1. There is a Quaker saying: ''Let your life speak.'' Describe the environment in which you were raised--your family, home, neighborhood or community--and how it influenced the person you are today.
Everything about my home is quite eccentric; I live in a cute, hundred year old bungalow with a loud Irish family and bad acoustics. I am not part of a typical "Marin family," where parents work constantly and kids are over-scheduled to the point of insanity. Growing up, I often felt jealous of my peers, many of whom lived in beautiful homes in the hills, and whose parents forced them to participate in a ridiculous amount of sports, dance, and music. Maybe it's odd for a kid to want more overbearing parents, but I always felt as if I didn't measure up to my friends. Yet, as I grew up I began to realize that what I had was unique, and what shaped me into an interesting and self motivated person. When other kids were being forced to participate in the Nutcracker or soccer camp, I was taking it upon myself to figure out my interests. I was the one dragging my parents to sign me up for school plays, art lessons, and even Irish Step Dancing.
Funny, but I've found that many people whose parents forced them to take up piano lessons and learn foreign languages have quit, yet I continue to do what I love. Having had the wonderful opportunity to express myself in my own way, I've never relied on my parents to tell me what to do. While other kids are being nagged by their parents to do their work, I am completely self reliant and take responsibility for myself. Yes, on an average school night after finishing my schoolwork, you may find me in a dramatic engagement at the piano wrapped up in music from the Phantom of the Opera or singing "Defying Gravity" at the top of my lungs while teaching my brother the art of Irish Step Dancing, but that's what makes me who I am.