2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

History 101: Western Civilization

Brian Allen - Cornekius, OR, United States

The career that is right for me is to teach History at a university level, teaching Western Civilization to those that want to learn more about the foundation of the West and its cultures. My interest in history started three years ago, when I took my first history college level class. The class was titled "History 101: Western Civilization". Since it was my first history class in college and I very little interest in History before this class, I was overwhelmed at first. The readings were simple and straight forward, but they required attention to detail, not necessarily what exact year something happened, but important questions such as who, what, where, and why does any of this material matter.

I was responsible for critically reading the text for the day and bringing it with me to class. Not only did I need to critically read each text, but I needed to examine why they were written the way they were and the mindset of the authors. The lectures were one of the most difficult parts, because I had to take as much notes as possible so that I would stand a chance of passing the lecture quizzes. To add to all of the stress of studying and getting good grades, I was also suffering from insomnia at the time. I worried about my studies in history to the point that such worry caused me to lose sleep. I also had two other classes that I was taking alongside History 101. However, not only did I discover a passion for history, while I was studying Greek Civilization, but I was also able to do well in the course and pass with a B. The most rewarding part of the course was that I did well on both of my history papers. The first paper focused on the fall of the Mycenaeans, the second was on what caused the fall of the Roman Empire.

After history 101, I began taking more courses in history, not only because they were required, but because I wanted to learn more. I attended courses on Western Civilization, as well as the U.S., the Middle East, and the Holocaust. I also began purchasing books on various historical topics, including Russia, the World, the U.S., Ancient History, Ireland, and more. History is important to me because I love to learn about the past. Furthermore, I enjoy reading on how historians agree and disagree on certain facts and theories concerning various ages, continents, historical figures, and civilizations. Teaching history at the college level would not be a high paying job. I'm not working on becoming a professor for money. The reason why I want to teach history is because I love to study history, and I want to teach history to others. I want to share my historical findings and be part of the academic community.

Throughout my years at college so far, my career interests changed after doing research on the careers I was interested in, such as being a Librarian or becoming a professor of English literature. I gave up the idea of becoming a librarian because of the changes in technology and how information is shared. I gave up the dream of becoming an English professor since the chances of finding a job with an English major are right now very few. In the end, I chose to major in history because there are right now a lot more career choices in the field of History then there are in English literature. It is my dream job to teach; if I am unable to get the degree required to teach or a teaching position, than I would settle with working for the academic community, preferably in the field of history.