Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?The first experience that comes to mind was a family vacation to the Grand Canyon when I was nine years old. We had seen the amazing views that one expects to see there, but before we knew it, the partly sunny day became overcast as dark storm clouds came in. The wind picked up and it began to rain. My family and I took shelter under some large trees, and then we saw a bolt of lightning hit a tree fifty feet away. My mother and one of my brothers fell over, and all the kids and I were crying. The rain kept coming down and we ran to a bus stop. A bus arrived but went past us as it was full, much to our dismay. Ten minutes went by before another one came. We were picked up and eventually made our way to our hotel and got warm and dry. The next day was another fantastic day of great views, and thankfully, better weather!
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I probably identify most closely with my youngest brother. We are very similar, which means we get along but also get on each other’s nerves. We have similar mannerisms, are both musicians, and have had similar career paths. And while we’re both hard on ourselves, we can count on each other for advice and encouragement.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?The biggest traits I admire in someone are candor, compassion, and humor. While honesty is very important, I really respect someone who offers their thoughts candidly, even when it is difficult to share them. Being empathetic and compassionate leads to deeper openness and understanding, and tempering candor with an understanding of how to truly communicate with someone is something that I seek out in myself and my relationships. And of course, humor! Humor lowers someone’s guard like nothing else, and I find it is how many great friendships/relationships begin.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?When I was eleven my family took a trip to San Francisco. We were staying on Nob Hill for a week and had gone grocery shopping so we could prepare a few meals ourselves. We didn’t anticipate the difficulty of loading and unloading on a steep hill, and we made the mistake of putting everything in the trunk of the minivan we rented. We were on the side of the road in front of our hotel and opened the back of the van causing half of our groceries to fall out! I grabbed the carton of eggs and saved a bottle of wine that was rolling away. A couple loaves of bread were bouncing around and a jar of tomato sauce started careening down the road. My brother ran after the bottle, but it was rolling too quickly, and it rolled into the next intersection and exploded! We all laughed about it over some eggs for dinner, even though we lost two of them!
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?There are so many places I would love to visit! There are three that come to mind. I’ve always been fascinated by Istanbul - a bridge between Europe and Asia, and thousands of years old. I have several friends who have visited, and they’ve told me about the incredible food, the Turkish baths, and the historical architecture. I’d also love to go to South Africa, see the beautiful mountains, visit Cape Town, and see some wildlife. I’d also love to go to Australia. My parents had an incredible visit twenty years ago, and so I would love to go to the Great Barrier Reef, see Uluru, and see a performance at the Sydney Opera House.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?If I have children of my own one day, I hope to share some of my loves with them. I’d share my love for books and the excitement that reading gave me as a kid. During and after college I couldn’t spend my time reading for myself, but a couple years ago I made a decision to always be reading something, even if it takes me a long time. Another love of mine would be music. While a lot of popular music is accessible and easy to connect to, I’d really want to show my children the power of orchestral music and concert band music. Even if my children choose not to play an instrument, I want them to be able to enjoy and appreciate it since it is something that has given me and my family so much joy.