@irontoenail - If you are taking any kind of plant course that doesn't involve actually dissecting the plants, you can always do your own home dissections.
There are few places in the world where you can't get access to roadside weeds, or the leaves and buds and flowers of trees, so you have plenty of variety of plants around you to choose from.
And if all else fails, you can always get cheap plants at a gardening store or at a supermarket.
I agree that hands on is the best way to learn and there's no reason anyone should only learn this kind of thing from books.
Just use a really sharp kitchen knife if you don't have a scalpel and follow instructions if you aren't sure what to do.
Be careful though, it's easy to slip and cut yourself when you're trying to do minute work like that.