Russell Frank

Among the Woo People

A Survival Guide for Living in a College Town

Penn State UP 2017

Books ReceivedBooks Received: American StudiesBooks Received: BiographyBooks Received: CommunicationsBooks Received: EducationBooks Received: Sociology October 25, 2017

: Buy from NBN/University Press Books, Berkeley In the mid-nineties, Russell Frank left a peaceful life in rural California to raise three kids in...


In the mid-nineties, Russell Frank left a peaceful life in rural California to raise three kids in a town saturated with fraternities, late-night undergrad fast food haunts, and rowdy football crowds. Among the Woo People recounts his two decades livingand survivingin State College, Pennsylvania, the often-chaotic home of Penn State University.

This humorous peek at life in a college town smack-dab in the middle of rural Pennsylvania chronicles a changing community over the course of two eventful decades. A professor of journalism, former columnist for the Centre Daily Times, and contributor to, Frank has a unique perspective on living in the shadow of a universityespecially on the tribe of nomadic young adults known as the Woo people, so named for their signature mode of celebratory communication. He invites readers into the routines of his hectic household as they embrace their new home, skewers the culture of intercollegiate sports, relates the challenges and peculiarities of teaching at one of the nations largest universities, and, most important, teaches us to be amused at college-kid antics and to appreciate their academic and real-world accomplishments, even as we anxiously tick off the days until semesters end.

From tales of missing porch furniture and red plastic cups in the bushes to a Nude Years Eve run by an octet of forty-somethings to the sweet relief of summer, Franks hilarious, insightful essays are indispensable for anyone who wants to survive, appreciate, and enjoy college-town life.

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