Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?When I was about 10 years old my younger sister was 5, and we both had extensive collections of stuffed animals. On weekend mornings we often played “stuffed animal kingdom” together, combining all our stuffed animals and selecting a “king” from one collection and a “queen” from the other. We’d line the sides of the stairs from the bottom to the top with stuffed animal royal subjects, and even made a stuffed animal elevator out of a laundry basket that we hung from the banister at the top of the stairs. Imagining and playing in our stuffed animal kingdom could keep us busy for hours. Looking back now I’m grateful to my parents for giving us the time and space to play in this way, and for all the stuffed animals!
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I identify with my father. He is incredibly smart and can tackle any problem that comes at him with a patient and well-reasoned approach, which I like to think has rubbed off on me. He also has an indestructible moral compass which I aspire to, he is the type of person who will do the right thing, not the easy thing, even when no one is watching.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?I think two of the most admirable character traits are self-awareness and the ability to be present in the moment. People that take the time to get to know themselves tend to have a clear grasp on what they want to accomplish, what their own strengths and weaknesses are, how to better themselves, and how to connect and communicate with others. The ability to be present in the moment is increasingly important in our technology distracted society, because the best experiences in life have nothing to do with electronics (even when they are, at times, enabled by them).
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?When I was in high school, I listened to a wide variety of different music as I went through different phases. At the time I was driving a 2nd hand red station wagon with a manual transmission that was handed down from my parents. One day after school on my way home I was blasting George Michael, and as one does when blasting George Michael and waiting at a stoplight my singing and “car dancing” intensified significantly. Part way through the stop light when my generously improvised dance moves directed my attention to my left, I discovered there in the car next to me a large, bearded fellow that was enthusiastically dancing along with me (my window was open). Was it a genuine or mocking dance along? Hard to say for sure, but I’d gladly take it over outright laughing at me, which would have been totally reasonable.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?I would love to learn Spanish first, and then travel to Spanish speaking countries. I would start with Spain, which I’ve heard wonderful things about. From there I would go to Mexico, through Central America, and finally to South America. Based on my experience of traveling to China, learning the language first brings an entirely new dimension to travel that improves every aspect, from dining to exploring places and connecting with people.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?I have two young children who are learning to explore and question the world around them. I hope to pass on to them kindness (both to others and to themselves), gratitude, curiosity, ambition, authenticity, patience, independence, an appreciation for fitness and healthy living, and a love for reading. While I’m at it I’ll also want to pass on to them some guidance on how to balance these values when they compete with one another!