The Bigness of the Fellow Within

Written February 23d, 2015

Quite the novel day today. Got to go to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to attend a cadaver lab which was open to students in Health and Wellness programs. (Some thoughts):

-Formaldehyde, the chemical compound used to preserve biological specimens, does not smell as bad as I thought it would. Although… it sticks to clothing like nothing else.

Things I got to hold:

-Human brain (the weight seems fairly proportionate to what one would think it weighs according to its size. Also… as I stared at the one brain which I held up and which was split through the middle, I marvelled at the fact that all human endeavours…the arts and sciences..had come through this organ; one of, if not the most intricate biological structure we know of so far)

-Human liver (the one I held up from the specific cadaver seemed to be rather large in size and I believe was subject to some sort of liver pathology, for it was immense)

-Human heart (I have already dissected a pig’s heart in a Biology lab in class but this was a human heart I was holding this time. It was a bit smaller in size and shares many of the similar features found in a pig’s heart, thus the use of a pig’s heart for a lab dissection)

-Human lungs (it was darker then one would think in colour and one student asked one of the teachers if this was a smoker’s lung and he answered no, that it was a bit discoloured due to the preservation process. He also said if it had been a smoker’s lung, it would be completely black. This would be after 10/20/30 years of smoking)

Nervous moment:
Being asked what my favourite muscle was by Dr.Kumka (, chair holder of the Department of Anatomy at the institution. I am not too versed in all the muscles so I said “biceps” since I used to work out and its one of my favourite ones I suppose. She then says “there are two, bi means two, so find the short head”. I then go to the cadaver and try to find the short head, only to have to ask her to come help since my anatomy knowledge is subpar (so far). There were few students left in the lab, the rest were waiting in the foyer. She then came over and started showing me what she wanted me to find, and more. The rest of the students including the teachers all came around as she spoke, for she was teaching and this woman was steeped in anatomical knowledge. I was eventually able to find it, not before sweating from the pressure since I was surrounded by Bachelor of Science in Nursing students and Massage Therapy students, who knew much more then I. lol.

Final thought:
I think every human being should get the chance to see what a human body looks like from the inside, for it greatly facilitates the understanding of this most marvellous structure we inhabit. Upon leaving, I checked out the store in the college which had chiropractic supplies. I was drawn to a little section which had an add about phytonutrients (phyto means plant in greek, and I am interested in plant medicines) and behind that, there was a bookshelf… and one book stood out. The title and the book’s content reminded me that although I had just seen 15 lifeless dissected cadavers, not to forget, about “The Bigness of the Fellow Within”.



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