Question 1: What are your goals and ambitions in life? How do you plan to achieve them?
The idea that dark matter is the next thing on the horizon of research for physicists has held a gigantic promise of adventure in my mind. I have spent the past year tailoring my future plans around learning the foundational knowledge to help to propel me towards higher level education focused on these intriguing questions that help us to understand the universe, as well as choosing a path that puts me closest to learning from those who have similar interests. My education and career goals are one in the same, I am completely focused on learning the concepts that fascinate me and the career is something that I am sure will come with a true interest and investment into my studies and a passion that carries through all that I do.
I will be attending the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, beginning this autumn for astronomy and physics. The reason I finally settled on this university was their well-established connections with the organizations I dream of working with someday: TRIUMF (Canada’s national lab for particle and nuclear physics) and CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research); both organizations are at the forefront of research within the physics field that are the topics which originally piqued my interest in pursuing physics courses. I have the option to work with TRIUMF as a co-op student, where I can get practical experience in my field of interest – at the top research facility in the country.
Following my time at the University of Victoria I plan on pursuing a masters degree in either particle or theoretical physics, most likely from a European university as it helps to be located within (proximity) and to pursue education at universities that are currently working on some of the larger projects through CERN, such as ATLAS, ALICE or the LHC (the Large Hadron Collider) – this being one of the most well-known of their projects, it is also currently the largest particle collider on Earth. After completing a masters degree and if I am determined and lucky, possibly an internship or work-study program with a CERN project I also have my eye on an incredible project based in Antarctica called IceCube Neutrino Observatory.
Question 2: What is your vision for your future home? What new technologies do you expect to see?
Since early on in high school, I have had dreams of someday being able to purchase a small castle. Most of my day-to-day thoughts about my future are about my schooling, potential research and job opportunities within my area of interest. An underlying goal, if I am wise with my finances and maybe a little lucky, is to find a modest castle in the countryside somewhere in Eastern Europe. After I completed high school I spent a bit of time traveling Europe and Southeast Asia – I had the opportunity to explore several castles in a few different cultures, some of my favorite being in France and Ireland.
I lived for a short period on the island Crete, in Greece; there was a couple who lived up the road from me whose home was a miniature castle, it was one of their summer homes, their primary residence was in Brighton, U.K. I had the privilege to visit them in their summer home a few times, it was a bit more modern than something I would think of buying, the interior was comparable to any new home in a large North American city – excluding the 12-foot ceilings and life-size bronze lion statue in the entry way. I was thrilled to be able to visit their home and to get a bit more of a practical sense of what living in a home like that would be like.
There are many benefits of modern homes and new architectural styles, most things I think I would be able to get with the times and update – excluding the thick concrete/stone walls. Installing LED mood lighting that senses a presence and is controllable via my phone for mood and intensity throughout the building is a given. There are many options available to help energize a home that has minimal negative environmental impact, some of which will depend on my final geographic location. Taking advantage of these while retaining the core originality of the building will be my goal. Of course, it will be several years before I am ready and able to achieve this goal and there will be all sorts of new and wonderful options to “wire” my home. When I was in Thailand and Japan I must admit that I fell in love with their high-tech toilets, they provide every comfort imagined.
Ideally my future home will be a graceful combination of the old and the new, hopefully retaining the ‘cool’ factor that comes along with the old-style buildings, but adding in newer accommodations to help the cost of maintaining and day-to-day comforts of living in a castle.