One of the few constants in my life has been my love of history. Since the time I was a child to now, one of my main hobbies has been researching and discovering new information about important people and events throughout time.
This love has taken many forms over the years. During my time in school, from elementary through university, history was always my favorite subject. I still remember how well I did in my classes during K-12 solely due to the fact that I was inadvertently studying while I was reading for personal enjoyment.
At the University of Michigan, even though I majored in political science, I always looked through the courses being offered by the history department before I finalized my schedule. And this wasn’t because I envisioned myself one day having a career in this field, but because these courses had information contained within them that I wanted to know.
Looking through my transcript, if I include courses from all departments that dealt with the history of some subject, the number reaches into the double digits. Whether it was an introductory course on Chinese civilization or a course on the history of Arab-Israeli relations or a course on the history of Southeast Asia or a course on the history of law in the centuries preceding the common era or a course on the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth or a course on the history of college athletics taught by the famous Michigan sports historian John U. Bacon, I was able to enrich my perspective of this country as well as the world due to what I learned.
As with my time prior to college, I excelled in these classes as well. Of the dozen classes that I consider to be a history-related, I averaged a GPA of 3.90 and never had a grade lower than an A-minus. My only regret during my time in Ann Arbor is that I didn’t have the chance to take even more history courses, such as courses on the history of the Middle East or on the history of the Roman Empire.
Another form that my love of history has taken is summer vacations with my father to historical places throughout the United States. For a four-year period starting in 2007 when I was 14 years old, my father and I would take a week to go to locations with great importance to American history. During those four years, we were able to go to the Gettysburg National Military Park, the various monuments and memorials in and around our nation’s capital, Abraham Lincoln’s presidential museum and tomb, the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse in St. Louis, and the birthplace of our country on its 234th birthday. A few years after our last trip, we went back to Gettysburg following its 150th anniversary in addition to going to the Antietam National Battlefield as well as to Harpers Ferry. Photos from those vacations (including photos from when we took advantage of being by historical places when we traveled for other reasons) are showcased in a slideshow at the top of this page.
I have also had the opportunity of visiting numerous traditional brick-and-mortar museums, such as the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, open-air historical museums, such as Fort Michilimackinac at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, and National Historic Landmarks, such as Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Independence Hall. In all, I have had the pleasure of visiting at least twenty such places so far in my life.
The final form that my love of history has taken has been personal research into various historical topics. From spending countless hours reading books and articles online to watching documentaries on TV, this has been one of the main activities that I do when I have all of my other work finished (or, as was the case in college, when I was procrastinating from doing my work).
Just in the last month, thanks to my Netflix subscription, I have been able to watch documentaries about the Romanov dynasty, the Forgotten City, the Great Sphinx of Giza, as well as the actions of Winston Churchill during World War II. Also, in part due to renewed interest into this topic thanks to the process of applying to this job, I am trying to scrape together the money needed to purchase all of the volumes of Edward Gibbon’s legendary book The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Nothing would make me happier than being able to turn this passion of mine into a career and to be able to start it at a museum of such a prestigious institution (especially since my love of history is only rivaled by my love of the University of Michigan).