Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?In high school, my drumline instructor was known for being particularly explosive when mistakes happened during rehearsals. There was one day when he had just gone off on another group of students and was walking towards us wearing his emotions on his face. I distinctly remember the entire drumline project an attitude as if to say, "I dare you to find something wrong". After he spent some time analyzing our performance, he walked away without saying anything. Later in the year during an award ceremony, he reminisced fondly about that moment and how his respect for me and the whole line grew that day.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I identify most with my mother. My father traveled for weeks/months at a time during the majority of my developing years. Since I was an only child and my mother had just immigrated, she had no support structure to lean on when taking care of me. Now, in my adult life, I see many instances of my way of thinking, small habits, and mannerisms that I can trace back to when she was raising me during that time. She is the reason I have been as successful as I have been throughout my life so far.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?Courtesy, patience, and self-awareness are key traits that I admire. I think the world would be a better place if everyone could sit down and honestly try to understand the perspective of everyone they disagreed with. In that circumstance, I think those traits are key to have a calm and reasonable discussion. Too frequently, one party has no interest in hearing the opposition out.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?My friends like to tell the story about my "Racquetball-honey." In college, I would play racquetball with one of my friends at the university's recreation center. One day, while we were returning the equipment, my friend strikes up a short conversation with an attractive girl behind us and quickly wingman's me into a situation where this girl has looked me over and agreed to let me teach her racquetball. Queue my infinite obliviousness where I do not pick up on what's happening, and I completely fumble on words as I fail to say anything meaningful, and the girl walks away perplexed. My best man made sure to tell this story at my wedding to confirm how much luck I needed to reach that point.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?I have a lot of family in Singapore that I really don't get to see that often. I visited here and there throughout school, but it's been hard to find time in my adult life to take a trip over there. The big draw is seeing all my cousins, but I also really enjoy the food that's over there. My other travel destination would probably be around Italy/Greece because I really enjoy the Greco-Roman mythology and there are structures there that intrigue me (Colosseum, etc.) since it's an early use of concrete. This is where my structural engineer brain comes through.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?I would like to pass on a kind and understanding heart. It takes a lot of effort and patience to understand someone else's perspective since we all only have our own experiences to draw from. Additionally, you can't function with the people around you unless you understand them; humans are innately social creatures.