Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?My most memorable childhood experience was a family trip to Australia. This was of course a pretty long trip, and I can remember the excitement on the plane and seeing Sydney harbor as we approached. This was the second time for me to travel internationally, but this was the first time I was old enough to appreciate the experience (I was thirteen years old at the time) and have my own plans and activities. We were able to experience a lot in and around Sydney, from attending a symphony performance, to taking a train to the Blue Mountains, to getting to hold a Koala bear. However, the most memorable aspect of the trip was learning how to scuba dive. The water and sights were absolutely breathtaking, and I can remember the excitement as I did my first open water dive along the Gold Coast. I picked this memory also because it was the beginning of my scuba diving experience, something which I continue to do to this day.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I most closely identify with my mother. I have always had a very good and close relationship with her. She is just a wonderfully supportive and nurturing person and has formed the basis for how I treat and interact with my own child. Another reason I am so close with her and identify with her is a lot of our shared interests, while my brother and father share more interests. My mother and I both love reading and cooking. We have shared many books over the years and I learned how to cook watching her in the kitchen as a child.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?There are many aspects of a person that can be admired. However, I believe that rather than admiring just a few aspects of a person, one needs to either admire or not admire who the person is. Is this is a good person would be the quality that I most look to in choosing whether or not to admire someone. I have worked for people who have been exceptionally smart, driven, creative, and possessed many qualities that one would like to possess. These qualities did not make them good people though, which is something that I consider more important. Are you kind, do you care about others, do you try to do your best, do you take responsibility, are you thoughtful in how you deal with others, do you care about the world outside of yourself? The answer to these questions has a lot more importance to my view of someone than if they are successful and have amassed wealth, prestige, and power. I try to judge others as I would want to be judged. So that philosophy extends to what I admire as well. I admire the totality of a person with the key consideration being if this is a good person or not. If you are not a good person, then possessing other admirable traits really loses meaning.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?You know what? I really cannot think of anything right now. I don't think this is a terribly enlightening question, to tell you the truth. I have of course embarrassed myself plenty of times, from tripping in hallways, spilling food and drinks, saying funny things, etc. But something that was truly funny that happened to me, nothing popping into my head.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?I have been very fortunate to have traveled a significant amount in my lifetime to date. As a result I have already knocked off many of my bucket list items (walk on a glacier, go on a safari, see the Great Barrier Reef, scuba dive the Blue Hole, etc.). There are still a lot of remaining places and experiences I would like to go do. The one I would like to share for this exercise is a remote fly fishing trip either in Alaska or western Canada. I have always wanted to learn how to fly fish. It just seems like such a relaxing and beautiful experience that can really help attune a person to nature. Couple that with being in the untamed beauty of the remote wilderness of either Alaska or Western Canada, where you can only access certain places with a seaplane flying in and out from a lake! I just think that this experience would be not only something that I would always remember, but that I would also likely develop a new skill and appreciation for nature that I would take with me for the rest of my life.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?At the time of this writing I have one child that is in the toddler age range. I will answer this question by telling you what I am trying to pass along to her. I want my daughter to remain innocent as long as possible. I want her to know that she is unconditionally loved and has all the support that she needs to grow into the person she was meant to be. I hope that she knows that her mom and I do not have any set plans for her, that we will love and support her to the best of our abilities. That she is a unique and beautiful individual that can choose her own path, within reason of course! A lot of this is more theoretical than practice at this stage in her life. At her age there are no profound lessons that she is taking in everyday, but we do make a conscious effort to instill some of these values from the get go. On a more day-to-day basis and practical application, the things that we try to instill and pass on are, kindness to others, that she is loved, caring about others is a good thing to admire, that she is a good person with value, that it is nice to share, that is good to communicate with words, that emotions are normal and we should talk about them, that mom and dad are nice to others and care about the world, that learning is not only fun but good for you, and that if she is scared she can talk with us.