Posts Tagged ‘physics’
So, recently I began reading the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and its protagonist got me thinking about some career ideas. The main character, Dexter, is a blood splatter pattern analyst. I’ve been intrigued by blood splatter but haven’t had the chance to study it in a course yet (I will this summer in my Crime Scene Investigation course though). But this book made me investigate it a little further.
One thing I learned is that it is one of the few specialties (other than accident reconstruction and ballistics) in forensic science that uses a lot of math and physics. This made me happy to learn because I’ve been struggling with the idea of just giving up my math and physics background for forensic science. But now that I have learned about this career path, I’ve been seriously considering going for it once I graduate.
So I did a little research and in order to become a blood splatter pattern analyst, you’ve got to first start off as a general crime scene investigator. Once you do that, you can begin taking specialized day courses at different police colleges and seminars during the year. Once you go through the courses, you can get your certification (through the IABPA), and then you can work on getting a job as a blood splatter pattern analyst.
Well, today was the end of my first week of classes (classes started last Tuesday) here at The George Washington University (All the graphics and such for the university all have “The” in front of the name. Why? I have no clue.) I’m only taking two classes this semester. The main reasons behind this is that I can’t afford to be a full time student (since I do need to eat), I can still finish the program in two years by taking two classes per semester plus summers, and I didn’t want to get overwhelmed in my first semester. Basically, I didn’t want a re-hashing of what happened in the physics program I was in at Virginia Tech (or should it be The Virginia Tech?).
My first class was last Thursday, and it was Photography in Forensic Science. My first impression was that I was one of three guys in a class of 24 people. This kind of bothered me. Not that I don’t think women can handle forensic science or anything like that, but I’ve never been a minority in my major. In my graduating physics class, there were five girls out of eighteen graduates. Here it seems like the majority of the students in forensic science are women. I guess I just figured that most women wouldn’t want to handle some of the gruesome aspects that may accompany this program, but I seem to have been wrong. Its men that are the wimps. Hmmm.
Going into tonight’s class (Criminal Law I), I figured maybe that Thursday’s class was a fluke, that there were more guys in this program. Nope. I was wrong. Out of a class of 35, 4 guys. Weird.
One thing I will say about the classes in this program is that they probably won’t be anywhere near as difficult as any of my physics courses (*knocks on wood*).
Technorati: gwu, george washington university, graduate school, science, forensic science, physics, washington dc
Today I listed a number of my physics textbooks for sale on Half.com. I guess I just realized today that I’ll probably never need textbooks about quantum mechanics, mathematical methods, analytical mechanics, or linear algebra ever again. Its kind of depressing to a certain extent. I mean I spent five years of my life devoted to physics, and now I’m more or less leaving it behind. And I know that five years is only a small fraction of the rest of the life I will live, but I just feel a certain connection to the subject. I prided myself with the fact that I majored in physics. I loved the reactions I would get. The pleas from people to help them with their introductory physics courses or math classes. The inherent geekiness that went along with being a physics major. I just tended to identify a large part of myself with being a physics geek. And not one of those geeks that follow physics superficially by reading books by Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene but actually being a physicist-in-training. Not only did I know about the subjects studied in physics, but I knew how it all worked mathematically as well.
It makes me look to the future as my graduate school adventure in Forensic Science is about to begin. Will I become a Forensic Science geek as well? Will I learn jokes that only forensic scientists will get? Will I buy forensic science t-shirts to display proudly my degree program as I trot around campus? Will I make friends with fellow geeks who are proud of what they study?
I sure hope so. Otherwise it will be a slow two years.
Technorati: graduate school, forensic science, physics, books, science