[Histonet] RE: Histology Stories

Whitaker, Bonnie Bonnie.Whitaker <@t> osumc.edu
Thu Mar 11 11:32:34 CST 2010

That triggered a memory for me:  

When my daughter was 4 or 5, she came home from day care all mad because she
had gotten in trouble.  It seems that the teacher had talked to the class
about smoking and what it does to your lungs, and apparently described lungs
somewhat inaccurately.  My daughter had called her on her inaccuracy, and
informed the teacher that she "had been to autopsies before, and knew what
diseased lungs looked like", and basically told the teacher that she didn't
know what she was talking about. 

When I took call for weekend autopsies, a couple of times my daughter went
with me because I had nowhere leave her on Sundays if her dad was out of
town, so she was certainly correct.  She just lacked tact.  

One of our pathologists at the time, told me that she always put her son in a
highchair in the morgue when she was a resident, and on autopsy duty.  She
faired better than I did, however.  Her son became a physician, as well.  My
daughter was never interested in the medical field.

Bonnie Whitaker

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Beckham,
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:05 PM
To: 'Jessica.Vacca <@t> HCAhealthcare.com'; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] RE: Histology Stories

Your introduction into histology brought back a very funny memory for me.  My
kids are in their 30's now, but when my daughter was 7 or 8 she also saw her
first grossing specimen which was also a leg.  She tried to talk about it in
show and tell and her teacher made her stop.  She didn't want to hear about
it and my daughter was so excited about being able to share the information
with her classmates.   When my son was 14 or 15 he wanted to see a brain and
we happened to have one from an autopsy case.  I took it out and he got one
whiff of the formalin and said "Mom, no wonder you are so weird, having to
smell that stuff everyday".  No one can appreciate what we do quite like our

Jessica, that was a really cool story about your Mom introducing you to
histology.  It brought a tear to my eye!

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of
Jessica.Vacca <@t> HCAhealthcare.com
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 10:49 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Histology Stories

I was introduced the color world of Histology, when I was about 7 or 8. I saw
my first leg being grossed. I was the cool kid in elementary school that
during show and tell,  would bring in a section of brain or perhaps an embryo
floating in formalin. I worked my summers filing blocks and slides (Not to
worry I understood the importance of numerical order!), and as I got older
would work my summers as a lab aide. After high school, and very undecided in
which direction my life should go, the Histology Supervisor had encouraged as
she did all her lab aides and others she felt needed to add their mark in
this profession into this career. She had a histology program (at the time
when it was OJT) and she would have 3 students at a time. We would work
nights assisting with gross, and mornings in class. She would give us weekly
exams and instill in us the importance of the profession. The majority of her
students that she had taught have moved on to become supervisors and charge
techs. I have to say that I come from a "family" of histologists. I was very
fortunate that this woman who had an interest in my future not just in me as
a person but as her daughter. You see, this supervisor was my mother, and I
will forever be grateful to her for introducing me to this field. Her name is
Sofia Roberts and I'm sure that there are many members that know her. So to
her I say "Happy Histologist Professional Day"!

Jessica Vacca
Histology Supervisor
Brandon Regional Hospital
119 Oakfield Dr
Brandon Fl 33511
(813) 571-6410
or ext 2454
(813) 571-5169 FAX

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