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6.What about your personality makes you unique? How are you different from other members of your family, and of your friends? List at least five things that describe you.

What makes me unique is my intellectual side, which is emerging in college but which I repressed for years. I also have a unique sense of humor, and I have creative, somewhat offbeat ways of looking at things. I'm discovering that I love to write, an enthusiasm shared by none of my friends, and none of my family. I also read more than anyone in my family, but a lot of my current friends also read a lot. I am an optimist, but also a very practical one. I hope for the best, but brace myself for the worst. That, I think, is different from many of my friends, who expect the best, and are surprised when it does not occur. I'm much more "American" than my grandparents ever could have been, e.g., less "tough around the edges" and probably would be less resilient in a crisis. But I'm far more of an optimist than my mother, whom, I think, has never quite recovered, even now, from my father's death decades ago. I think I'm probably more deep-thinking than most, but hide it well. I'm about as deep-thinking as my mother, but not as gloomy.

7.What motivates you? What are your interests and hobbies? What are your goals in life? How do you want to be remembered?

Although I hate to admit it, I am motivated by money. I enjoy investing, seeking investment opportunities, etc. I am motivated by ambition to succeed financially and professionally. I want my family to be proud of me, but more than that I want to be proud of myself. I would like to have money to do things for society, like give to charities, fund scholarships, sports camps for underprivileged kids, etc. My interests and hobbies include sports, music, and reading. I want to be remembered as a nice person who did his best and tried to help other people. I'd also (one of these days) like to be remembered for writing a novel.

8.What kinds of learning experiences are meaningful for you? What kinds are not?

Learning experiences are most meaningful to me when they are hands-on. For example, I always learn more in labs than I do in lectures, and always have.

Lately, as another example, I've been reading various books on writing, but I am finding I learn most just by doing it. In sports I never got that much from tapes. I got better by playing.

9. How do you define success?

A define success as being happy doing what one is doing, having enough financial and other resources for oneself, one's family, to enjoy life and help others; enjoying life itself, having good relationships with family and friends, building or working toward worthwhile goals. Success is not "having the most toys"; judging others; being the envy of others; having the "wherewithal" to not work or be productive, or taking advantage of or exploiting others.

10.What experiences in school contributed to your success?

Sports gave me a lot of confidence, which I think has contributed to my later willingness and ability to take risks, e.g., classes I'm not sure about (I don't consider myself "successful" yet). Reading, studying, and trying to get good grades in high school and college has given me discipline, perseverance, and a desire to prove my abilities, to myself more than others. I think one of my more painful experiences, not fitting in with either "jocks" or "smart kids" contributed to my current open-minded acceptance of others. I try not to make judgments about people or assume anything at all about a person before I really get to know him or her first-hand.

11. What was the impact of your experiences on your development, was it mainly your heredity or the environment, what makes a person what they are today?

I think it was both heredity and environment, but probably more environment than heredity. I have been blessed with good health, an above average mind, and an athletic body (heredity), but I also grew up in the shadow of grief from my father's early death and my mother's depression. I think the most positive contributions to my early environment, which I know have positively shaped me, were my grandparents' love, support, integrity, high standards, hard work, and high expectations of me. The person I am today is very hard working, hopeful, ambitious and optimistic. However, I have a good grip on reality and how life can be really hard at times. Therefore, I do not expect anything of value to come easily. Therefore, at least on my own experiences, I believe that "what makes a person what they are today" is a combination of heredity and environment, but more environment than heredity.

Works Cited

Kurt." Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of First Names. Retrieved July 27, 2005, from: http://www.behindthename.com/php/view.php?name=Conrad.htm>.