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Hobbit Out of Middle Earth

Ferris lives lifestyle of Tolkien character

Hobbit Out of Middle Earth

Jennifer Pendarvis

Jennifer Farris, freshman elementary education major, shows off her hobbit feet slippers in her favorite place on campus, Wilson Park. Farris, also known as Hobbit, usually visits the park. for the battle games on Wednesdays.

Hobbits are well-known creatures for fans of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jennifer Ferris, freshman elementary education major, knows the life of the hobbits all too well – because she lives as one.

“I’ve kind of been living this way for most of my life,” Ferris, who also goes by “Hobbit,” said. “I just recently realized that it’s very similar to how a hobbit behaves. I’ve kind of modified some things to try to be more like the hobbit. They’re very interesting creatures.”

A fan of Tolkien’s books and the films, Ferris said she goes by the name Hobbit for two reasons – her name is very common and she is in love with “Lord of the Rings.”

She started referring to herself as Hobbit in August of 2013 after listening to some members of the alternative lifestyles group S.C.A.L.E.S. (Safe Consensual Alternative Lifestyles Education and Support) talk about lifestyles they’d like to represent.

“They’re talking about all these different lifestyles, and I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Well what about hobbits? No one has hobbits on the list,’” Ferris said. “I looked at hobbits and I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m a lot like that. I can definitely be a hobbit.’ I mean, I’m little. I’m a little fun-sized person with the curly brown hair. I love food. I don’t like what it does to my waistline, but it’s part of the joy.”

Ferris, who has many non-hobbit friends and a non-hobbit boyfriend, has come to realize that being upfront with her lifestyle has helped her find those people who really deserve to be a part of it.

“(When I found out) I thought that was awesome,” said Sara “Otter” Matt, senior printmaking major and one of Ferris’ friends. “It’s a really good first impression.”

Matt said Ferris’ honesty about how she lives and identifies herself attracts good friends.

“I see beauty as more of just the natural, who someone truly is,” Ferris said. “I don’t see beauty as the make-up covered faces that we’re supposed to be. It’s whatever you truly are.”

Ferris’ boyfriend, Mike Brown, former Emporia State student, said that when he met her, she was upfront about her lifestyle.

“(She told me) the first evening that we met,” Brown said. “I don’t personally live like that, (but) I understand that that’s who she was.”

The couple has been together for about six months and is currently living together. Ferris said their house is comforting to her because there is not as much energy as one would find in the residential halls.

Ferris said she considers herself a hobbit for many reasons, one being how much she eats.

“You go from breakfast to second breakfast, eleven-sies, lunch, supper, dinner, snack, dessert, dinner,” Ferris said. “If you can get the food, you will eat the food. When you have to go without you can, but…you whine if you have to go without.”

She also walks a lot and, for a long time, went barefoot everywhere. To her, the life of the hobbit is one of comfort – something she plans on keeping up with in the future too – but this hobbit has set up other goals for herself aside from comfort.

“I want to be successful in life and I feel like the thing about hobbits is they’re very small creatures who want to impact the world in very big ways,” Ferris said. “Well, I want to change the lives of over 2,000 people in my lifetime. I’m not that big and important. I’m just a small person, but I feel like I can change the world.”

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