Green Eggs & Cadavers

February 10, 2006

First things first, Sherin’s “Like” jar has about 250 EC inside. There is a side pool among my roommates whether or not she cracks a 1000 EC by semester’s end.

It is hard to find time for classes between writing papers, dissecting, running a club and organizing fundraisers. I pop in for the occasional lecture to catch gems like “Before 1841, the only psychiatric diagnosis was ‘idiocy'”. That tickled me.

Speaking of idiocy, my birthday came and went on the 30th. For dinner, I requested Green Eggs & Ham. Sherin made the mistake of putting me in charge of coloring the eggs and I promptly added half a bottle of food coloring to 20 eggs that could have used three drops. It tasted fine, even if it looked like antifreeze.

The Super Bowl came and went with a bang in Grenada. I decided that I was going to wager on the game as a show of support for my friends in Pittsburgh. The day of the game, I was online opening an account. The whole process went smoothly until it came time to enter my banking information. It turns out that my US Bank account had been registered to some other account. Alarmed, I called the states to find out that I had opened an account with this company back in 2003 when I was a student at John Carroll. Near as I can tell, I opened the account after some heavy drinking, placed a bet, and lost all memory of it. The account was carrying $400.

Now, I took Economics at my alma mater, and I know that found money is free money, so I wagered the lot on Pittsburgh. I also threw up in my mouth a few times. All my roommates knew about my wager and gathered at Sherin’s to watch the game. She was the only one out of the loop and COULD NOT understand why I all of a sudden cared about any sport. She also felt the celebration amongst my roommates was a little out of proportion. Who cares, I’m rich.

My karma balanced that night with food poisoning that has lasted a week and counting. Feeling that sick is no fun in the WetLab. That place is something else. It smells awful. Worse than it ever has. The companies that preserve these bodies are using some stronger version of formalin that gives everyone runny noses and crying eyes. We’ve spent 40 hours dissecting down here over the past three weeks, which is more class time than most of our courses require.

Not only am I learning about squeezing hours from minutes, but I am learning what it means to not just disappoint someone, but to be utterly disappointing. Our ring leader and Faculty researcher is Marios Loukas. When he brings his tools to the cadaver, it melts in front of him, revealing the exact structure of interest, usually with some interesting variation. Usually in five minutes. We all watch this, terrified, and then retreat to our bodies to spend the next four hours trying to duplicate it. Usually we cut the structure of interest and dread the minutes until he makes his way over to our body to nod or shake his head. Makes all of us wonder how on earth we’ll survive residency.

At least we have a few oddballs to distract us. One of the cadavers is green. Glow-in-the-dark-Monster-in-the-closet green and must have been REALLY pissed off when she died. Another cadaver is much too pink, another much too wet. There’s some guy in Jersey selling them out the trunk of his car to the Anatomy Dept, hand to God.

Stress on stress, this Sunday begins the great swarm on campus. From all of our affiliate hospitals, the directors and chiefs are flying to GND to see the school and take a paid vacation. There will be sponsored lectures and the like. I get to walk to the front and give a 5-minute talk about my research to drum up awareness for our group. The rest of the week is spent hoping people recognize me from that so they’ll graciously take my CV and offer advice. This also means that my paper has to magically finish itself with polish over the weekend. Good times.

The silver lining that I’m clinging to right now is the Golf Tournament. To raise money for our research, we’re hosting a scramble in April that will involve teams of four paired with an auctioned professor. Jeremy and I have to do a lot of research to pull it off. This involves playing golf on the society’s dime tomorrow morning, drinking beer, and sighing loudly every hole.

Wish us luck, topher.

1) The cadaver is green because it is the body of Mrs. Eric Banner, the Incredible Hulkess. Either that or the Statue of Liberty.
2) It has been a year and 20,000+ words since my first email from Grenada.