was totally, totally cool. I learned so much about the way the body works.
Arteries are lovely, by the way...
FWIW, even though the bodies don't actually look like dead people, everyone was quite respectful. You got the sense that people really got that these were the bodies of people who had died. It was very quiet and I felt self conscious explaining things to my friend's children.
After seeing a cirratic liver and a smoker's lung, I could look at a body and get at least a few basic clues about how the person lived. (They all died of natural causes. Even the fetuses are from miscarriages.) It wasn't like your typical museum display of cookie-cutter anatomy models. These people were different sizes and different builds. One woman had a weird belly button. To at once looking at the inside of their bodies while having such a sense of their humanity was a transcendent experience.
Breasts look like coral. They're beautiful.
My friend's six-year-old boy was riveted by a display of tumors of the female reproductive system. He insisted I read the captions on each one and tried to explain them as well as I could. I also told him this was why you're supposed to go to the doctor every year so that things like that could be caught when they were small.
I confronted a prostate.
The bodies that appeared to be in motion were my favorites. You could see the way muscles worked.
I really feel like this experience has changed my view of my body, and I hope the souls of the people who once inhabited those bodies are someplace where they can appreciate that.