Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?Since I grew up in a relatively poor immigrant family, my most memorable experiences were about how my parents were able to use imagination, creativity, and self-sacrifice to fill my childhood with fun and enjoyment. One such memory was our trip to Disneyland in California. Despite not having much money at the time, my parents secretly worked odd-jobs on weekends and nights to scrape together pennies and nickels until finally, we had enough money for 2 full days of fun and plenty of overpriced concessions at Disneyland. Even though it must have killed them with the cost, the fact that my parents even bought the $5 hot dogs for me and my brother makes me appreciate how hard they worked.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I really identify closely with my father, who serves every day as one of my greatest inspirations. As someone who grew up in China with no resources and no foundation, he used hard work and determination in every step of his journey to succeed and secure a better life for his wife and later, his children. One particular memory I have is when as a child, my family (father, mother, and brother) had to fly (a large expense back then) to China to visit family. On the way back, having run short on money, my father did not eat for 2 days so that we could have enough food on the journey from his rural community to the airport. Even on the plane, when in-flight meals were provided, he insisted that we eat ours and he only ate his portion. This memory really shows why, despite some faults, I really resonate with my father.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?Well, in a bit of a selfish way, I admire traits in others that I see in myself. For example, as someone who prides himself on his dependability, responsibility, and willingness to take on a more "behind the scenes" role to ensure the success of a team, I usually admire individuals who have those traits. However, I also admire traits that I feel like I'm personally deficient in because I know just how hard it can be to develop those. For example, although I would consider myself quite musically gifted, my visual artistic abilities are woefully lacking in comparison. Therefore, whenever I see someone who is artistically talented, I can usually appreciate such an individual.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?When I was watching a Broadway performance of the Book of Mormon, the actors on stage had a bit of a mishap. During a dance number, one of the featured characters slipped on a discarded prop and landed in an audience member's lap. As it turns out, that was me, who had just won a front-row seat in the lottery. Although I was still in shock at what just happened, instead of resetting the show or restarting the scene, the actor instead recited his next few lines and improvised a phrase that included me.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?As a food-obsessed person in general, I would definitely travel to Japan for an all-out eating tour through the country. On top of being the home and birthplace of many of the world's finest ingredients (wagyu beef, premium-quality produce, and various kinds of seafood), Japan is also unique for having a different food culture compared to the US. Unlike restaurants in the US that serve many different kinds of food, restaurants in Japan generally only specialize in one kind of dish or product, resulting in spectacular meals at even the cheapest restaurants. I would definitely make it a point to sample every kind of food in Japan at each price level, from simple bowls of udon and soba to premium cuts of wagyu beef and tuna at expensive, omakase restaurants.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?Well, in a word, what I would want to pass to my children would be "preparedness," whether that be material, emotional, or physical. With regards to the material, I want to have been a good enough father and provider so that I could give them not only my own financial holdings, but also the means to secure their own financial futures using the education, life skills, and experiences that I provided for them. Emotionally, I want to have been a good enough father to help my children develop into good, compassionate, and empathetic people that can better those around them. Finally, physically, I want to have been able to properly help them acknowledge the importance of diet and exercise and medical care so that they can live long, fulfilling lives.