CHAPEL HILL, NC–First-year German Studies major Ryan Poole has been going home every third weekend since the start of his first semester, according to his roommate, Tim Childress. Childress, like most of Poole’s acquaintances and friends, said that he is not sure exactly how to feel about the frequently homebound freshman.
“It’s not like there’s anything that weird about him, ya know? But, like, why does he go home that often? What is he doing there?” said Childress in an interview.
Childress met Poole on move-in day last semester, though Poole had moved into Craige residence hall 45 minutes earlier than Childress and had organized his half of the room before Childress’s arrival.
“All of his stuff was already laid out,” said Childress. “He told me to let him know if I didn’t like the arrangement of our room, but I wasn’t going to say anything, ya know?”
Poole and Childress have spoken little since that first encounter, especially because Poole goes home approximately every third weekend.
“Most of the time I never even see him leaving,” said Childress. “He just comes back on Sunday nights, usually talking about something funny his dog did over the weekend. I laugh because it’s uncomfortable if I don’t.”
Childress was, at first, concerned that Poole wasn’t making friends at UNC, but he has since seen Poole socializing around campus.
“He’s always hanging out with this little Filipino guy,” said Childress. “They sit really close together and are always talking in hushed tones. I feel like they’re whispering about me.”
Like Childress, other students in Craige have started to feel, if not uncomfortable, at least uneasy around Poole.
“This one night, we were drinking a few beers and hanging out in Tim’s room,” said first-year Jared Gorman. “Ryan was just lying on his bed the whole time, throwing a tennis ball at the ceiling and humming to the tune of ‘Pump It’ by the Black Eyed Peas. Then he left to go finish writing a paper because it was Thursday, and he said that he was going to drive home after his classes in the morning.”
“I don’t know about that guy,” he added.
When asked about Poole’s frequent trips home and his relationship with his dog, Poole’s mother, Karen Poole, seemed confused.
“Ryan told you we have a dog?” she said. “We don’t have a dog.”