Teen Thursday - Did You Ever Have to Dissect Something?

A lot of YA books have *that scene* where the heroine and her romantic interest get paired up as lab partners. Yes, I even went there in RIVAL, which comes out next week. I don't want to talk about whether this type of set-up works or is overdone, or anything like that today. I want to talk about what our hero and heroine are doing in the lab.

In RIVAL, they're dissecting things! Originally, I had Kathryn and John dissect cats, because that's what I dissected in my high school anatomy class. That's right, we dissected cats. I'm not sure where they came from--I like to believe they were strays that were painlessly euthanized. I'm not even sure I was all that horrified when we did it; I just wanted an A, and I was able to separate the soggy stiff thing on my slab from my kitty cat at home.

(I won't even go into the field trip we took to see real cadavers - a few select students were able to sign up for a team that got to help dissect those. Not sure I could have done that, even for an A+++++.)

When RIVAL was in revisions, my agent requested I change the dissected animals from cats to fetal pigs. She thought it might offend people to read about cutting open animals that are commonly kept as pets. So I changed it, and it's cool. I don't think the book rises or falls on what my characters are dissecting. But I do think it's an interesting topic!

How about you? Did you ever have to dissect something in school? What was it? Were you grossed out? How did it go?


Becca C. said...

My friend in university bio just dissected a fetal pig... sounds awful.

I had to do a sheep's eyeball, which was pretty interesting - the colour inside the iris is strangely beautiful - but the next year I had to dissect a fish that was about the length of my forearm and I couldn't do it. Too grotesque. I had to leave the room.

Nina B. said...

We dissected frogs in high school, and when I got to nursing school, we studied human cadavers, but we were not the one to dissect them, though, the med students did that.

Brush Up On Your Reading

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Oh gosh, cats! *hugs kitty*

No, I never had to dissect anything, THANK GOODNESS. We were only required to take grade 9 science in my school, and for grade ten you could take a certain technology course instead of another science credit (once again: THANK GOODNESS. Computers are much more my friends than bunsen burners and the like).

So, long story short(ish): grade 10 biology was when people had to dissect frogs, I think, and I never took that course (yay!)

brave chickens said...

Haha, so true! There's always a science lab scene where there's an experiment or dissection going on.

So far I've dissected a bull's eye, a sheep's brain and a sheep's heart. I'm not squirmish at all, so I really enjoyed those science classes! :D

Cambria Dillon said...

The only thing I ever dissected was an owl pellet. Yeah. Owl poop. I totally got jipped. Then again, it was fifth grade and I guess dissecting frogs would've been a little too traumatizing at that age.

Shannon said...

I've dissected a frog and a fetal pig. Both times I was horribly disgusted, but it was back during a time when I thought guys would think I was hard core cool if I wasn't grossed out by blood and guts. I also liked to pretend I cared about football and that a perfect date movie was something from the action adventure or horror genre. The lies we live to survive being a teenager. Ugh.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Nope-NEVER had to! It wasn't part of the middle scholl science class yet, in HS Bio my teacher was asked to leave and we had subs all year so I got out of it then, and college I took Astronomy and Geology. Pretty proud of myself for that one!

anonymeet said...

In 6th grade, we dissected worms. I knew I had a weak stomach and decided I wanted to be brave, so I asked to be the partner that cut it open. I sliced the thing down the middle, put down the scalpel, asked to go to the bathroom, ran for it and then passed out on the hallway floor.

I subsequently took every science class school offered that did NOT involve dissection (earth science, physics, etc.) and made it all the way to senior year AP Bio. Fetal sharks. Luckily, I had a very understanding teacher and a team of 4, instead of 2, so they let me be the one to do all the recording and write up the report. And I never had to actually touch the fetal shark. Most of the disscetion days, I sat at the edge of my chair, ready to run for it again, averting my eyes.

And I never again tried to dissect anything. Although, I have, since, passed out trying to be brave by doing something (giving blood) that I knew would make me ill.

Guess you never really learn, huh?

Ronni said...

I've dissected:

- earth worm
- fish
- frog
- fetal pig

Mindi Scott said...

In 8th grade, I dissected an earth worm. In 9th, a frog. In 11th, a sheep's brain.

Sarah Darer Littman said...

Since it was Reagan's 100th birthday, I will share this interesting tidbit. I was in bio lab at Duke dissecting a fetal pig which I found truly fascinating (after the initial cut, that I made my lab partner do, because I couldn't being myself to do it) when our lab TA told us that President Reagan had been shot. We were all totally freaked out, and afterward repaired to the pub, The Down Under, to drink beer and stay glued to the TV. Saw Secretary of State Alexander Haig make his famous faux pas "I'm in charge" statement (he obviously hadn't read the Constitution, which states that if the VP isn't available to serve, power goes to the Speaker of the House.) Weird how dissection will forever be linked to politics in my brain because of that...

Edna said...

In high school I dissected a cat. We even had to take it home a few times. Luckily I never had to take it to my house or put it in my car. Overall, I thought it was a great learning experience (Aced it!). The only unfortunate thing was how horrible my hands (which were triple-gloved) had smelled for days afterward.

Shelby said...

I seriously doubt I would have been capable of not bawling when I saw a bunch of dead cats if I had been in that situation.

However, I do think I can trump cats. In high school, I went to a college summer camp for kids in Alaska. I was in the wildlife biology group. And we dissected a caribou.

Uh-huh. That's right. A two-hundred pound American version of a reindeer. Freshly dead.

I was kinda upset at first (I'm a huge animal-rights person), but once it stopped looking like a caribou and there was just a huge pile of caribou parts, it was pretty fascinating. I learned a lot. Can't say I would do it again, though.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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