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Got lice? East 3 does! So read signs posted in freshman dorms in the fall of 2001, when a number of members of East 3 became carriers of the parasite.
Circa October 10th, 2001, some of the freshmen of East 3 went to the Health Center to investigate some symptoms they had, and sure enough determined that they were carrying head lice. The original carrier and source were unknown, but the infestation spread to about seven of the 18 residents. Remarkably, there were cases of one roommate having it but not the other.
Even though parasitic infestation was not a part of their Junior Advisor training, Krishna Kannan '03 and Jeremy Redburn '03 led their entry boldly through the trial. It quickly became an excellent shared experience, as it was excellent fodder for inside jokes and group shampooing treatments were also bonding sessions (perhaps more for the women than the heterosexual males).
A few East 3 girls cut their hair short in an attempt to make shampooing treatments shorter. Addie Robinson chopped off the most of all, despite the pleas of (non-infected) entrymates Bynum Hunter and Zach McArthur to not cut it. It was one of the few things Bynum and Zach agreed on that fall, and they were both distraught when Addie reappeared out of the bathroom curly locks gone, together telling her she had "made a big mistake!"
The infection ran its course in a couple of weeks, but thanks to whoever put up the hilarious warning signs and the resulting buzz among the frosh, the memory will last forever. This author wishes he had taken one as a memento.
Something to write home about
Jonathan Landsman had the following classic "Oh my God I'm a freshman and I have no idea what's going on" email exchange with his equally naive dad:
- Jonathan to dad: There is a lice infestation in my dorm. I do not know what effect this will have on anything. I'm not sure I can be treated before Friday [when I'm coming home]. It has not yet been certified that I have the infestation, but most of the people in my dorm have been found to have it. I will do what I can about this, and keep you up to date.
- Dad reply: The main thing will be to bring your own grooming stuff down if not treated & change sheets/pillowcases after you've finished with them I THINK that should do, but ask some health person there if you can. DAD
- Dad's second reply, sent three minutes later: Wait a minute. Are we talking head lice or crabs (body lice)? The latter can be harder, I think to be rid of. Get your info. You don't want to spread them on our furniture, if body lice. We don't really need our home infested. GET INFO. DAD
- Jonathan's reply: It has not been certified that I, personaly, have lice at all. I know nothing about anyone having body lice. I intend to treat myself the day before I leave, and take nothing to sleep with or any clothing that I think might be infected.
Jonathan managed to dodge infection, and campaigned for College Council 2005 Class Rep later that year on the platform of being so tough the lice couldn't get him. He lost by a landslide.