Would you trust this man with your kid? Rothman on First Days

Going through First Days as a first-year student can be very traumatic and nerve-wracking. Going through First Days as a Junior Advisor (JA) is much easier, because you are drunk. Every JA anxiously awaits First Days, the first time they meet all their frosh. My co-JA, Katie O’Brien ’05, and I were excited to meet our frosh and corrupt them. I mean advise them.

But before JAs even get that far, we had days of training by former JAs, deans, Security and faculty. JA training alerts you, the JA, to all the possible problems an entry might face, from eating disorders to roommate disagreements. It is going to be very difficult for Katie to deal with all the problems that might arise in our entry. I feel bad for her; almost bad enough to help. Being a JA comes with many responsibilities, but it does have its benefits; most importantly, you are guaranteed a facebook! Don’t worry, I only read the facebook for the articles.

In between all the training, we had to find time to decorate the entry and hang a banner. Unfortunately for Katie, I would describe myself more as an inferior decorator than an interior decorator. Once we got the common room set up, we had to re-adjust to living in the frosh quad. This will be the first year I have ever shared a bathroom with girls. Katie was opposed to my open shower curtain policy. I have also been asked to put down the toilet seat. To avoid forgetting to put down the seat, I have decided to just leave it down all the time. Another frustrating aspect is I now feel peer pressured to wash my hands when Katie is in the bathroom.

However, I digress from the matter at hand: the first years’ moving in. On that fateful summer day when the kids arrived, each was excited to meet their JAs and then eventually disappointed once they met me. Katie and I helped move in all of our frosh’s furniture, luggage and other belongings. Evidently, some of the girls on the fourth floor must be planning to build a chimney, because each piece of luggage felt like it had bricks in it. I did more lifting than Winona Ryder at Barney’s.

Once the kids were moved in, it was time for First Days to officially commence. As JAs, our first real task is the first entry meeting, better known as snacks. It was at the first snacks that Katie and I explained that JAs are basically unpaid Housing Coordinators (Keep that quiet. HCs are supposed to be different from JAs; the main difference is that they are $1,000 richer). In truth, no one JAs for money or wants money for what we do; meeting all the freshmen girls – I mean first years – is rewarding enough.

The one thing I have not been able to figure out is that for some unexplained reason the first years look up to us as JAs. They think we are cool and wise. This is why I have tried to say very little and stay sober around them; otherwise, I would crush their misguided notions. It makes me feel like Dr. Phil when people think I am cool and ask me for advice, just with more hair. I wondered how long it would take the kids to realize that I am just a dope in a purple JA t-shirt. Then someone pointed out what was written on the back of my JA t-shirt: “Stupid.” I tell the kids the only reason my JA nickname is “Stupid” is because “Stallion” was too many letters. The only possible reason the kids could ever lose respect for Katie, is because she picked me as her co-JA and she can never deny it; her JA t-shirt reads, “I’m with Stupid.”

While the kids still had some respect for me, Katie and I informed them about entry incest. Entry incest is when two people in an entry hook up. It can have positive and negative effects. However, I did inform the first years of a provision to the “no entry incest rule”: it is not entry incest if a hook-up occurs between the male JA and a female first-year in the entry. I guess maybe my JA shirt should have read “Sketchy?” Speaking of incest, Katie and I had to go to the Health Center to pick up condoms for the entry. This year, the Health Center has implemented a $10 charge for a year’s supply of condoms. Condoms were free in the past. This is very frustrating. Now not only do I have to pay for sex, but I also have to pay for condoms.

All kidding aside, the entry has been getting along great and made it through First Days with flying colors. The first-years are slowly beginning to realize I am not as cool as I first appeared and Katie is the brains behind the operation. Still, I am having a lot of fun and am thankful for the wonderful opportunity to JA. As for Katie and I, we are getting along fine. Katie refers to us as a married couple. This appears very accurate since we argue a lot and never have sex.