WBEZ | cadaver http://www.wbez.org/tags/cadaver Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How 90s rap, Shel Silverstein, and Oak Park influenced a former Chicagoan director http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-90s-rap-shel-silverstein-and-oak-park-influenced-former-chicagoan <p><div class="image-insert-image ">For <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CDMQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jonahansell.com%2F&amp;ei=dpJtUZ-rKsWbygGO3IHwBQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNE39MQUQC60ax_8htzQdZSPfJkQ9A&amp;sig2=eQBwHEDrxpOd6OKYBnXp3A" target="_blank">Jonah Ansell</a>, Chicago mattered. His experiences growing up in and near the city in the Western suburb of Oak Park directly nurtured his creative pursuits. His latest work, <a href="http://cadaverthefilm.com/"><em>Cadaver</em></a>, is a lushly-constructed and visually-mesmerizing graphic novel and animated short film starring Oak Park teen and fashion/media mogul Tavi Gevinson, Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, and Christopher Lloyd. It tells the story of a cadaver who wakes up to tell his wife a final goodbye only to discover a truth about death he did not know in life. A mix of child-like storytelling with more mature themes, <em>Cadaver</em> is a testament to the power of the grand narrative in creating works of fiction. The film plays April 23 at the <a href="https://boxoffice.mcachicago.org/public/show.asp" target="_blank">Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago</a>. A discussion and book signing follows.&nbsp;Tickets are available&nbsp;<a href="https://boxoffice.mcachicago.org/public/show.asp" target="_blank">online</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t appreciate how nurturing of an environment I was in until I came back,&rdquo; Ansell said about his experiences growing up in Oak Park. Ansell&rsquo;s family moved to the suburb from the city when he was young. It was his experiences attending William Beye Elementary School, growing up on Humphrey Avenue, reading voraciously &ndash; that shaped his love of storytelling. Ansell counted one experience &ndash; painting murals on the walls of the elementary school &ndash; as particularly affecting.</div><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">&ldquo;This concept that this communal space doesn&rsquo;t just have to be a walk through and that you can empower kids to do what they want to do was powerful,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The idea that you could make stuff and comment on the human experience as performance stuck with me.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cadaver3.jpg" style="height: 279px; width: 500px;" title="(Cadaver/MCA Chicago)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span><em>Cadaver</em>&nbsp;began as a poem Ansell wrote for his sister on her first day cutting open a dead body in medical school. The poem was a means of providing a touch of humor and humanity to the medical profession. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;We as humans are not islands,&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not separated from what we do in life.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Although he claims she rejected the work, the story stayed with him long after he wrote it.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;In this light-hearted whimsical ride, I realized there was a worldview about how people are, what life is, what love is,&quot; Ansell said. &quot;It was all wrapped up in this little tiny poem.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>This story of the human experience soon sprang forth as a fully-formed narrative.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">The work begged for a visual component that was as immediately captivating, but still embraced the small scale of the project. More than 400 artists working in a variety of mediums were interviewed for the project. The crew eventually chose Seattle-based 2D animator and artist Carina Simmons. Simmons&rsquo; illustrations are angular and visceral with a style more realistic and human than not. Emotions are vividly drawn and felt by audiences.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">When creating <em>Cadaver</em>, which in its simplest form is a love story, the crew saw Simmons&rsquo; work as a complement to the emotional scope of the story. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;You have to be careful that it doesn&rsquo;t come across saccharine or sugary sweet,&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;We knew we had to add a little edge, so it would emotionally land where we were attempting for it to land. That&rsquo;s where that artwork helped clarify the film we were trying to go for.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>The animation took about three months and the entire film production took six months, with the artist stationed in Seattle, the animator in San Francisco, and many of the crew based in Los Angeles.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tavi%20Gevinson%20and%20Jonah%20Ansell%20-%20MCA.jpg" style="height: 478px; width: 500px;" title="(Tavi Gevinson and Jonah Ansell/MCA)" /></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Casting actors was surprisingly less complicated. Gevinson was the first hire. A longtime family friend, Gevinson was the first person Ansell approached and she immediately signed on. The two previously worked together on another film, <em>First Bass</em>, shot on location at Wrigley Field. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In terms of Lloyd and Bates, Ansell and his crew created a wish list of people they assumed would reject them and the two actors were at the top of their list. However, after emailing them and providing a few visual samples of what the work would look like, both signed on. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;It was a Hail Mary,&rdquo; Ansell said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Ansell cites influences ranging from George Carlin to 90s rap. