My Mysterious Mentor

October 24, 2010
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“Elementary, my dear Cline.” I have imagined hearing those words spoken to me on countless occasions. Solving impossible mysteries has always been my dream job, and there isn’t a man more skilled in that field than the fictional Sherlock Holmes. His skills of deduction and observation were unmatched, and I needed to learn how he did it. Spending a year with this masterful investigator would teach me the intricacies of his genius mind—and how to emulate it.

When I was younger much of my time was spent outside, magnifying glass in hand, observing every individual blade of grass. I wanted to see if I could figure out where my dog had treaded earlier that day by looking for bent grass. I never once figured it out, but I knew, even at that age that observation was the key to everything I wanted to be. Did you notice that footprint over there, Miss Cline? I could hear Mr. Holmes asking me. Truthfully, I hadn’t, but I would next time.

When I grew older, around thirteen years old, my focus shifted from wanting to solve mysteries that concerned stolen objects, and other small-time crimes, to solving murders. I had discovered forensic science. My seventh grade science teacher, Mr. DePew was the first person to ever introduce this realm of science to me. One day we walked into the classroom and were assaulted by the bitter odor of onions. There was a group gathered in the far corner of the room, and on the floor was the taped outline of a body. A murder had occurred!

Forensics was so fascinating. It was just like the fictional detective work that I had read or watched, but it felt more real. Detectives in fiction found the clues easily and always found the culprit, but that wasn’t how it worked in our class. We were given all the clues, and we had to figure out how they fit together, and what role they played in the murder. There wasn’t a single group in the class that solved the murder correctly. Yet after doing that simulated case, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a forensic scientist.

After our murder case in Mr. DePew’s class, I went on a forensics spree. My favorite toy was a giant plastic green case that held all of the essential crime scene items. Fake blood that I could mix with chemicals to simulate real blood, a microscope, and my very favorite finger print powder. The small vial of black powder was spread all over my house, as I attempted to lift fingerprints from every surface possible. I would dust the windows and tables and find a fingerprint, and then I would lift it with a piece of tape and place it in a notebook. These rituals fueled my desires, and allowed me to feel like a member on CSI, finding the key piece of evidence to solve a dastardly crime.

I always knew that in order to achieve my dream career, college would be necessary. However, forensic science isn’t usually offered as a course in most universities, as there are so many components that go along with it. There are specifics, including forensic pathology, which is concerned with autopsies, and forensic entomology, which has to do with bugs, but my interest is in the crime scene. After much searching I found out about Eastern Washington University. Unlike most colleges, EWU lists forensic science as one of their main courses. I knew then that Eastern was the university I wanted to attend.

Be observant, for the little details are by far the most important, Miss Cline. Never forget that. The parting words of Mr. Holmes are ones that I will follow for the rest of my life. They ring true for my goals, and I will forever hone my skills of observation. At the end of the year, Mr. Holmes shook my hand and said, "Case closed, Miss Cline." Case closed, indeed, Mr. Holmes.

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Jan. 25, 2012 at 4:53 am
I am totally in love with Sherlock Holmes, and this article was so awesome it made me cry!
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