Ok so! Ive just started my junior year in highschool and ive gotten a second offer from SIUC, this time to go check out the campus. Ive already checked out their website (it seems decent enough) but can anyone tell me more? I was thinking about going to Oregon for university but it never hurts to have some inside opinions!
First, just to clarify a bit, a mortuary science degree most often refers to a degree pertaining to becoming a funeral director (mortician) or embalmer or both. The schools that are offered around the U.S. are mostly two year Ass. Degrees and there are a handful of four year bachelors degrees. I chose to get a bachelors degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in order to also try other potential fields, but I stayed in mortuary science. Typically, with this degree you would be working in a funeral home. Mortuary science touches on a lot of fields, but it currently tends to emphasize business and the art of embalming.
I feel lucky that I work at an independently owned funeral home. Most days I go in, I don’t necessarily know what I will be doing because death has no schedule. Also, there are so few of us running the funeral home that we all have to do a wide variety of things to keep up. If we are slow we may just be cleaning, gardening, organizing, and preparing for the next call. Otherwise, I would be helping a family through the funeral process- arrangements, body preparation, paperwork, communicating with all involved and basically, hosting and arranging an event. Ninety percent of my job is dealing with living people and not the dead. At a larger funeral home or in a funeral company you may just do one of these jobs repeatedly (like embalming only) because they have made it more like an efficient assembly line. The best way to get into this is by starting at the bottom, asking to shadow, offering to help in daily tasks like cleaning or gardening. Getting your face and name out there are key in connecting with any field.
There are also many other fields that deal with death and dying. A pathologist is a doctor that studies the dead, a coroner is a political figure elected to certify deaths under investigation, a lab assistant or pathologist assistant would help measure, weigh, and dissect bodies under investigation and all of them typically work in morgues of hospitals or government facilities. Forensic anthropology is the scientific study of people involved in crime and I know the least about that field, though it is very interesting. It is much different from what I do in a funeral home. Its pretty common for people to mix all the names up, because they deal with death and dying, but they are all very different. Most of these, I would think, you could get into especially if you are already showing interest in school. Just like if you were in mortuary science and wanting to help at a funeral home. However, not a ton of information is blasted about these fields because of our sensitivity toward death and privacy concerns.
In 1977, Timothy Krajcir was released from prison where he had served time for a rape charge. As a condition of his parole, he enrolled in Southern Illinois University Carbondale and earned a degree in Administrative Justice in 1981. This degree proved useful for Krajcir because it helped him elude the police while he raped and murdered as many as 13 women. Some victims were killed in their own homes while bound to their beds. Others were kidnapped and murdered in nearby states. He used many methods of murder - some were strangled, some were shot, and some were stabbed. Because he followed no particular modus operandi when it came to how he dispatched of his victims, it was difficult for authorities to link the murders to one single suspect. He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
The strike at SIUC is over. Some thoughts on the rhetoric in the paper(s); censorship of dissent in public space(s); Penn State and sexism and homophobia (oh my!); and some prep thoughts as I gear up for the National Communication Association.