Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some days


It's sort of rare in one's life that one gets to do something for the first time. I mean, yes, we've all got our first knitting stitch, our first word, our first scarf (most of us), our first everything. We're pretty fresh on this earth when we arrive. However, by the time you get even to my ripe age of 22, there are some days where you don't do something entirely new.

Today is not that day. Earlier today I disarticulated a cadaver's head. I don't know if I should tell you this, but it's in Grant's dissector, and if you know I'm dissecting a cadaver out of there, it's not like you can't figure it out.

Usually I'm completely fine with everything we do in anatomy. It makes sense to me, we're learning, and even though it's rough, it's all for the best. However, today disturbed me for some reason more than any other day. I'm not going to go into really gory details, but we had to take a chisel and hammer to our body donor's spine and break his top vertebra to be able to essentially remove his head. It was still attached by muscles and ligaments at the front, but it was loose, to say the least.

I think what disturbs me most is that when I had to completely disarticulate the leg earlier in the year, I was completely fine with it, even though it was much harder to do and much more physical. However, by doing that we saw a portion of the body that we never could have gotten into without doing it, and I learned a great deal. Today, while I studied how the cranial nerves exit the skull, I just don't feel that the level of new concepts within my brain justified doing what we did.

I'm not even going to stand here and say I wouldn't do it again if asked. It's just that I didn't feel as if I came away from lab today more prepared to heal people because of what we did. I think juxtaposed on top of that lies my dissatisfaction with our anatomy lab in general. While there certainly is respect in the lab for the body donors, most students wouldn't do it themselves, and aren't attached to their donors. I miss my dissection class from undergrad, where everyone was truly thankful for what these people had given us at their last, and where I was truly sad to say goodbye. I still care for my donor, and appreciate what he did for me and the rest of us, but I don't know that everyone feels the same way.

In any case, I just wanted to try and put that into words. If that grosses people out, I'm sorry, I really tried to be good about it. It's just on my mind.

In knitting news, I have a deep, deep desire to knit these and fill them with potpourri and give them out for the Christmas.
Unfortunately, this looks easier to sew than to knit. I think knitting them in two pieces would be the best, one for the belly and one for the top two pieces, knit together. I think with delicate shaping and making sure that I did the correct directions of increases and decreases paired directly next to each other I could do it. What do you think? Cute for Christmas? Little birdie potpourri sachets? I was planning on making my own orange clove potpourri with it from whole cloves and dried orange peel, but I don't know that I can handle that. I need to find some orris root, apparently, and not everywhere carries it. I'll head over to the Co-op and see what I can find, but it might be store-bought potpourri for me. Providing I can knit the bird.

I really wanted to go to the Obama rally tonight and bring my current sock in progress and try to get him to hold it, a la both Yarnharlot and Stringativity style. However, I unfortunately made the poor choice to stay at home, study, and try and pass my classes. Sometimes I very much dislike trying to feign responsibility.


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