Sunday, September 2, 2012

Clinton's Family

Describe your parents including education, occupation, personality, interests, etc.: 
My father graduated high school at the same school that I graduated from. In fact, we even had some of the same teachers (it's a very, very small town!) He went to a Catholic school in Edmonton, Alberta called St. Anthony's College for a while. During and shortly after high school, he began working as a manual laborer on oil drilling rigs (oil drilling is a major industry in Alberta, Canada). He has done this his entire life and is now a shift manager. As a manager of some of the wildest guys you'll ever meet, you would think that my dad would be incredibly loud and rude, but he's actually quite a softie. When I announced that I was going to get married, I remember that he began crying (and, of course, trying to hide it). He's the type that tries to pretend like he's a big strong guy, but in reality, he's like most people.
His interests include a lot of fishing and hunting, being our family mechanic, the family carpenter, and playing with his grandkids.

My mother graduated from high school and soon began raising her family after getting married. She had four kids (I was the last) and while I was growing up, she sacrificed a lot of her free time to attend nursing school. She worked hard and got excellent grades, good enough that her student loans were forgiven!
She's a hard worker and still works as a nurse today. She has been offered administrative positions, but she would rather work directly with patients instead of trying to be the boss of other nurses. Her interests include going camping, sewing, gardening, and spending a lot of time with her grandkids. Her biggest weakness, though, is her desire to constantly have a clean house. When we go over there during Christmas vacation, it seems like all of our time with her is spent in the kitchen watching her bake and clean, meanwhile I keep on trying to tell her that she needs to sit down and let other people do the work, but she never seems to listen.

Explain your parents' methods of discipline: 
My dad was often away working on oil rigs, leaving my mum to do a lot of the disciplining. She later told me that I was incredibly easy to raise, so I really don't remember getting much discipline from her. Whenever I was needing to be set straight, though, I remember that she would simply tell me that I should have known better and she expressed her disappointment in my decisions. That was usually enough to make me realize that it didn't feel good to disappoint the only people in my life who loved me unconditionally, and so I would try to change.
In other words, they were never harsh, but you knew it when you did something wrong. This allowed me a lot of freedom as a kid, and I think that has made me a better and more responsible person for it.

What is your present relationship with your parents and siblings? 
I frequently call my parents and we try to take a trip to see them at least once a year. My relationship with my family is quite open, and I've talked to my parents about pretty much anything and everything. With my sisters, I often chat with them online, but I would say that I'm especially close to the youngest of my sisters, since she's closer in age to me. We had many of the same friends and she was the one that introduced me to the Church, so we tend to have a lot in common and often have similar thinking.

Relate any special experiences or memories: 
One of my favorite experiences as a kid was one time when we were camping. It was a warm day and dad had taken the older kids down to the creek to go fishing, but I stayed behind with my mum at the campsite (I was pretty young at the time). We laid out on a blanket on the ground and just stared up at the sky and talked. I don't remember at all what we talked about, but I remember how I felt like my mum was my friend and that I somehow was now her favorite kid! That taught me that kids don't care much about the amount of presents or money that you give to them, they're much more interested in you being interested in them.
Share any traumatic events that have impacted your life: When I was 18 and preparing for my mission, I moved to a nearby city with some friends. We lived in the river valley at the bottom of a huge hill in the middle of Edmonton. When I was coming home from work one summer afternoon, I had just gotten off the bus and I was walking along a busy street towards home. I noticed a girl on the other side of the street coming fast down the hill on her bike. For some reason, she suddenly flipped over the bike and landed hard on her face. I sat there stunned for a second thinking, "She's probably okay, she'll probably get up." But she didn't. Not having a clue what to do, I put my hands out to stop the busy traffic. The cars slowed and let me through, and I ran over to the girl lying on the hot sidewalk. Still having no clue what to do, I saw a women peek around the corner and I yelled for her to call an ambulance. I knelt by the girl and tried to speak calmly (while panicking inside my own mind). Luckily, a nurse saw me kneeling there and stopped, and soon a police officer stopped and radioed for an ambulance.
I have never forgotten that day because that was when I knew that I wanted to be the person that could help in a situation like that. That experience reconfirmed to me that the best way to help other people is to learn how to take care of people's health. I think that one five minute incident probably impacted my life more than any other.

List significant activities, group involvements, or accomplishments during your years of education: 
I've always tried hard to get good grades in university and now in medical school, but my absolute favorite thing that I've ever done is teach. I tutored a lot in university because I loved it. I found it really rewarding when the students who were struggling in the main class would come to my tutor workshop and then suddenly understand the complex principles being taught in the lectures. In fact, after one semester, the students wrote reviews on my and submitted them to the professor. I was allowed to see those reviews later and I remember one of the questions reading, "If your tutor could do one thing, what would it be?" to which the student wrote, "Be a chemistry professor." That made me feel really good!

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