My life is a multiplicity. On one hand, I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado as a fifth generation Colorado native and grew up in Colorado my entire childhood. On the other hand, I am also legally a British Citizen, owing only to my mother’s place of birth. I was raised in the cool, crisp, rural mountain air of Colorado, but have also lived in the happy Bay Area, the tropical polluted heat of the largest city in Vietnam, the busy, crazed mixture of Singapore, the cold damp Paris autumn, and now the smoggy hazy confusion of Los Angeles. My life is a combination of simple and comfortable roots in an atmosphere of globalization.
My dad was born in Southwest Colorado and grew up in Marvel, Colorado. Marvel is a small town (about the size of most trailer parks) surrounded by ranches and farms. My mom was born thousands of miles away in London, England on a US naval base only eight days after my dad. My grandfather was a career man in the United States Navy. Thus, my mom grew up in London (for a year), Deleware, California, and Colorado. She finally moved to Castle Rock, Colorado in the sixth grade. My parents met at the Colorado School of Mines where they both majored in Mineral Engineering Physics.
I attended a small rural elementary school from Kindergarten through sixth grade, Larkspur Elementary School. When I left the school, we had approximately 300 students spread over seven years. Castle Rock Middle School was quite a departure from elementary school, where there were suddenly 1,100 students between only the seventh and eighth grades. While in Middle School I had great teachers, but I did not get along with most of the other students at all.
I attended Douglas County High School (the very same school that my mom had attended 26 years earlier). I enjoyed my time at Douglas County quite a lot, largely because I was involved in activities such as Cross Country, Speech and Debate, Band, and Track. I had wonderful teachers at DCHS. At the end of high school, I graduated second in my class as a “Valedictorian,” my close friend taking the true top position (everyone with above a 4.0 is called a “Valedictorian” so that nobody’s feelings get hurt). I was accepted to Stanford University and a few other places, but, basically, who can say no to Stanford?
I started at Stanford as a physics major. Eventually, I realized that physics was neither rewarding for me nor easy enough. If it had just been the difficulty, I may have remained a physics major, but I didn’t find much intrinsic motivation to do physics. During my sophomore year, I decided to major in International Relations.
I took a one year leave of absence to study and live in Southeast Asia during academic year 2007-2008. I learned some Vietnamese and I observed society and life in Southeast Asia in general. I spent about 4 months in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and about 6 more months in Singapore. After that, I studied abroad in Paris, France in late 2008. My interests in Southeast Asia are varied and complicated, read about it on the SEALNet page.