Intriguing investigation: Muscles, tendons fascinate college student, NH alumna

Meghan Kalck, SSC Editor

 Have you ever held a human heart? Maybe touch all the muscles and tendons in a human body? Well you maybe haven’t, but Cassidy Chandler, North Harford class of 2019,  has.

     Chandler is studying to be an athletic trainer at Messiah University,  and in order to fulfill her major, students have to study muscles in the body, along with tendons, organs, etc.

     “…So far we have studied the upper body and are going over the lower body now…” Chandler stated, in her class they particularly look at the origins and insertions of each muscle or tendon in the body and see how those relate to action in a human.

     Formaldehyde is a strong smelling, colorless gas mainly used in building materials,  household objects,  and as a preservative, and in Chandler’s words the smell was “pretty gross.” 

     “It was super interesting to touch the muscles and tendons,” said Chandler.  She added the muscles were pretty strong and durable when she was touching them. For example, they would pull different muscles on the hands and the fingers would actually move.

     Chandler explained how the body will still be stiff but you can still move all the limbs in the body. One of the cadavers arms was cut off by the anatomy class in her school where it was completely removed  by using a table saw from Lowes.

     “The eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and hair and all of that was still intact which was interesting,” said Chandler but the most interesting part for her was the heart, even though that is not what she is studying.

     The cadaver was also wearing a pacemaker due to age and she could see the metal coils inside of it and thought that it was amazing how it looked.

     Chandler had a mix of emotions about doing this in her class. “I was a little nervous at first…” she said. Chandler really struggled with looking at the body’s face because it “…looked less human than I expected, it [almost] looked fake, like something the science department made.” A good way she deals with this nervousness is just thinking about the whole thing scientifically. 

     Chandler was explaining how this made her think about the “hope of heaven,” and how “death is not my end!” She explained how “my earthly body will someday rot as well, but my eternal body in heaven will be perfect without weakness or imperfection.”