Scholarly Statement Claire

I am interested in answering fascinating and perplexing questions. I love it when I am challenged with a difficult inquiry and I come up with the answer, as long as it is not math related. I watch Criminal Minds and Forensic Files and while it is running I try to sort it out myself. I used to watch Scooby-Doo and do the same thing, but I have since moved on. Some days I can put two and two together but there are some cases that aren't so straight forward. Even if I guess wrong, I still learned something. Every time I read about a case, fiction or nonfiction I get something out of it.

I enjoy writing whenever the subject matter is to my liking or I find the motivation and/or inspiration to type. I used to write poems, but I think that was just a phase because I have no urge to write anymore of them. Overall I like to write when the subject matter is something interesting and I have a decent amount of freedom. When my writing is restricted by whatever means, it never turns out right.

I hate writing when the subject matter is dull or I do not feel very strongly about the subject or idea. Back in high school we were talking about the death penalty. I disapprove of it because in recent years many people on death row have been released due to faulty eye-witness testimony (The Innocence Project). If our courts could prove without a doubt that a person committed a crime worthy of the death penalty, than they deserve death, but only if they are certain of their guilt. If not, life in prison is just as bad as being killed. Yet, I was 'forced' to write in favor of the death penalty. I don't strongly disapprove of the death penalty no more than I favor it, but to write a paper against my own judgement and opinion… it was tragic. I had no motivation to dig up meaningful facts to prove my point. I put little effort into it, I felt like I was trying to write a paper favoring a friend I didn't consider a friend.

Some questions I like to explore include: How can/do innocent kids turn into killers? What can go so wrong in their childhood that they turn into 'monsters'?

My major is Psychology and my minor is Criminal Justice. In psychology this isn't a hotly debated question like it used to be but it goes: Nature or nurture? The nature side claims that you were born to be 'evil' or 'good' and nurture means your environment shaped your being. I've never claimed to be one side or the other. Simply because every time I try to decide on a side I always discover a reason to change my mind. Like I said this isn't a big debate anymore. A lot of people have decided that what shapes a persons being is both nature and nurture. I agree. A person can be born with the traits to do wrong but if they are raised right, and shown the good path than the genetics don't matter. Same goes for nurture. If you are born into a bad household or face hardships during your lifetime, that doesn't automatically make you go bad. You have a choice. I did say that I agree that both nature and nurture are both responsible, but I do lean towards nurture. A good person can go wrong regrettably. "Madness as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little… push." When I moved to Bemidji to study Psychology I bought a book from the local bookstore called How to Make a Serial Killer. It is an extremely fascinating book and it explores both nature and nurture. I absolutely recommend it if this subject or question interests you.

Some interesting conversations I like to have revolve around serial killers. I like to see where they went wrong. What flipped the switch in their brain that changed them from a law abiding citizen to a criminal. A year ago I was chatting with a friend over email about Jack the Ripper. We stayed up until 4 A.M discussing who he could be. We went over the crime scenes trying to determine where he lived according to where he killed. Most killers don't kill close to home but as they kill they become more and more confident. We couldn't agree on a location so we soon switched to who he could be. I suggested he was either a cop or a girl. He or she had to be someone the victims could trust. If he was a cop they would automatically trust him, same with if he were actually a she. An article recently came out saying they figured out who Jack the Ripper was because they found DNA on a shawl belonging to one of the victims. I don;t believe it. All of the victims were prostitutes so they saw multiple men. The DNA they found could be him but it also could be some random guy. Now, if they were to find this guys DNA on two or three of the victims than I might be more convinced. Article

Something I know a little bit about, but I would like to know more would be psychology. Psychology is so fascinating. I've taken quite a few psychology courses since starting school and every single one is unique in its own way. I have taken abnormal psychology, lifespan development, human sexuality, introduction to psychology and a few more beyond that. The subject never grows old, there's always something new to discover. Every time I leave a psychology class my motivation to work as a psychologist grows even stronger.

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