Jeffrey is in the process of his finals at Va Tech and it brought back memories of finals when I was in nursing school.
Before I go there... Study hard Jeff ... I know you can do it!...Ok... had to get my mother worry mode out of the way...
One of the major classes we had to take in nursing was anatomy and physiology. This involved both class work and labs. The professor that I had was one of those really intense, brainy kind of guys that loves science. ( think Justin.. for those of you that know Justin).
This professor really got into his work and actually loved to dissect anything.
Our animal for dissection was a cat. Now, I know you cat lovers out there won't like to hear that but I didn't have any choice what animal we dissected.
All of the nursing students really disliked the lab dissections, mostly because of the smell and partly because not many of us were any good at doing the dissection without ruining what we needed to dissect. You could smell the lab well before you reached the classroom and you could continue to smell the lab on your clothes and hands after the fact! There is nothing like formaldehyde!!
We had to use the same cat for the whole semester and to work through all the body systems. (Talk about a smell that does NOT get better with time.)
We all learned early on that if you asked the professor for help, he would get all involved and actually end up doing most of the dissecting for you. It was a race to see who could ask the first question so the professor would come "help".
Obviously, he could only work on a couple of cats a lab period, so some of those cats were pretty butchered up by the end of the year.
Some of those lab groups really had no idea what they were doing. You can also imagine a whole labroom full of young nursing students with only the token "science major "student interspersed. As I look back at the professor now, I can see why he did a good bit of the dissecting himself and I wonder how he stood all that estrogen!
At the end of the year, we had to complete an anatomy lab final. This involved the professor setting up lab stations with little flags stuck in the cats for the student to identify the body structure. In the final, this could be anything from a vein, artery, bone, muscle, or organ.
Trust me when I tell you that some of those structures didn't look anything like they were suppose to because of the poor dissections, so it was pretty important that you had a good knowledge of the anatomy.
My 2 other lab partners and I were pretty worried about the final. We decided that dedicated study was the only way we would ever pass that blasted final. (This line is also dedicated to Jeffrey!)
We were allowed to "check out our cat" for "home study." Now let me tell you that this was real dedication...to carry around a semester old, badly dissected, formadehyde cat in your car!!!
We had a study-a-thon and all of us were pretty sick of that @#%$ cat by the end of the weekend.
(Now I'm a little ashamed to admit what happened next, but Michal actually likes this part of the story.)
My lab partner had a neighbor that was a real grouch. They evidently had had some run-ins in the past. She decided, after a weekend with very little sleep, that it would be "funny" to leave our poor dead, formaldehyded cat in the neighbors mailbox! Well, no sooner than it was thought than it was done. We made the laughing, running in the dark, mail deposit and off we went.
I think back now that it was a pretty DUMB thing to do...I'm really surprised we never got caught...it would have been a real shame if we had been thrown out of nursing school because of that stupid stunt. I guess when your young, you always think "it will never happen to me."
(Aside to all those younger folks that may be reading this, because you know I can't miss an opportunity: ...just because I didn't get caught, doesn't make it right!)
My lab partner went on to be a great nurse and ended up working in a high stress, cutting edge heart hospital. I do have to laugh when I think of her. She ended up working in that heart hospital and could have her hands "dripping in blood," but if she even scratched herself and saw her OWN blood....she was out like a light!
I often wondered what that neighbor thought of finding that cat??
The good news was that the extra study paid off and we all passed that final with flying colors!