Personal History Statement

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I am an only child, born in Tacoma, Washington, and raised in Federal Way my whole life. The entirety of my childhood was spent in the same house, living in an extremely diverse city. The various living environments offered some challenges to a white male student, as most of the support from the school district was geared towards helping different minorities, and troubled individuals. However, many positives came from this sort of upbringing as well. Within this diverse community, I was introduced to many different types of people from all sorts of cultures. Because of this, I am extremely tolerant to those who are drastically different from me. I have always prided myself on the fact that I work well with others. I enjoy the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with individuals that have an opinion alternative to my own. I feel this links me to my love for science, as debate and rebuttal are critical in the development of all sciences.

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I attended both public and private schools throughout my K-12 career, graduating from high school as Valedictorian. Initially, I had no idea what would become my lifetime career. I only knew that physical sciences fascinated me, and I had quite adept at Mathematics and Chemistry. I considered engineering, but I worked in all physical sciences to leave the chance open for another science profession. After graduating from high school, I realized that a future in engineering held no interest to me as I did not find passion in any of the engineering courses. I have always struggled with reading comprehension hence I was left with only one alternative; examining other fields of study that were science oriented. It also happened that I learn and perform much more efficiently when I can touch materials, and visualize each situation as they come. This is what may have pushed me into physical science. Eventually, I settled on the field of Geology.

It took me time thinking what would satisfy my academic desires until I traced my desires of understanding natural disaster. It all began when I was in elementary school, during the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. I clearly remember that day, and the fear I felt. Even since the occurrence of the Nisqually Earthquake, I have wanted to learn more about the natural disasters. I had not considered Geology as part of my lifetime profession because the Federal School district never offered a course on Geology. An opportunity at the University of Washington allowed me to pursue a course that would satisfy my personal desires. I believe the tragic Nisqually Earthquake influenced significantly, the choice of my career.

In early on sophomore year, I took a course on volcanoes which has substantially magnified my interests in Geology. Through college, natural disasters have been my greatest fascination, due to their enormity and destructive power. Also, the fact that my entire family has studied other non-scientific courses in their college education geared me towards choosing Geology as my career. I hold a great amount of respect for those that devote their lives to understanding these events in order to prevent unnecessary deaths.

As I progressed through my college career, advanced mathematics became less and less pertinent to my Geology courses. However, I continued to take math courses, in the hopes of furthering my abilities within the subject by attaining a Minor. After seven different courses in Math, covering calculus, linear algebra, matrix algebra, analytic geometry, and differential equations, I am confident in my knowledge of these subjects, as well as extremely confidence when math come into play within the geology field. While most of the math courses I took were not required for my major, I believe my knowledge of advanced mathematics will add value to my contributions as a Geologist. Through Geomechanics, geochemistry, and a number of other classes, my extra skills in math have proven extremely useful.

Although my grades within my math classes are nothing more than satisfactory, I am proud that I stuck to this path, as it has made me an expert in the Math that does apply to Geology. My grades may not reflect perfection, but the classes I have taken accentuate the high effort and tenacity I have developed over the years, which I apply to every course I take. Before I was even accepted to the Geology program here, I had already completed most of my out-of-major requirements to apply to the Applied Geosciences program. However, I did discuss this with Juliet, and she agreed with me that my extra experience within the math field more than makes up for this discrepancy within the required classes.

Geology has been a unifying factor in all the subjects that I studied in my A level and the kind of life that I was brought up. By choosing Geology as my lifetime profession, I feel unique in my family because I am the only one who studies a science oriented course. Also, my amplitude for mathematics and chemistry did not go to waste because I still apply them in Geology, especially Geochemistry.

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