Hi my name is Mckenzie Dowdy and I’m a junior at the University of Mary Washington. I was born and currently live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dogs have a huge place in my heart. Over the summer I took care of family friends dogs where I developed a love for Golden Retrievers. Also I like to think of myself as an avid shopper, which isn’t the best hobby for a broke college student. However out of all my interests, teaching is my biggest passion. I am in the Special Education program at Mary Washington and hoping to become a Special Education teacher with a focus in History. Over the summer I got the chance to be an assistant preschool teacher at Primrose School of Virginia Beach. Although I plan on being a Special Education teacher, having the chance to work as an assistant teacher with preschool aged childrenwas a great learning experience. This experience made me realize that teaching history and working as a Special Education teacher is definitely my passion.
My love for history was developed as a young child through the influence of my father. My dad is a huge history buff, which resulted in most of my family vacations being at historical places. I think by experiencing so many tours of homes and historical grounds when I was young sparked my interest in the history that surrounds me. However my favorite memory as a child that made me more interested in the past was watching The Patriotwith my dad. Even though this film does not provide a very historically accurate representation of the American Revolution, it was the first film that showed me what the past could have looked like. After watching Mel Gibson fight the British, I was intrigued to learn more of what the past looked like and how society had shaped over the years.
Besides my fathers love for history influencing my interest, I had the stereotypical encouragement from a past teacher. My 11th grade American History teacher Mr. Henry showed me that I truly had a passion for history and that I can pursue a future with it. In his class I developed my particular interest and obsession with American History. This class was my favorite class in High School and Mr. Henry saw my fascination. He submitted one of my research papers on women’s involvement in World War II for the Daughters of American Revolution Scholarship Award. I actually won and did not know the prestigiousness of this award. The important thing I realized was that history was not only easy to me, but I also actually had a passion for it. At the time, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Mr. Henry believed I should focus on this path but to never let go of my love for history.
Once I got to college I was on the pre med track for Occupational Therapy. I was taking classes like Biology and Medical Terminology, but I soon realized that they did not interest me. Being a freshman was already scary enough, but the thought of pursuing a career that I was not passionate about scared me a lot more. The only class I enjoyed was my Introduction to American History class that I only took to fulfill my general education credits. Realizing that my history class was the only class I enjoyed made me think of Mr. Henry. I remembered the encouragement he gave me and how he showed me how my passion for history is important. In this moment I realized history should be my major and that I can become a teacher helping kids discover if history is their passion. From that moment my love for history has only grown over the years.