FLINT TWP. —“There came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. … It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant.” (Edgar Allen Poe, The Telltale Heart)
The sound of an accelerating heartbeat heard in the hallways of Carman-Ainsworth High School last week did not intend the sinister effect of Poe’s classic tale.
Rather it was one of many health-related events sponsored last week by Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) during HOSA Week, and reported at last week’s Board of Education meeting by Mishall Khan, who is a HOSA member and also the senior student school board member.
“In between classes, we had a heartbeat playing (over the public address system) and it would beat faster and faster the less time we had to get to class,” Khan said. The effect of the racing heartbeat made students more anxious to get to class on time, she said.
Board members shared a laugh when Superintendent Bill Haley asked if the heartbeats made students think Lady Gaga was coming on the public address system, an apparent reference to the singer’s Heartbeats headphones.
Khan said nobody lingered in the hallways so it apparently was effective.
“It’s In our Hearts to keep yours beating,” is the 2011-12 national theme and proposed speech topic for HOSA chapters. Students compete during the year in activities directed by HOSA to develop leadership skills and professionalism.
This is the third year that the CAHS chapter has organized a schoolwide effort during HOSA week to promote health care professions, said Kim Confer, HOSA adviser and a CAHS health sciences teacher.
Besides playing the heartbeats, they gave away apples during lunch to promote healthy eating and did blood pressure screenings, Khan said.
Students also dressed in lab coats and scrubs on Wednesday and held a blood drive on Friday.
Among many educational activities planned this year HOSA students will focus on preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse. It is a creative approach to emergency preparedness spearheaded by the Centers for Disease Control via its website.
HOSA members are being directed to the CDC website to learn what is meant by a Zombie Apocalypse, and to prepare an educational presentation about it.
“If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.” said Ali Khan, CDC assistant surgeon general and director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, in a blog posted on the website about this reportedly controversial but popular outreach to promote hazard preparation.