I scored an average percentile in Science stream, being the first grandchild of the house, I was conferred upon the status of a winner and was pampered by my Ammamma (grandmother), uncles, aunts and cousins. My grandfather (Muthachan) was no more with us; else he would have made me feel like a princess. 🙂
Here I must tell you, when it comes to scoring, you can win over anybody but your parents. Yes, my parents weren’t as happy as others in the family and I myself. Of course, my Mom being a teacher herself, her expectations are like the sun and the moon. 😕
I was happy. Really really happy! Not because of my marks, but because I will not have to kill any more rats. Eeekkkk!!! 😮
One, two, three and…
…as soon as I used to pin-up the fourth limb, one of the pins with the opposite limb would come out as if wanting to slap me hard. With great difficulty after the pinning up was done, starts the real torture. Cutting the layers of skin and pinning them up. As soon as the skin was cut and the real live organs were out, I would almost be in tears and given a chance, would have run out like a mad cow. Depending on the organ system (respiratory, digestive, nervous, reproductive, excretory, skeletal etc.) to be presented, we had to remove the other organs.
Isn’t that murder???
Yes. A cold-blooded murderous I am.
I have committed nine murders during my dissection days.
It pains even now. I used to take bath 3-4 times after reaching home, that too in hot water, in the month of July and August. I couldn’t eat or drink for the next 2-3 days because of the slideshows that used to run in my mind. Mom used to feed me (a 16 year-old grown-up teenager) forcibly and I used to throw it up.
Remember I told you the rats were just sedated. They were not dead.
Sometimes when you have just finished pinning up the skin layers, the heart starts pounding. I have fallen back many a times when it used to happen. Not exaggerating. Really!! I was that scared. 😦
And when we were to cut the heart, I have actually walked out twice or thrice as I could not stand the smell and color of blood oozing out of the poor little innocent thing. 😦
Few boys in my class, few insensitive ones I would say, would take out the fetus from inside the pregnant female rat that they have been blessed with and would play around throwing it at each other. 😦
A scene which irritates me to the core till date…
All this left me with so much fear inside me that on my practical exam day, I did everything except for the dissection part. I completed the skin pinning up, but could not go any further. I was frozen. My friends Sandhya and Sujitha tried their best to make me do it. I couldn’t. And they helped me with it. The viva-voice happened. The invigilator was impressed as I answered few out of syllabus questions too. Thanks to Lakhmir Singh and Manjit Kaur!
Before leaving her room, I spurted out slowly, “I couldn’t do the dissection. My friends helped me.” She just looked up at me and nodded smilingly. I still remember her face.
Later she came to each of our desks, and did not mention anything specific to me. I guess may be because of my theoretical answers during viva and my honesty, the invigilator did give me just 2 marks less. I was the topper in the subject in my school.
I always aspired to be a doctor, a cancer-specialist, because I had seen two young casualties in our family to this disease. But the first time I cut the skin of a rat, I knew from within, I would never be one.
End of a child’s aspirations…
Must appreciate Leela teacher, who knew everything and was there with me in all of it.
This one’s for you my friends and for the invigilator and Leela teacher! Thank you for understanding me! 🙂
P.S:- It used to pain more because Mooshak (Rat) happens to be the vaahan (vehicle) of my favourite diety, Lord Ganesha.
- What is Wrong With Dissections? (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Discontinue Animal Dissection at Nation’s Second-Largest Community College (forcechange.com)
- Why do students dissect frogs? (mentalfloss.com)