Monday, August 07, 2006

Getting to know me in 100 days - Day 1

I have a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice

I went to Calvin as a pre-med student. Freshman year I took Biology 100 or whatever it was and hated it. Hated it so much that I dropped it after a month and thought better of the whole pre-med idea. What in the world was I thinking? I'm bad at math, bad at science and I do not enjoy either subject - who thought it was a good idea to spend 4 years in those kinds of classes?

One of the things that I like most about Calvin is that it is a liberal arts college which requires students to take core classes - basically the very basic/introduction level classes to all of the studies. I love that I got a well-rounded education and that even though I hated biology, I could take geology to fulfill my science core and learned that I was really interested in that kind of science and actually enjoyed the class.

One thing that I learned pretty early on in my college career is that there were other, more interesting courses that fulfilled our core requirements rather than simply the "Introduction to..." classes. While perusing the class catalog I found some very interesting classes that met the requirements: I took a music class that went through popular music from the very early, primitive mountain/folk music to present day. The core music class that most of my friends took was one that was all about classical music and from what I understand was very boring and difficult. My music class rocked (sometimes literally) - and it was a night class, and my sister-in-law was in it and sat right next to me (Dave and I barely knew each other at the time, but how weird is that?).

Another thing I learned early on was that if I took one night class a semester my days were really open and I felt kind of like a part-time student. I am convinced that night classes require less studying than day classes... So as a freshman I took a night class in Theories of Criminal Justice with Dr. Griffith in order to fulfill some kind of core requirement. The class was incredibly interesting - who knew that there were actually philosophies of crime? That there were theories about why criminals did the things they did? Maybe I was completely naive, but I didn't know these things existed and this class fascinated me. It was hard work, but interesting work. And Dr. Griffith was amazing and he was the catalyst to me deciding to add Criminal Justice as a second major. I took every class I could with the man and loved every minute of it - mostly because he was a fantastic teacher, but also because he was one of those profs that gave you an outline of exactly what you needed to do to earn an A in the class.

At the beginning of my Junior year Dave and I began dating. His best friend, Jake, was dating Megan - who was also a criminal justice major (a year ahead of me). She was working as an intern at the Kentwood Police Department and offered to get me an interview there. It was a great opportunity - it fulfilled my internship need for both my CJ major AND my psychology major and it was a paid internship. I got the job and became Cadet Wiersma. I was hired into the newly funded position in the new Victim's unit. As such, I worked in the detective bureau right next to the 5 KPD detectives, who all adored me (and who wouldn't in those nice uniforms?). I was there for a year. I had no concrete ideas of what I was going to do with my CJ degree, but mostly assumed that I would go on to find a job as a probation officer or something along those lines.

Senior year... I moved into a house with 4 other girls in a nice neighborhood in East Grand Rapids. I went walking every morning. I would see the same old man walking his dog every morning. I began to get nervous, I began to suspect that he was a pedophile. He didn't do ANYTHING to lead me to that conclusion. Nothing. He never said hi to me. He was across the street walking the opposite direction. It was simply the fact that I saw him everyday and that he was an old man. From that point on I knew that I could not pursue a career in criminal justice. I am a trusting person. I am a positive, happy person. Working at the police department for 20 hours a week tainted my view of the world. I was suspcious and I didn't like being that way. It was over. I earned my Bachelor's, but never again considered doing anything in that field and I'm glad I didn't. I like me the way I am - I didn't like who I was at that time.

7 comments:

Manic Mom 9:45 AM  

What a great idea! I tried to start my list of 100 things, and tried to be reflective, but I think I only got to about number 65, starting at 100 and working my way down. I need to think of more stuff.

Jen 10:04 AM  

I found out the core trick too. I took American Religious History instead of Rel 103. And Acts and Paul's Letters instead of Rel 201. They were both great classes. I never took a music class. . .I wonder why.

Tim is a CJ major. And he's a trucker!

kkoois 11:40 AM  

i remember you leaving for work in your little uniform. you looked so cute!

JD 11:53 AM  

How about it? I don't know which I liked best - the big old leather belt, the polyester pants or the cute tie and name tag. I was HOT!

Carol 1:21 PM  

This is an awesome approach to blog-writing. You are so funny and these little unknown facts about you capture my interest immediately. I love reading this information about you! In the Nation's Capitol, Carol

Amanda 1:59 PM  

I agree...this is a great concept. I don't think I can come up with 102 things, though...maybe 10 for now??? :)

JD 3:11 PM  

It took me several days to come up with 100... don't give up.

The 101 list was BFWW's idea a while ago and it was on my old blog. I decided to do each one individually because I have a boring, mundane life and nothing to blog about - oh, and I love to talk about myself and how amazing I am, lets not forget that (I guess that would be #103, eh?)

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