Jan. 4th, 2008 12:57 pm
pbray: (crime)
Received an A in the Criminal Investigations course I just finished up. I'm ridiculously pleased.

Do overs

Dec. 10th, 2007 08:39 pm
pbray: (crime)
Back home after the last class and the final exam. I surprised the instructor with autographed copies of my books, and let him know how much I enjoyed the class. When last seen, he was reading DEVLIN'S LUCK while the rest of the students finished up their exams.

In the past few days I've been thinking about what other courses I'd like to take. My degrees are in Computer Science and Management of Information Technology. But given sufficient time and money, if I were to go back to school now, I'd study something completely different.

As a second career I'd probably go for a degree in Library Sciences, specializing in computer-based research. For pure fun, I'd study forensic science, or perhaps languages or history.

What about you? If you could study anything you wanted, what classes would you take?
pbray: (crime)
Just finished studying for tomorrow night's exam. Review questions included such gems as:

Know agencies involved in terrorism investigations. Well here the alphabet list goes on forever--on the federal level it would probably be easier to list agencies that weren't involved in terrorism investigations.

Most common occupation for robbery victim? Taxi driver, followed by convenience store clerk.

Techniques for arson investigation. Lots of stuff on burn patterns, burn damage, testing for fire starting devices and accelerants, checking for financial motives, but much of the key advice boils down to: get experts to help you.

Understand Ponzi scheme and how to analyze it. Ah, the classic financial pyramid. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Have I mentioned how much I'm going to miss this class when it's over?

Reading: Finished CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION (9th edition) by Swanson, Chamelin, Territo and Taylor.
pbray: (Darth Tater)
Having met my personal writing goal for the month of September, it's time to reward myself.

Unfortunately, every treat I can imagine comes with a "But...."

A new bookcase would be nice--I've figured out a spot where I can put a three-foot high bookcase under a window. But first I have to finish reorganizing the writing room.

A DVD set would be nice, except I already have DVD sets I haven't had time to watch, plus tapes of all the new shows have just started that I didn't get to watch during the week.

I could use new fall clothes, but I need to do a thorough clean out of my wardrobe and donate everything that's in good shape but will never be worn again. It's been a few years since I've done this, so that's going to take a while.

CDs would be nice, especially for the long drive on Monday nights. But the car's CD player has begun eating CDs and failing to return them, so I need to get that fixed before I risk any more.

Hmm. Think I'm going to settle for a really nice lunch out, window shopping to check out book case options, and then try to finish reorganizing the writing room so I can buy a bookcase next weekend.

And for those wondering about the progress of Patricia-the-student, I'm confident that I've put more effort into studying for Monday's exam than the rest of the class combined. I began this morning by reading all of my notes, then putting together a study sheet so my coworkers can quiz me during lunch on Monday. If I score less than 100%, I'll ask my friends to hit me with a mallet.

Best part of all this? I'm auditing the class, so the instructor is letting me take the exam as a courtesy, since I won't be getting a grade at the completion of the course. Go ahead, open your dictionary to OCD and see the picture of me waving back at you.
pbray: (crime)
Went to the first session of "Introduction to Criminal Investigation" tonight, which was a lot of fun. It's a very small group, just seven students. Average age is probably 30, and I'm not the oldest student.

What surprised me is that apparently no one else had thought to read the opening chapters of the textbook ahead of time. It's been quite a while since I've been in school, but to me that was mere common sense. After all, presumably there was a reason why we were required to purchase the text, and going over the course syllabus wasn't going to consume the full three hour session.

That aside, the instructor was engaging, and it was great to be back in a classroom. Though it made for a very long day. Full day of work, an hour drive to campus, three hour class, and an hour drive back. Good thing it's only one day a week.
pbray: (Default)
For those who were wondering, I'll be taking:

INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. Basic principles of criminal investigation are examined. These principles include: security, preservation and recording of crime scenes; crime scene search; collection, preservation and security of physical evidence; preliminary and secondary investigation processes; scientific aids to investigations such as DNA; crime causation and modus operandi; causes of death and death scene analysis; sources of information, including informants, interviews and interrogations; note taking and report writing; and case preparation.

Yes, I'm considering writing a mystery some day, why do you ask? *grin*
pbray: (Default)
Went shopping for school supplies last night. It's been a while since I've done this, but I think I have the basics covered--a sturdy spiral bound notebook, folders for class handouts, highlighters and pens for taking notes. The textbook has already arrived due to the magic of internet ordering.

Last time I took a college level course, Amazon.com was in the process of being launched, and text books were things that you picked up at the campus bookstore. Mosaic was brand new, Internet Explorer didn't exist, and you did your internet searches via Gopher, not that you'd use anything you found on the internet for your class work.

Just as the world has changed, it will be interesting to see how much I've changed as a student. And how I compare to my fellow students, who will likely be a few years younger than I am.

Class starts Monday night, assuming it doesn't get canceled due to low enrollment.

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