Tuesday, September 19, 2006

There's More Than One Way To Skin A Corpse

It's no secret that the Anatomy course at Cambridge is a little rough. I learnt this the very first day when we were introduced to the Dissection Room (called DR both for the sake of abbreviation, and because Dissection Room just sounds damned creepy). It just so happened that I was one of the last to be given the induction tour, and the room was almost empty. This is NOT a good thing when you're in a large, quiet, cold room with plenty of corpses covered with sheets, and you happen to have watched one too many zombie movies in your lifetime. It also doesn't help when, like me, you've never seen a dead body before, and your anatomy demonstrators are tall, thin, gaunt old men who themselves bear more than a passing resemblance to corpses.

So this tall thin professor who looks like someone out of Tales From The Crypt materialises in front of our group and warns us (in the obligatory low, deep funereal voice) that we are about to see a dead body, and that we should not be surprised to note that it doesn't look like a live person. (Duh.) He also tells us that it's okay to faint, and that many medics actually do, and that if we feel unwell we should step outside for some fresh air. (Seriously. I think that every year after the induction session, these demonstrators all keep up the corpse act till the last student leaves, and then burst into laughter as they compare scores on how many freshers they could get to wet their pants.)

One year on, I've seen pretty much all there is to see of a corpse, and I am proud to say that I never fainted or even barfed, though I came pretty damn close one day when I boldly sliced into an intestine and got gunk sprayed all over me. So now as I sit in Cambridge two weeks before term starts and wonder to myself just what the hell I'm doing back so early, my fingers inexorably drift to my keyboard and I go randomly trawling through blogs, if only so that I don't die of boredom and become one of those cadavers lying in the DR.

There I was, randomly browsing through blogs, when I happened to chance upon this. It hasn't been updated in ages, but the date indicates that the writer is in my year. Now we've heard of medics going out at night with demonstrators to the pub, and one event got everybody so drunk that a medic even kissed a demonstrator (there was either a LOT of alcohol, or said medic was very VERY desperate) but what I read here simply stopped me cold. I mean, I've heard there's more than one way to study anatomy, and the cheekier medics will tell you that having a boyfriend/girlfriend is one of them, but sleeping with a DEMONSTRATOR? And at the time that the post was written, this was what our course organiser looked like:




Not exactly Brad Pitt. But hey, there's more than one way to skin a corpse. Or to get good grades in anatomy WITHOUT skinning one. I just hope it was worth it for her. In the meantime, I'm gonna try getting my anatomy knowledge the old-fashioned way. At least the only venereal disease I'm at risk of getting here is carpal tunnel syndrome.

9 comments:

Cambridge University said...

Due to the link to the PDN Department of the University of Cambridge that you placed on your personal blog, we have managed to track you down. On behalf of the University of Cambridge, I would recommend that you to retract the statement about "your anatomy demonstrators are tall, thin, gaunt old men who themselves bear more than a passing resemblance to corpses" and "tall thin professor who looks like someone out of Tales From The Crypt" plus the worst of all, "not exactly Brad". Some of us have even been mistaken as him. Retracting these statements would be mean your life here would be more comfortable. Resist these orders and be ready to have your testicles drawn out of your scrotum.

PS: Personally, I think I look better than Brad Pitt

dan said...

yeah.. and some are really quite chubby too.

but it is apparent someone is really smitten with cambridge. arriving weeks early and having nothing to do. get a life :p

hodilun said...

haha!
good one.....
and i can't believe that actually happened....
imagine trying to pass English...you would need to make Hartini happy.
;)

Anonymous said...

" At least the only venereal disease I'm at risk of getting here is carpal tunnel syndrome."

carpal tunnel syndrome isnt a venereal disease you quack!

The Angry Medic said...

I was waiting for someone to pick that up. just to see how many ppl out there were really medically educated and how much bullshit I could put into this place, you know. damn pubmed.com!

di-lun: EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way the university accepts corpse donation? It's just that the weights-and-a-handy-river method of disposal doesn't really work for me.

howling said...

Whoa. The professor looked really loopy and so is net anatomy - thanks for the obligatory embedded link. I say, you could still get the clap if some computer whore uses your computer behind your back. Is there such a thing as pennicilin wipes?

duchessSoF said...

I don't think Brad Pitt is too exciting myself. I am more drawn to the dashing likes of Simon LeBon. Swoon.

Anonymous said...

There was me thinking that the carpal tunnel comment refered to the frankly astonishing amount of masturbation induged in by the Angry Medic..