The History of Disease

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The History of Disease is a Science course in the CTY program with no prerequisites. However, it is a cross-studies course and requires eligibility in both Science and Humanities courses. Its course code is HDIS, and it is offered only at Lancaster. History of Disease traditionally does a comical presentation of disease at Closing Ceremonies at Lancaster, usually a song or skit.

Course Description

History of Disease covers both the biological and societal effects of outbreaks of disease in historical, literary, mathematical, and scientific contexts. Though there is no prerequisite, as a former HDIS student, I would recommend taking History of Disease after taking a first year biology course, or else the material could get quite overwhelming.

The course is a very high paced and intense class with a lot of note-taking but it is an amazing class, especially for those who are interested in both the history and the science of it all. The 2011 class of HDIS B with Jory and Christian was one of the best classes that I have ever taken at CTY, simply because of the teachers.

Class History

History of Disease is only available at Lancaster. It was famously taught by Dr. Ted many years until 2005. He then returned in 2010. He left in 2015 again.

Amazing course, by the way.

DR.MCGOWAN!! JACKIE MAUSER!!

In 2009.1, the teacher for HDIS A was fired due students feeling uncomfortable with the instructor, and her saying things such as "You are average people with special brains" or saying that public schools are bad, and never actually mentioning disease once.. Temporarily HDIS A and HDIS B were merged and the TA called it HDISAB. When a new instructor was hired, each class essentially had 2 instructors, one to talk about diseases, the other to talk about the history of public health, sunscreen, vitamins, plastic surgery, etc. Many students disliked this new teacher as she did not talk about disease. At the end of the course, the kids of HDIS A wrote terrible evaluations for their new instructor, who they decided was even worse than the first one.

Also in 2009.1, the HDIS-B TA was the most awesome TA ever. Her name was Jory and she was funny and nice and actually liked working with teenagers. She had pink streaks in her hair and told us about the time she spent in Tanzania. She showed us the documentary "Invisible Children" so we would understand why many countries in Africa are ill equipped to handle disease because of other major problems, and it moved everyone in the class so much that they just sat outside during their break in disbelief and shock. She came to the last dance and danced with us like a crazy person. She told us about hilarious pranks her friends played in college. And on top of her obvious awesomeness, Jory was an amazing teacher and an incredibly smart person. HDIS-B loves Jory! She was also the HDIS.A TA in 07.2.

In 2010.1, the instructors (Dr. Ted and Mr. Mountrakis) tried to mount a musical performance based off of "The sound of music", to the delight of HDIS A and the dismay of HDIS B. The performance was supposed to happen at the end of the session, but the whole thing fell apart when half the kids couldn't attend closing ceremonies. the HDIS B class made several parody songs instead, which are based off of various diseases learned about in the course. Needless to say, both classes were quite musical.

In both sessions of 2011, the classes took a field trip to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia and Longwood Gardens. In 2011.1, HDIS.B was instructed by the 2009.1 TA, Jory. She also told us some stories about her time in Africa and showed us the sequel documentary to "Invisible Children." The class was awesome and we had many debates. For closing ceremonies, we did a parody of Friday about the Black Plague and a Shakespearian parody about other diseases that we studied. Our TA, Christian rapped about vaccines to the tune of "Ice Ice Baby" to end our closing ceremonies performance. The idea for the Shakespearian parody was brought about by Tom's amazing puns ("T.B. or not T.B., that is the question.") Jory is an amazing teacher who makes class fun and has lots of personal stories. The leprosy experiment is something to look forward to, if you want to take HDIS. Students go to the cafeteria looking like they have leprosy, to see how people react! Its great fun!...

In 2011.2, there was only one section of HDIS, taught by the world-famous Dr. Ted and an awesome TA named Dana. Much of the class was lectures, but Dr. Ted entertained us all with an equal combination of moments that have you laughing crazily or staring blankly at him thinking "what?" Dana's dreadlocks and interesting comments in class (ex: "well, eating souls is fun, but I really like horseback riding...") created a cult following. A few students dressed up as Dana's fangirls for Halloween, but she still wouldn't hug them. The traditional presentation at closing ceremonies was spawned by a song during a student presentation of meningitis in class. These students came up with a song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and after singing off a list of symptoms, the last line of the first verse was "If you don't treat it, IT GETS WORSE!" This became a class inside joke, and the presentation was a "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" song with each presentation group of two singing a verse about their disease, and concluding with "if you don't treat it..." Overall, the class was hilarious, often to a morbid and eyebrow-raising extent, with a number of inside jokes and eye-opening learning experiences.

In 2014.1, Dr. Ted decided to buy a giant pink horse ball around halfway through the session. It had a diameter of over 30 inches. After days of trying to determine if it contained latex, because of latex allergies on site (luckily there was no latex), the HDIS class would play with the Jolly Mega Ball, as it was called, in what was called by them the Secret HDIS Playground (it was really just a courtyard that no other classes used for break). The Jolly Mega Ball was also used by HDIS in their Closing Ceremony performance. The Jolly Mega Ball was the Jolly Mega Virus, which was a virus with the "Alex Factor" (Alex was the TA). The Jolly Mega Virus, over the course of the performance, slowly killed off most of the class, until a Robot Unicorn came in and destroyed it. Other fun memories include the Mütter Museum ("I expected these to be cooked more. Raw faces are just gross." -Ciara Donegan, in response to faces there), Mad Libs on the bus to the Mütter Museum, a certain scene from Mary Poppins, "brick orgies" in the Secret HDIS Playground, playing an online version of Cards Against Humanity at break, and President.

In 2015.2, there was one section of HDIS, yet again, taught by Dr. Ted for the last year (for now). The class consisted of mostly squirrels or nomores, and EB was the TA. Every day, Dr. Ted would give some quiz on random topics, such as books or countries, and once gave a quiz in 20 different languages, and the winner for each one got a Pez dispenser. The overall winner received a giant purple gummy skull at the end. The HDIS class played with the giant pink horse ball during break in Hartman Green and took a field trip to the Mütter Museum and Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia. There the class saw a bunch of dead babies and a giant wall full of skulls. Afterwards, the entire class went to the Gardens and met some giant catfish in the pond. For the closing ceremony, the class wrote a skit parodying Frozen, with Elsa getting sick with cholera thanks to Chad. The final session of the class ended with an amazing debate, concluding with Drew Hill's phrase, "Less boo-hoos equals less buboes."