My Mice, My Scalpel, and I

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.


“All we have to do is use a straight razor to shave off the hair, and then use a 15-blade to cut off the epidermis,” said Carrie. She picked up a dead mouse by its tail and laid it on the table, then picked up the straight razor and started shaving off the hair. I don’t know if I should have been excited, nervous, or revolted, but it didn’t matter, this was a hell of a lot better than just cleaning the lab. “Shave the other two mice and call me when you are done. Then I’ll show ya how to skin them.”

The blade was sharper than I had anticipated; the hair came off the mice effortlessly. Psh, this isn’t hard at all. “All done!” I exclaimed. I looked at the naked mice, and was satisfied with my work.

“Good Job! Now comes the tricky part,” Carrie told me.

I didn’t think skinning the mice would be too hard; surgery looked pretty easy in House and Nip/Tuck. Well, I learned the hard way that television shows were not synonymous with real life.

“Should I show you how to skin one real quick?” Carrie asked me.

Since I did such a good job of shaving the mice I was feeling pretty confident in myself, so I just replied, “Nah, I’ll figure it out.”

I took the scalpel and angled it so the blade lined up with the skin, and began to cut. My...

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