The Sounds of Texas

casey cummings blog 1 pic

Casey Cummings

1st Year MPH Health Behavior Health Education Student

My name is Casey Cummings, and I am finishing up my first year in the Masters of Public Health program in the Health Behavior and Health Education department. And every time I go to a new place, go on vacation, or take a trip, I try to make a fresh playlist to commemorate the experience. The collection of songs will come to represent my experience and will encapsulate the memories that I had when traveling. Although our Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) trip to San Antonio, Texas is more of a deployment than a vacation, I still want an audio scrapbook of my time in Bexar County.

 This is the beginning of my Texas playlist. 1. “West Texas Wind” by NEEDTOBREATHE This one might seem obvious, with Texas in the title. The song talks about the powerful winds of Texas and how the artist talks about how they used to be so intense that they would knock over tractors on the side of the road. I enjoy the imagery and the feeling of awe that is evoked by these winds. Although San Antonio is more central and less susceptible to rolling winds, I am still excited to see a new place and experience the magnitude and power of Texas. 

2. “Brand New” by Ben Rector This trip to Texas will be full of new experiences and trying new things. For the first time, I will take a PHAST trip, facilitate real focus groups with participants, and conduct actual public health work. This brings about a lot of excitement but also some fears. Will things go as we have prepared them? Will we be accepted into this new community? Will we be able to help in the ways we have been asked? During this preparation time, I am focusing on the positive emotions and thinking about the joy that comes with trying brand-new things. 

3. “We’re All in This Together” by the Cast of High School Musical Already from the classroom experiences and my expectations about this trip, I know teamwork will be a huge component of what we will be doing in Texas. We will be traveling together, working in various teams, and communicating with preceptors in San Antonio. Most public health tasks require a coordinated effort to accomplish the goals. I am very much looking forward to meeting the Texas team and working all together to learn more about long COVID-19 in Bexar County. 

In conclusion, I look forward to going to Texas, learning new tools, and working with my classmates. I have a few fears but plan to calm them by listening to my playlist and getting ready to go!