Gross Anatomy is not really as fun and cool as I thought it would be. Formaldehyde burns the eyes, removing fat from a cadaver is time-consuming and quite disgusting, and trying to find nerves is nerve wracking.
But, it's still awesome in its own way.
I feel as though we all became unexpectedly desensitized to the fact that we are cutting away at a body which was once occupied by a soul. A mind, a heart. A person with real feelings, a life, maybe some kids? A person who had a favorite color and a favorite movie, fell in love, maybe did some drugs? Yeah, all those feelings *poof* disappeared as I made large incisions across the cadaver's back, pulled the skin away from the muscles, and scraped away the fat and tissue.
I try to stay conscious of the human side of it all, but I don't want that to deter me from learning. I also don't want to have nightmares. I do, however, want to always appreciate the individuals who graciously donated their bodies so that we stressed out twenty-somethings can get our hands dirty (literally) and do some learnin'.
Today, as the formaldehyde burned my eyes, I looked away from the dissection table to try to catch some clean breaths of air. I looked around the room, and saw the faces of my classmates, concentrating, slicing, searching, learning. It was like a scene out of a movie. What kind of movie, I don't really know. But it was like a movie, damnit. It made me feel very lucky to be in medical school.
I know, I know, once the 7 hour exam blocks and sleepless nights come rolling in, I'm going to be bitchin' like the rest of 'em. But for now, in between brief episodes of panic and stress, I'm still able to appreciate some things.
Speaking of appreciation, I have a new found appreciation for anyone who has ever put together furniture. I built my own desk yesterday. It was a relaxing activity in the sense that it had *nothing* to do with science, but it was frustrating in the sense that it had everything to do with incompetent instruction manual writers and poorly designed furniture. It is a sexy desk, very plain, very big. It felt good to build it myself, and I suppose I will never take that desk for granted. It would be cool if everyone could spend just one day in the shoes of the people who make things possible (ie the farmer who grows our food). Maybe not. Whatever.
That's all there is to say, I suppose.