Friday, August 29, 2008


(hand soap photo via geekologie)

Class today was so very tedious. Hand dissections. Do you have any idea how many teeny tiny little muscles and tendons there are in a hand? And how hard it is to skin fingers when they're totally stiff and won't straighten out? Hard. Really really hard.

Anyway, today's med school blog entry is dedicated to the hand. Hands hands hands. Our professors really like to talk about hands, and who can blame them? They separate us from apes! Well, not the hand itself, but certainly what we do with them.

Dr. Kirshbom gave our lecture this morning. I don't think I've talked about our professors at all, but Dr. Kirshbom is fabulous. He's short, bespectacled, and always friendly (although when we ask a question during lecture, his usual response is "I don't know, it's in your textbook. Look it up!"). Anyway, great guy. Before class started, I said good morning (this is a lesson about what brown nosing will get you) and he made a bee line to my seat, saying "I need a volunteer with very pale skin!"

Thanks Dr. Kirshbom.

More about my forced volunteerism in a moment. He began lecture by playing a clip of Van Cliburn, "The Texan who Conquered Russia", at the piano competition in Moscow:

Absolutely beautiful (especially in a big, echoing lecture hall), and a perfect example of how unbelievable our hands are. All of those tiny, infuriating muscles add up to the most dexterous little tools that nature's ever created.

Anyway, that was certainly the highlight of a lecture that otherwise depressed us with a preview of our looming dissection. At one point I came up on stage so that Dr. K could demonstrate what happens when you cut off the radial and ulnar arteries at the wrist and then let them go--pretty cool actually. As soon as you release them, the white hand turns bright red again. I got a lot of praise for the important part I played in lecture, and I'm so glad that my pasty complexion could add to the learning of my peers.

I tried to find excellent hand dissection photos to help you share in my frustration of the day, and while this one doesn't really capture that emotion, it is a very nice dissection:

I also found lots of other totally bizarre hand pictures, such as this box of synthetic hand props:

(via inside view from ireland, full of other bizarre things)

Also, a funny article about JK Rowling's boobs.

So I suppose I'm off. I've been studying biochem for a while, and even though I've only gotten through two lectures, I'm beat. Later kids!

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