Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cadaver Chemistry

Everyone out there who has had a class across the hall from a cadaver lab raise your hand.  I am lifting my hands, both of them, up high!  Nuclear Chemistry was in the basement of Lilly Hall.  It was the coolest chemistry class I ever.  We did all kinds of experiments.  We messed with radio isotopes, performed radioactive tracer experiments, and learned how Marie Curie died a slow horrible death. I probably glow at night which isn't a bad thing since I remain a bit scared of the dark.  Our best times though were the illegal visits we paid to the lab across the hall.  Periodically on the campus the hursts would pull up with those bodies donated to science.  They would take the bodies in bags to the basement and put them in the body room.  The bodies were used for nursing and PT students.

Have you ever seen the movie "An American Werewolf in London?"  Well I have and as the semester went along these bodies looked more and more like Jack.  They went from just naked and dead to torn to shreds, naked and dead.  It was seriously creepy and cold in that room.  You would think with my ghostly experiences that I wouldn't screw around with the dead, but chalk it up to college humor and stupid bravery.  We would make them talk, make them wave, have them hold hands, etc. etc.

Being one of only 8 Chemistry majors, we clearly had the best fun of any major ever.  We did all kinds of inappropriate stuff because many of our classes and labs were at night and we had a post doc as a prof.  He was doing his own research.  There was more making out in those labs than anything, but from a purely scientific point of view that is Chemistry, am I right?  We also were the ones responsible for the night pseudo-chemistry student labs.  These were the kids/adults taking a gen chem class because they had to.  Those people should never have been allowed to touch chemicals.  They set the lab benches on fire, each other on fire, and occasionally tried to blow us all up by leaving the gas on.  I said on more than one occasion "EVERYBODY OUT OF THE BUILDING NOW!"  I am thinking that Lilly Hall is lucky to still be standing.

They didn't deserve to see the cadaver room. Eventually someone found out about our visits with the dead and the locks were changed.  We could have hacked in, being smart asses and all, but we figured it wasn't worth getting thrown out.  Those were some seriously good days.  Next time you see a skeleton and have the mad desire to pose him or make him sing or are playing with a crab claw at the table, think of me.