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Ask Alex: Dissection and Winter Woes

Alex, Columnist

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Hey Alex, I’ll spare you all the specifics, but I think I have to take some classes this next semester that include dissection of insects and animals. I’m not sure I’m a fan of how these animals and insects are essentially farmed for this purpose, after watching a documentary or two on the subject. Do you think there’s any way that I could get out of these? – Dee N. A.

Dee, I’m not certain what you’re majoring in, but I can forewarn you that most fields use animal models for most of their testing. Well, the preliminary testing at the very least.

Those animals that they run tests on? They either have to live and die in the lab or simply be “destroyed,” as one of my professors simply put it.

Now, with that in mind, I want you to potentially reconsider what you’re studying or just learn to live with it.

What you can do is ask around beforehand and see if these dissections will be done in groups. If they are, and you find a partner willing to do all the dirty work, you could simply do the paperwork and avoid being directly involved in the dissection. I can’t guarantee this will not affect your grade in any way, though. Good luck!

I don’t know what it is, but I always feel down when this time of year rolls around. I’m usually pretty proactive about school and getting work done on time, but winter hits me like a ton of bricks. I just lose almost all motivation. What should I do? – Big Al

Al, I think I can hopefully shine a light on your problem. Literally.

Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, an obnoxiously ironic acronym) affects those who have it about this time of year.

I believe it has something to do with seeing the sun a lot less. When you think about it, the sun is pretty vital to us. It lets us synthesize vitamins and helps dictate our sleep cycles.

It’s a short term fix, but get outside when you can, while the sun is up. It’s definitely cold this time of year, but bundle up and take a walk outside when you get the chance.

In addition, invest in some brighter light bulbs. It sounds crazy, but it might genuinely help.

Make sure you set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. It helps to be certain that this is what it is and have an official diagnosis. I hope you feel better soon, Al!

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Ask Alex: Dissection and Winter Woes