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;For a kid growing up on Humphrey, this had a positive impact: what you can do with words, how you can bend words, how you would bring energy to what you&rsquo;re saying,&rdquo; he said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Ansell also said he looked toward the storytelling structure of some of his favorite childhood authors: Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Ansell&#39;s summer mornings were spent outdoors playing with friends, but his afternoons were often spent reading. This love of reading informed the creation of a graphic novel in addition to the film. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;Whenever you have an idea for a story, you always wonder, what is the best medium to tell this story?&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;[With books] you can linger, you can pause, you can flip the page back. You can&rsquo;t do that with film.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em><strong>Britt Julious</strong> blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-90s-rap-shel-silverstein-and-oak-park-influenced-former-chicagoan Cook County president 'surprised' by cadaver donation policy http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-president-surprised-cadaver-donation-policy-92819 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/4063041857_2ec89d0dc2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County has outlined how it will donate unclaimed cadavers to science. But the county board president says she's surprised by recently revealed details.</p><p>The Cook County Medical Examiner will donate the remains after two weeks in cases where bodies are unclaimed or families can't afford burial. Medical Examiner Nancy Jones outlined the policy in an internal memo last week, first reported by the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>.</p><p>After Tuesday's County Board meeting, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the policy surprised her.</p><p>"I can understand that ... people would be concerned about the short time frame" for claiming bodies, Preckwinkle said.</p><p>County commissioners approved an agreement last September to give unclaimed bodies over to the Anatomical Gifts Association which, in turn, distributes the cadavers to medical schools and researchers. But the agreement does not lay out a process for handing the bodies over.</p><p>Despite the short time frame outlined by the county, the group said it holds new cadavers for 60 days before distributing them. And families can still claim the remains during that period.</p><p>Preckwinkle says she will "look into" the policy before the next board meeting, and possibly meet with the medical examiner.</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 20:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-president-surprised-cadaver-donation-policy-92819 Cook County medical examiner donates unclaimed bodies to science http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-04/cook-county-medical-examiner-donates-unclaimed-bodies-science-92800 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/Morgue.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although many prefer not to think about it, a critical part of medical knowledge involves research with the dead. Last year, <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com" target="_blank">Cook County</a> reached an agreement to donate unclaimed bodies to Illinois medical schools. But, many in Chicago were not aware of the arrangement until its details were outlined in <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-10-03/news/chi-cook-co-medical-examiner-to-donate-bodies-left-in-morgue-2-weeks-20111003_1_medical-examiner-bodies-fetuses-and-stillborn-babies">reports Monday</a>. To explain the law and the issues involved, <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>was joined Dr. Callum Ross and Paul Dudek, the president and executive director of the <a href="http://www.agaillinois.org/" target="_blank">the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois</a>. The organization will receive the bodies from the medical examiner’s office.</p><p><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> reached out several times to the <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/community/medical_examiner,_office_of/307" target="_blank">Cook County medical examiner’s</a> office to join the conversation but did not receive a response before airtime.</p><p><em>Music Button: Gabriel Johnson, "Charisma Machine", from the CD Fra_ctured, (Electrofone Music)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 14:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-04/cook-county-medical-examiner-donates-unclaimed-bodies-science-92800 At one med school, cadavers don’t leave personhood behind http://www.wbez.org/story/one-med-school-cadavers-don%E2%80%99t-leave-personhood-behind-89950 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-01/Cadaver 4.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Most people look to have a personal relationship with a doctor and want to appear as a whole person, not just a collection of ailments to be fixed.&nbsp;But ironically, most med schools require coursework that’s impersonal, especially in classes where students examine donated cadavers.&nbsp;A handful of med schools feel anatomy lessons should be personal; they require med students to learn more about the dead than what killed them.</p><p>For Doctor Ernest Talarico, a dead person is still a person. And every person has a name.&nbsp;He says that should remain true even when the person is being studied and dissected in an cold, antiseptic exam room.<br> <br> TALARICO: &nbsp;They were human beings. They are human beings. And, they deserve the same respect and human dignity in death as we would give them in life.<br> <br> Talarico isn’t speaking in the abstract.&nbsp;He’s assistant director of the Medical Education program at Indiana University’s Northwest satellite campus in Gary. At his campus, med school cadaver donors, as they’re called in science, are not just John or Jane Doe’s, or numbers; students learn the cadaver donors’ names.&nbsp;They learn their backgrounds and how they died. They even meet the cadaver donors’ families.<br> <br> TALARICO: That’s something that’s not done at any other campus within the IU School of Medicine system. It teaches things such as professionalism, respect, empathy that we really can’t teach in academia. We can’t teach that in the lab. Knowing the name of the cadaver doner does that for us.