Nicholas S. J. Smith- ’98 BSc. Anthropology

Nic and Kids on a Rail

Captain, Chesterfield Fire Department

After graduating from Longwood College I realized I didn’t have enough debt so I applied and was accepted into University College London(UCL).  I graduated from UCL in 2000 with an MSc. in Forensic Archaeology and came home to make a name for myself.  After a stint with a Cultural Resource Management Company I decided to use my vast education for a more grandiose purpose, so I got a job as a waiter and then a manual laborer in a factory.  Though those jobs were very stimulating I realized I must follow my childhood dream and become a firefighter.  A couple months after 9/11 I received a call from Chesterfield Fire & EMS stating I was to report to the training center in July 2002 (to my parent’s dismay… I was wasting my education, it was too dangerous, blah, blah, blah).  Who listens to parents anyway, right?

I am proud to say that I am now a Captain, Medic, HAZMAT Technician for Chesterfield Fire & EMS with room to grow.  Dr. Jordan, Dr. Bates and Dr. Dalton, thanks for  the education, support and friendship.  I absolutely believe my success in life is due partially to these three professors, my fellow anthropologists and Anthropology, the study of humans past and present.  My life in the fire station mirrors that of the weekend digs and field schools, down to the dirty clothes and stinky, sweaty strange people cramped in close quarters.  One of the sayings in our fire department, which is especially pertinent for an officer is, “know your people.”  Not just the people I work with but those I serve, the normal (sometimes not so normal) everyday citizen who may very well be having their worst day.

“Anthropology, its not just a class, its a philosophy (author unknown).”

 

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