Michael Toy–Introductory Post

Hello all,

My name is Michael Toy, I’m 27, and I’m a second-year graduate student in American’s General History 2-year MA program. Prior to coming to AU I attended a small (~1500 student) liberal arts college called Bard College in upstate New York for my undergraduate degree from 2009-2013 where I was actually a literature major. After graduation I took a few years off, during which time I ended up working some odd jobs until I landed an assistant teaching position at my old high school, where I worked for two years as an assistant director for the lower, middle, and high school theater programs and moonlighted as a substitute teacher. I really enjoyed my time teaching and I hope to return to it in a more full-time capacity after I finish this degree. I’m also a big fan of voice-acting—truth be told my dream job would be to be a gainfully-employed, full-time voice actor. I am also an enormous sucker for animals—I have a chinchilla here in D.C. and a miniature Schnauzer back in Connecticut with my parents. In fact I spent several summers during and after college rehabilitating orphaned juvenile wild animals and have worked in a kennel, a pet supply store, and as a freelance dog-walker and sitter for several years.

That aside, I finally decided to come to American to study history for several reasons, numbering among them a declining interest in my previous major in literature (if I’m going to make lengthy academic arguments about people and events, I decided I’d prefer to argue about people and events that actually happened) and a desire to bolster my academic credentials with hopes of finding a teaching position either at the high school or community college level after graduation. Though I’m a history major here, I have a lot of experience in both English/literature as well as theater and drama, so I’d be happy teaching nearly any course in the humanities. I’m also considering various positions in government as I plan on staying in the area, though exactly which positions I’m aiming for are still very much up for discussion.

From this course in particular I’m hoping to brush up on some seriously rusty new media skills. As shocking as it may be to some of my peers (and to those older than I), despite being a Millennial I’m actually not very tech-savvy; my social media presence extends to a Facebook account I occasionally check and what I can only assume is a long-defunct Myspace page frozen in the year 2003 or so floating around the dark recesses of the web. However, I’d very much like to become at least a little bit more familiar with what the most recent technology has to offer, so from this class I’m hoping to play a little catch up and at least somewhat familiarize myself with the apps, websites, and programs that many people my age mastered long ago.

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