Thursday, December 11, 2003

SARS sweeps Signature

*disclaimer-- this is a satirical article*

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Signature School Principal Vicki Snyder vowed to continue operation of the school today as Signature’s Acidic Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has forced over half of the student body to call in sick and a slew of teachers to request substitute teachers.

Sergeant Phyllis Pate has never seen a disease cut through the school’s ranks so quickly and devastatingly. “I’m surprised that the school won’t be shut down with all these absences,” she explained.

Symptoms of SARS include a runny nose, hacking cough, high fever, and light-headedness. Although SARS closely parallels influenza or the common cold, Signature is uniquely susceptible to this new disease.

Chemistry teacher Shane Thread explained the mysterious cause of this disease in a faculty meeting Monday. “[SARS] is really caused by a depletion of the bicarbonate ion in the blood buffer. Students who exacerbate their bicarbonate ions by studying too hard for their finals find that their blood’s PH level rises, causing SARS.”

Thread fell ill to SARS first period on Tuesday. Senior Phuc Nguyen summed up the situation, “[SARS] sucks. You know it’s bad if it knocks Mr. Thread out.”

Sophomore Joel Fine recently recovered from SARS, and shared his opinion about it. “I had it for a week and it was the worst time. Everyone is gone when [the semester] is coming down to the wire and making every class that much harder.”

However, students recognized the need to keep Signature running, with finals coming up next week. Freshman Andy Goldman conceded, “I believe that despite how unbelievably cool it would be to postpone finals, we should take them anyway to get [them] over with.”

Teachers, such as Thread, fell victim to SARS by attempting to grade too many research papers in too short of a time. The Center for Disease Control recommends that the school prohibit the writing of any essays on the upcoming finals and that any research papers currently turned in but not graded should be scored on effort, rather than in-depth content, in order to lessen the risk of SARS for both students and the teachers who have to grade the students’ writings.

Although SARS has no known cure, those currently infected with SARS are advised to stay at home if possible. If infected students and faculty cannot stay home, they are welcome to try to get through the day at school but will be faced with a $50,000 penalty if they cough near any uninfected persons.

Other general tips include dress in layers, wear a sock hat at all times, and wash your hands before every meal. Don’t rush timed writings. Do your homework and homework grading leisurely. And remember, laughter is the best medicine.


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