summer project #2: wishing I could become a cop after watching too much Dexter and Against the Wall

I know what you’re thinking.

“Becca Schuh, you are on an educational track that is the exact opposite of becoming a police officer.  You are enrolled in a tiny program in a small liberal arts college.  Your program has no rules.*  Wanna know what being a police officer is based on?  Laws, aka, rules.  You are studying four to five things (depending on the day); art, creative writing, literature, African studies, and social change, none of which (eh maybe you could swing social change) have anything in common with police officery.”

Or, you may be thinking,

“Schuhster, nothing in your personality would make you a good police officer.  You love everyone and think that no one is a bad guy, which would cause trouble for accusing people of crimes.  You cry a lot.   You are not aggressive enough to even confront people about menial issues.”

Or perhaps any one of the following:

“Becca, your past actions do not exactly correlate with the ideal of a police officer.”

“R. Schuh, I think that police officers probably don’t hate physical activity.”

“Rebecca, I think there are height requirements to be a police officer.”

Okay, I know, I would be a terrible police officer.  But most people who aspire to be writers do not write bestselling novels or work at the New York Times , most people who try to be actors and actresses don’t star in Titanic, and nobody who wants to be a doctor becomes Dr. House.  And I’m not even going that far, obviously I’m not even going to try and be a police officer.  Even if I were actually driven/wasn’t basing this on too much free time and cop shows at easy access, and decided one day that I loved rules and hated art, I probably couldn’t become a cop.  They do have to pass some kind of physical requirements test, and no, I probably can’t drag a 150 lb dummy around and I would cry and try to sue anyone who hit me with a taser.  But I can dream, talk about all the things that would be cool about being a cop, or perhaps just imagine how nice it would be to marry a real life version of Joey Quinn from Dexter.  Or one of the brothers on Against the Wall, I’m not picky.

Anyway, without further ado, All the reasons that Dexter and Against the Wall make me want to be a cop.

1.) I love categories

What do categories have to do with police officery, you may ask ? Well, a big part of my entertainment with these shows has been the different divisions that police officers work in.  You think it’s what, homicide and vice, right?  WRONG!!  There’s arson, there’s bomb squad, there’s internal affairs, narcotics, motorcycle, robbery, UNDERWATER RECOVERY UNIT!  At the Miami police department there are over FORTY specialized units!  And no, I didn’t get that from Dexter, I got it from Wikipedia.  And not just units, then there is the police hierarchy!  Lieutenants officers corporals detectives the categorizing never ends!  Imagining what unit of the police department I would want to be in (assuming they had openings, as we’ve learned from Against the Wall, sometimes you have to take what you can get.)  is almost as much fun as trying to find appropriate clothes to bring to Ghana that cover my knees shoulders midriff and neckline.  Almost.

2.) I love investigations and I am really good at figuring things out

I know that my educational background is primarily in the creative arts, but I am quite a logical person and like to solve mysteries.  If you would like evidence of this, have I have figured out who the killer is in every Mary Higgins Clark book?   The answer is yes.  If you would like my super secret procedure for figuring out who the killer is, don’t hesitate to ask.  I also knew who the ice truck killer was very early on in season 1 of Dexter  and have been famously known to figure out when couples are having secret flings months before they go public with their relationships.  I would love a job where I could investigate things, find connections, and follow clues.  I know, most cops don’t get to do the fun investigating stuff, yada yada yada.  Hence why this is not my actual career aspiration and I just like to watch them on TV.

3.) Crimes are interesting

I mean it’s just true.  Who doesn’t love a good 48 hours mystery?  The one on last night was really creepy by the way.

4.) Even though most of the job options available to me after I graduate will be solo endeavors, I would always rather work with a team  and around other people.

Even small things like putting a folder of evidence on another officer’s desk or grabbing coffee in the morning seem appealing .  Especially what with Dexter’s wedding coming up and all of the buddies banding together for his wedding (even though it’s debatable whether Dexter really has friends and he’s currently trying to kill his best man) just give me a warm fuzzy feeling about camaraderie.  Speaking of camaraderie, fuck the girl on Against the Wall, stick with your family and stop trying to get information out of your brothers partner by handcuffing him naked to a table!  RUDETOWN!

And the number last reason I want to be a  cop after watching Dexter and Against the Wall is…

5.) TV shows make everything look appealing

Yeah yeah yeah everyone knows I don’t really want to be a cop, but what everyone really knows is that being a police officer is probably nothing like Dexter or Against the Wall (except I bet that if your three brothers and dad were all on the force and you became a detective in internal affairs, they WOULD hate you.  that part is probably true.) TV shows make everything look really glamorous and exciting even under the guise of pretending it is unglamorous, like your whole family hating you or secretly being a serial killer.  When I watch House, I want to be a doctor. (I even took calculus senior year because I thought that more math would prepare me better for a science major.  embarrassing.) When I watched Lost, I wanted to be stranded on an island.  The Island, no less.  And when I watch Friends and How I Met Your Mother, I want to be young and hilarious and living in New York City with a fun group of friends who do fun things all day.  (That last one is slightly more possible than the other three.  I do hear that the Island is looking to hire painting doctors to patrol the Others.)

So, obviously, as those of you who know me well knew from the start, I don’t really want to be a cop.  I hate guns.  I really don’t like wearing pants.  And I don’t think that most police departments would appreciate my constant need to play a game of “Which character in Harry Potter would we all be.” But I can watch my shows all I want and dream of investigating murders, or dream of Joey Quinn being my boyfriend.

(Who was also JACK BASS ON GOSSIP GIRL, who knew, but looks way less skeevy as a detective.)

*Johnston does have rules they are just different from the traditional rules of colleges and educational institutions.  The full lecture is available on demand.

EDIT: I forgot reason #6 of why these shows make me want to be a police officer.  The excitement factor!  The chases!  The adrenaline!  Even though I can’t run.  Another great reason why it’s better for me to watch it all on TV.


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