lisa Curtis, at [email protected]. Include both this person’s full name and a short description telling me why they deserve to be the next “Whittie of the Week.”

This week’s Whittie, I am proud to say, is someone you have probably seen around campus but might not have had the pleasure of meeting. The first Whittie of the Week is Nicholas P Boydston, better known as “No Shoes Nick.”

Nick hails from Waldron Island, a small island in San Juan County, Washington. Waldron is a unique place with a land area of less than five square miles and only 100 residents. It is best know for its liberal nature. In the 2004 Presidential election it was one John Kerry’s strongest areas of support with 96.5 percent of the vote. It has no stores and its only facilities are a small post office, a cemetery, a landing strip and a grade school which Nick attended.

The Waldron Island School is a K-8 school that has a current enrollment of 16 students. Nick, along with the rest of his class, was discouraged from wearing shoes while inside the school. This was a delightful policy for Nick, who finds wearing shoes uncomfortable.

Nick said he “prefers the freedom of movement of being barefoot.” Nick’s three younger siblings follow in his (shoeless) footsteps, preferring to be barefoot as well.

At Whitman Nick is a junior pure mathematics major who has lived in Lyman all three years.

In the winter months you can often see him running from building to building, pants rolled up to expose his bare feet. Although Nick knows of many others who don’t wear shoes during the summer, he believes he is the only one to do it year-round.

Unfortunately, there are some places where Nick is required to wear shoes. While working at Bon Appetit or eating in the dinner halls, Nick must don those rubber-soled inconveniences. Nick agrees that shoes should be required while working but doesn’t believe that he should have to wear shoes just to be allowed to eat.

Nick has gotten many different reactions to his lack of footwear, varying from “Cool” to “Eek, you should take better care of yourself!” He finds that his feet have become acclimated to the environment to the point where he can now walk over broken glass without hurting himself. He also thinks that bare feet give him better traction, especially when Ankeny is muddy.

For those looking to imitate Nick and “go barefoot,” Nick suggests starting in the summer months on grass and then moving up to beach gravel in order to toughen up your feet.

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