“Choosing Death”

The following comment was submitted by Heidi at heidis.blogspot.com:

Thank you for sharing, but mostly, thank you for doing what you do.
I’d be interested in hearing why you chose this line of work and how long it took you to get used to it. After all, many end up in banks, sales, or sanitation because it’s “a job.” But a line of work like yours requires extensive training and forethought. I’d love to hear more.

Here’s my response to her first question:

Q: Why did you choose this line of work?

A: I get asked this question a lot, so I already have an answer for you. The details are slightly more interesting than simply saying “It just happened? and hopefully not nearly as cheesy as saying “I didn’t choose it, it chose me.?

I wasn’t happy with where I landed as a result of my first degree, so I decided to go back to school. At the time, I was pretty hooked on the Discovery and Learning Channel shows on forensics, plus I had a general interest in the subject that goes back to my childhood. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I recall checking out books from the library on unsolved crimes from the early 20th century while everyone else was content with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I was also a big fan of Quincy during the late 70’s and early 80’s.

When it came to selecting a major, I looked through the university catalog page by page. As I went through it, I noticed a page had been torn from the book. Curiosity compelled me to look in the index to find out which major was missing, and it was there that I saw the words “Forensic Science.?

Studying forensics seemed the most logical choice because it was the only field that interested me. After obtaining my degree, I decided to apply to the state medical examiner’s office as a pathology assistant. As it turned out, they decided to hire me as an investigator instead because they were about to lose one to retirement.

I never specifically aspired to examine dead bodies for a living, but I often wondered what it would be like and whether or not I would be able to handle doing that sort of thing. Every once in a while I like to think back and try to remember the time when I didn’t know the answer to either of those questions.

Click here for response to her second question.

1 Response to ““Choosing Death””

  1. March 8, 2005 at 6:39 am

    For those interested in a career The Mercyhurst College department of Applied Forensic Sciences offers a number of programs in the field; a Forensic Science Major, Forensic Anthropology Concentration, Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology Concentration, Criminalistics Concentration and Forensic Wildlife Investigation Concentration.

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