Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?We moved just after I finished second grade, and the neighborhood we moved into was still being built. I'd say my most memorable childhood experience was spending that first summer there riding my bike around that neighborhood. I made new friends, explored the creeks and wooded areas at the edges of the growing subdivision, joined in on some street football games, went swimming at the public pool with my brothers. I got up to all kinds of new, fun stuff.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?I'd say I identify most with either my mom or my younger brother. My mom and I like a lot of the same surface level stuff, foods and drinks, for example, that many of the other members of our family aren't really into. We also have a bit of a dry (sometimes dark) sense of humor in common. My younger brother is the sibling that's closest to my age, so we spent a lot of time together growing up and share a lot of the same interests. We've even worked together at several different companies.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?Empathy, directness, and a strong work ethic are the big three for me. Empathy is something that seems to be in short supply in recent years, but it's so vital for a healthy, functioning society. Directness, because I'm the kind of guy who will absolutely step right over dropped hints all day, so I'm always relieved when someone just looks me in the eye and tells it to me straight. I admire a strong work ethic for two reasons. First, you can rely on someone with a strong work ethic to pull their weight when you're counting on them and second, they motivate everyone else around them to work a little harder themselves.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?It wasn't funny at the time, but I was camping with my then-girlfriend's family one weekend several years ago. We were on private property owned by a family friend, but lots of wild hogs and at least one mountain lion had been seen there, so most of us were carrying a weapon. I'd been out with them before, but this time I was psyching myself up to tell her father that I planned on asking her to marry me, as one does. It was Saturday afternoon, just after lunch, and my girlfriend had left for a walk with her mother and brothers, giving me the perfect opening to talk to her dad. We were sitting around listening to the radio and making awkward small talk, when I finally went for it. I said, "So hey, there's something I wanted to talk to you about." Less than a second later, he said "Sure hang on just a second." He then stood up, walked about ten steps away, took his pistol out of its holster, and emptied the magazine into a makeshift target nearby. He paused for a moment to check how he did, holstered his gun, and sat back down, not realizing I had gone white as a sheet. He then asked, "What did you wanna talk about?" I thought to myself "You know what, I can probably do this next weekend instead," and mumbled something about hearing some hogs snooping around the previous night. To this day, he swears he had no idea what I was really planning on discussing with him.
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?First, I think I'd like to spend some time in Italy to see where my mom's side of the family came from as well as the classic tourist spots like the Colosseum, Venice, the Basilica of St. Peter, all that good stuff. Then, I'd like to come back home and buy a huge, tricked out RV to drive around the country with my family. There are so many wonderful things to see and experience right here in our own backyard, and I think maybe a lot of people take that for granted because it's "ours," you know what I mean?
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?This is a hard question to answer for myself, because I've never liked tooting my own horn, so to speak. Instead, I asked my wife which of my traits she'd like to see in our kids. She eventually answered "Your sense of humor, because that's what I love the most about you. Your thirst for knowledge, you're always looking up the best way to do something, or some random thing you overheard other people talking about that you found interesting. Your height, for sure. And your dimples."