Oh Rats

As I mentioned in my past post, our family has been dealing with a difficult challenge for the past month, and we are still very much in the middle of getting things under control and back to “normal” or at least back to whatever our “normal” is…. And, because I was asked not to blog about the details of the situation which was all-consuming of my time, energy, and emotions…I found it easier not to blog at all this past week.

However, over the past week, I did a lot of praying, self talks, long walks, and trusting that everything will work out to a positive outcome as I know it will…. and, I continued to look for something, other than our challenge to blog about so here it is…

Our daughter, Shantel, is taking Biology 201 this semester, which is Human Anatomy & Physiology. She really wasn’t looking forward to this class in the beginning. However, she really likes the Professor, Dr. Spencer. She said he is really great about getting your attention and keeping you interested throughout the entire lecture and lab which is a total of 2 1/2 hours every Tuesday and Thursday.

On day one of the biology lab, the class was divided into groups. Shantel is in a group with three other students. The first assignment was to chop up squash as a way to help the students learn the biology terms, and how to use the tools used when they advanced to actually dissecting RATS, which happened in the very second lab.

Since Shantel is blind, she said she and the group all very quickly decided Shantel would not be the one using the scalpel… good decision on their part I think. But that did not mean Shantel would not have every other opportunity to fully participate in the lab experience.

Each group was given one rat and told to “pin it down so it wouldn’t move around” which quickly struck panic in one girl who said “OMG, you mean they are alive…”  Shantel said the whole class erupted into laughter at that. Dr. Spencer pointed out that no, they were not alive, but if you don’t pin them down on the tray, they will slide around when you are cutting into them…

So, once the class was back under control, the dissecting began. Shantel said Dr. Spencer insisted she hold the heart of the rat her group dissected, and that she touch the liver.

One group had a rat that was pregnant and that group had to take the unborn baby rats out of the mother. Then, Dr. Spencer had Shantel hold one of the unborn baby rats.. I asked Shantel how big the unborn baby rat was and she said about an inch long including the placenta that was still attached and hanging off the tail.. oh my!!! I wish I had a picture of that…

Now, for those of you who may not know, Shantel has REAL issues touching things she thinks might not be clean. She won’t even touch raw meat when we are cooking together, not even if she has gloves on… So for her to hold the heart, touch the liver, and hold an unborn baby rat was a HUGE achievement for her. HUGE!!

I asked Shantel what she was thinking while she was touching the heart, liver and unborn baby rat. She said “all I could think of was putting it down” She said she thought the whole experience was gross! I’m sure she did. But the main thing is she did it, and that is something to be very proud of. She didn’t let her fear get in the way of fully participating in the assignment. She knows she has to pass this class to earn her degree and graduate in May so she can move on to her next goal of attending Grand Canyon University in the fall.

I reminded Shantel that overcoming a fear is sometimes just a matter of changing your thoughts. It’s been said when you change your thoughts, you change your world… If we could all just remember that, and do it, we might not find ourselves thinking “Oh RATS!!!

Have a GREAT weekend.

Stay Tuned!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Jan 18, 2014 @ 01:13:43

    OMG…this is MAJOR. Yeah for Shantel!! xoxo more! your frissy


  2. katsbynp
    Jan 18, 2014 @ 02:42:30

    Yay Shantel! I admire her courage in facing her fears. Great post and thank you for sharing


  3. BrantleyNewton
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 22:12:53

    Good for her! Such an inspiration.


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