<br> <br> This is a remembrance service at IUN’s med school facility. I’m in a section that looks kind of like an operating room.&nbsp;This service from earlier this year is typical -- it involves students and families coming together to “give thanks” to the donor.&nbsp;The med students recite poems and sing songs. Instructors and other med school officials pay a role, too.<br> <br> INSTRUCTOR: We have gathered to pay our respects to memories of these who have given the gift of their bodies for our education. And to give thanks for this gift. The poet John Donne wrote: No man is an island.<br> <br> BUCHLER: We always taught that your cadaver donor in anatomy lab in your first year of medical school is really your first patient.<br> <br> That’s Lucas Buchler. He recently completed his first two years of medical school at IUN.&nbsp;He says learning about a cadaver’s life -- how they were and how they lived -- helps students understand better how the person may have died.&nbsp;And, it makes the specimen feel more real.</p><p>Sometimes ... too real.</p><p>BUCHLER: Working with any patient can be an emotional roller coaster and it’s something we need to be prepared for down the road. There may be patients in our career that we become incredibly emotionally attached to. We need to understand how that is so that doesn’t influence us being able to give the best care that we can.<br> <br> IUN has incorporated a personal touch to its medical education program for 12 years, and so far it’s alone in the Indiana University Medical Education Program.&nbsp;They’re rare in Illinois, too.&nbsp;Medical experts I talked with were intrigued with this approach, but some had reservations.<br> <br> One of them is Doctor Elizabeth Kieff, a psychiatrist and assistant dean of student affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.&nbsp;She says there’s a notion that doctors lose touch with patients.&nbsp;She says maybe that’s true, but maybe it goes too far to learn a cadaver donor’s names and family ties.<br> <br> KEIFF: I think that in encouraging students to fantasizes about their cadavers, to really try to know a living person when what’s before them is a scientific specimen prevents us from engaging in the opportunity to really start to talk about this tension in what we can know and not know.<br> <br> Kieff says the U of C doesn’t take the “get close” approach they do at IUN.&nbsp;She says just think about what’s going through a med students’ minds when they finally encounter a cadaver’s family.<br> <br> KIEFF: I do think that students in that moment are potentially vulnerable. They are certainly not doctors, they haven’t had any clinical experience. They’ve been in a scientific laboratory learning anatomy and suddenly they are before a family that has all kinds of emotions about this scientific specimen that they do not have. They may have all kinds of questions about the experience that may or may not be appropriate to share.<br> <br> Scientists and educators have strong thoughts about Indiana University Northwest’s approach to body donation, but so do cadaver donors families.<br> <br> You can get a sense of what’s at stake for them by following the story of Dorothy “Dot” Purcell, a woman who lived most of her life in Munster, Indiana.&nbsp;At 86 years old, Dot Purcell died from a rare kind of cancer in 2008.&nbsp;Shortly before that, though, Dot had agreed to donate her body to Indiana University Medical Education Program.<br> <br> The decision came too soon for Dot Purcell’s husband, Jim.<br> <br> PURCELL: She always talked about leaving her body for medical research. I used to try to discourage it. It was not a subject that I particularly wanted to address and I didn’t want to think about the specifics of it.<br> <br> Dot’s son, Michael Purcell, didn’t like the idea either.&nbsp;After all, he’d heard stories about med school from his brother-in-law, a doctor.<br> <br> MIKE PURCELL: He used to joke around how they played with one donor’s brain and how it fell on the floor. At the time you don’t think about it. But now that it’s my mom who donated her body to science, it’s horribly disrespectful.<br> <br> But Dot’s decision to donate her body was honored, and just hours after her death, the body was whisked away.&nbsp;Jim and Michael Purcell weren’t sure where Dot’s body would end up, but they never expected to hear about her again.<br> <br> Maybe she would go Northwestern University, where Dot’s father was a graduate or maybe the University of Notre Dame, where Dot had attended nearby St. Mary’s College.<br> <br> PURCELL: But we found out that it they don’t work it that way. The bodies are sent to a central distribution center and whatever hospital needs somebody, they ship them out.<br> <br> Instead, Jim heard from Doctor Talarico at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.<br> <br> PURCELL: It was a surprise to us that he had Dot’s body over here.<br> <br> Dot Purcell’s body had its own ceremony, and that’s where Jim and Michael Purcell met the med students that studied her.&nbsp;Son Michael Purcell says he’s grateful that IUN takes this approach, because most families never learn where their loved ones end up.&nbsp;From his perspective, everything turned out fine.<br> <br> MIKE PURCELL: All the students were great that we met and caring and respectful. But from a donor’s family, the more they know they better because not only for science but then they are vested.<br> <br> Jim Purcell says he’s on the same page as his son.&nbsp;He says his family grew close to that med student you heard from earlier, Lucas Buchler, the young man who worked on Dot’s body.<br> <br> Mr. Purcell says he hopes Buchler learned the right lessons from working on Dot, and that he and the other students achieve their future goals.<br> <br> PURCELL: The in-depth knowledge that they have gained as a result of this program about people who die has to be of great benefit to their education and knowing that human beings are more than just a body.<br> <br> Mr. Purcell says with his wife in the IUN program, she's close to home. And for him, that's OK -- Dot Purcell was never one for traveling far from home.</p></p> Tue, 02 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/one-med-school-cadavers-don%E2%80%99t-leave-personhood-behind-89950