“As finals roll around and ninth week tightens its grip around us all, the will to live slowly leaks from the student body like the last exhales of a mouse in a boa constrictor’s grasp. Even my go-to solution, getting coated in fly-away fur as I lavish the SWA dogs with the love and affection I so desperately crave, cannot squash the impending DOOM of finals. (Let the record note that this is in no way an indication of those purebred,100% good-bois’ inability to be absolute rays of sunshine, but rather that even the brightest light will succumb to a black hole.)
It is quite clear that I am teetering on the edge of insanity, the tips of my toes nudging the edge of this vast brink. Even on the ‘good’ days where I do not take a step forwards towards that increasingly tempting edge, it comes nearer all on its own; the rocks making up this cliff face crumble daily into the abyss, shortening the length to that void that I will probably reach soon enough…”
The above, an excerpt from a statement that continues for three more pages, was a submission to an anonymous student health survey conducted by OHP. The sentiments expressed within the many layered metaphors were present in many other submissions: SWA dogs are great, but the stress of finals can be greater. To combat this ninth week slog, OHP has gone to great lengths in acquiring other de-stressing animals. The following lineup will be introduced tenth week:
- 10:00am to 2:30pm: – Tangerine the Sloth: Encouraging students to be kind to themselves and celebrate even the slowest of steps. It’s a Monday, come feel superior to a scruffy sloth as you complete literally any task at least 10 times faster than Tangerine can turn her head.
- 3:00pm to 5:00pm – Frodo the Dodo: Inspiring students to do the incredible. Created with fragments of DNA from a variety of animals including (but certainly not limited to): shark, raven, penguin and tiger, Frodo is a sight to behold. With this freak of nature striding across the OHP office, that 25-page research paper you were assigned weeks ago but of which all you have is a header written in a random Google Doc won’t feel so impossible.
- 9:00am to 11:00am – Kevin the Chameleon: Teaching students to stand out. Over these two hours, Kevin will stun audiences with a performance showcasing his most vibrant colors. We are accepting submissions for images to function as a backdrop for Kevin’s coloration and pattern display.
- 5:00pm to 10:00pm – Bernadette the Lemur: Motivating students to Move it! Move it! World-renowned dance therapist Bernadette will lead five sessions inspired by the stirring songs of the classic film Madagascar. Attending one of these sessions will fulfill a P.E. credit.
- 1:00pm to 6:00pm – Salt and Pepper, the Zebra Duo: Providing a monochromatic minute of mindfulness. Join Salt and Pepper in a mindfulness activity centered around the age-old question: Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Help the duo count their stripes to find out, and forget that unlike all the previous unit tests, your language final has an oral section where you actually have to speak the language you’ve been studying all term (how preposterous!) and it makes you want to cry every—
- 7:00pm to 12:00am – Dumpling the Corgi: Enough said.
- 12:00pm to 2:00pm – Achilles the Armadillo: Teaching students to be vulnerable. Despite wearing a shield on her back 24/7 and the very name of her species meaning “little armored one,” Achilles encourages students to learn how to be vulnerable. During this session, Achilles will lay on her back and be available for belly rubs. Note: Achilles has graciously offered to extend the session if there is abundant student participation.
- 10:00pm to 3:00am – Sergius the Sheep: Helping students maintain a semblance of a sleep schedule. Sergius will prance back and forth in each dorm lobby for an hour, offering students the opportunity to count him until they fall asleep. At his last stop, Cassat, he will function as a fluffy pillow for any poor souls still awake.
- 12:00pm to 4:00pm – Mister Pink the Axolotl: Boosting students’ self esteem. By now, you’ve probably skipped shower day more times than you’d care to admit. Not to fear: Mister Pink is all about crazy hair, or, in his case, the crazy filaments attached to the long gills stemming from the sides of his face. Come and whip your hair back and forth with groovy Mister Pink… And maybe consider taking a shower afterwards?
Starting at 6:00pm – Fudge the Bear: Promoting self-care. Friday? More like Fri-yay! You can finally collapse in your bed for a mini-hibernation fest. What better way to do it than with nature’s best hibernation expert? Join Fudge for a weekend-long slumber.