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Health Services Was Helpful Yesterday

Upperclassmen, you’ve seen this one before. Peter Sterne, CC’14, writes from the Health Services Skit.

NSOP is a strange time when normally impersonal and bureaucratic instruments of the administration try to humorously (and cornily) appeal to incoming, naïve freshmen. Every department does things differently: the Division of Student Affairs gives us Dean Shollenberger, who has Alma Mater’s cell phone number; the Athletics Department shows off a basketball coach who raps not-very-well; and Public Safety cracks jokes about Harvard and Columbia’s football teams. Health Services’ skit, which the NSOP 2010 brochure promised would be “a hilarious look into the lives of first-year students trying to hang out, hook up, and fit in,” with its heavy reliance on implicit (sometimes explicit) masturbation jokes, was no exception.

Though peppered with stilted dialogue designed to highlight the various departments and websites that comprise Health Services (“If you’re feeling sick, you should visit the Primary Care facility located on the fourth floor on John Jay, where you can receive immediate care and even be referred to another primary care physician!”) the scenarios were at least relatable.

Even so, a few skits bordered on after-school special territory. In a Saved by the Bell tribute, the Barnard girl CAVAs her roommate and then tries to talk her into counseling for her crippling drinking problem (“I got some literature for her, but I’m not sure that will be enough. I may have to take her to get counseling.”). Still, one scene was particularly inspired and redeeming: A girl, unable to sleep as a result of her roommate’s loud moaning, complains to her friend, a future Peer Mentor. This resident giver of advice helpfully offers that he wait until his roommate is out of the room before “doing the deed.” The protagonist finally confronts her roommate, who advises that they “do it together” in order to better relax and get to sleep. The hilarity of misunderstanding ensues: “it” is not in fact masturbation, but rather a simple breathing and moaning exercise suggested by StressBusters.

Albeit a little hamfisted at moments, the show was a surprisingly solid effort at staying in tune with student concerns. Then we went to “Keeping Sex Sexy,” and all was forgotten.

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