Early in Freshman Lab, I had the opportunity to dissect the nervous system of a cat. Now that Halloween is approaching is seems fitting to share my thoughts on the “pet sematary” the lab became.
The entire experience was very enriching. Being able to touch and see a brain first hand opened up a whole new door in my mind. Not only did my lab partner and I get to touch and see, we also got to discover and explore. We truly dissected, no manual to guide us. “Every cut should be motivated by a question,” was our motto.
While I was dissecting, I had the strangest feeling, like I was painting with thick oil paints. We think of the nature of dissection to be a cutting away, a deconstruction. At least, that’s how I’ve always thought of dissection. When I actually did it, however, I felt like I was creating something. When my lab partner and I had finished our work, we stepped back, and it seemed to me that we had created something. My lab partner, on the other had, kept saying that we’d “mutilated” the body, but I just couldn’t see it that way. We’d revealed and created something akin to art, something others could look upon and see what I saw- an exposed sublimity.
-Isabella Copeland (SF ’20)