Warning: this entry is not as clean as would be desired due to necessity of content. It is hardly explicit, either.
In the infinite wisdom of my most infinitely illogical professor, two from a collection of symposiums, panels, and lectures that fell under the heading of “Sex in Medicine Week,” were mandatory to all students in my program.
No, discomfort was not a valid reason for failing to show up. Attendance was taken, after all. To give you an idea how unnecessary these lectures were to begin with, the “in Medicine” portion of the title “Sex in Medicine Week” was really, really small in comparison to the other two title words on all the signs promoting the event. The more apt nomenclature of “Sex Week,” was used by everyone, and as that accurately predicted, the symposium was little more than a social lets-all-get-together-and-talk-about-sex-in-public event and not a sort of informative session on medical issues. The consequence for not sitting through the entirety of both sordid lectures was severe enough to make anyone think several times before braving hooky, to boot.
So off went this poor Frumgirl, scrunching down in a back seat and pretending she was anywhere but there, listening to 300 students and faculty members loudly yell “orgasm,” at the top of their lungs on the behest of a rather famous 80 year old accented “sex therapist” radio personality.
Said former Hagana-sniping, WW2-surviving sex therapist was signing books after her well disguised sell-job of a lecture, and I could think of nothing I wanted to do more than magically procure a rivaling public-personality sex therapist’s book for her to sign. Sort of a silent protest for being forced through one of the more uncomfortable hours of my life. Sadly, I did not come prepared for this.
The other discomforting lecture was billed as a talk about the issues of men and women with developmental disabilities; men and women who may ask certain questions of their favorite health professionals. Sounds not all that objectionable, right? In reality, it was merely another opportunity for people to talk about private matters before all and sundry. Except this time it was people with developmental disabilities airing their dirty laundry. With one redeeming factor: it discussed the prevalence of abuse in residential homes, which is staggering and quite frankly appalling.
Around halfway through this lecture, the speaker asks the audience to form small groups, answer a page of questions, and choose a leader to represent their answers when asked.
Now guess who was immediately nominated?
Bingbingbing! Yup, you guessed it.
“C’mon, Frumgirl, step out of your comfort zone for once!” (Um, why?)
“Yeah, Frumgirl, we’re just trying to get you to say the word sex out loud for once!” (I totally do in reference to matters of clinical relevance!)
“Besides, Frumgirl, I bet you know the answers to all the questions!” (That would be such a great compliment in any other situation.)
I managed to worm my way out of that particular responsibility, but never let it be said that grad school is all about the future profession or that one can possibly walk away with an advanced degree in one subject area without receiving a certain amount of education in many other areas, as well.