Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who Am I? My 5 Greatest Successes.

My name is Kamil Chmielewski and I was born in Dabrowa Bialostocka, Poland, where both of my parents were doctors. My family decided that it would be best to flee communism and escape Poland.
In 1988, my family escaped to Palma De Mallorca, Spain, hoping to one day end up in the land of freedom, the ol' US and A. We stayed in Spain for two years and lived through poverty as we ate sugar sandwiches, and had the fortune to eat 25 cent popsicle-sticks every Sunday. In the interim, my dad was a painter and my mom was taking care of the three of us. Monika, my beautiful, intelligent, older sister and my younger, evil-plotting brother, just kidding Seb. After two years of struggling, we received a Polish church sponsor in Canada and took the opportunity to move there.
We moved to Oakville, Ontario at the end of 1989, where we would grow up in a healthy, caring and loving family. During this time, my father would have to re-take ALL medical exams and re-start from scratch in order to become a doctor again. We were all raised playing sports, and keeping out of trouble for the most part. Aside from my prankster brother picking up poo and throwing it into bars, and me getting intoxicated, and caught, at a high school dance.
November 16, 1998 came before we knew it, and my father was offered an MD position in College Station, TX. This would be a great opportunity for me because I could take my basketball game to the next level (no offense but Canadian basketball was a little weaker than US b-ball).
After high school, I received a basketball scholarship to Saint Xavier University on the South Side of Chicago, where I would have to transition from being a shooting-guard my entire life to becoming a point guard. The transition was not very easy, so I spent a lot of time on the bench learning life's lessons. I was a undergraduate major in Computer Science because I always enjoyed math, and solving problems. Being in Chicago, and away from my family, has helped grow a great appreciation for my parents and siblings, which have had a great influence on me. My father has created the drive in me, my mother has created the caring, my sister has created the openness and harmony in me, and my brother has created the computer-scientist in me. For this, and them, I am grateful.
Afer graduation, in 2004, I applied to a few universities for my Masters education in Computer Science, and was surprisingly denied at Texas A&M University, but accepted at The University of Chicago. I decided to pursue my masters education at UofC; freakishly, I learned more about Computer Science in 13 months than I did in four years at SXU.
I am currently, and have been since November 2005, a web programmer for Bank of America. It is a position that has taught me a great deal. Moreover, I have learned more about myself and what I want to become in the last two years, than I did the first 24 years of my life.
My interests, passions and enjoyments include, in no particular order : people, self-improvement, improvement-of-others, basketball, learning, programming, music, and Yoga.
Lesson:
Whenever you are feeling down, or low in confidence think back of the 5 greatest successes in your life, and why you should be energetic, and vitalized. The 5 greatest successes of my life include : 1) Playing University basketball; 2) Receiving a Masters degree from The University of Chicago; 3) Receiving a phenomenal programming job with the Bank of America; 4) Living in 4 countries, and being able to adapt to any living situation, especially living alone after high school; and, 5) success of staying healthy and having a great family, and caring, close friends.
What are your 5 greatest successes? Have they made you who you are today? Do you sometimes forget them and take them for granted? Feel free to talk about yourself also.

1 comment:

Big Mike said...

Kamil, an awesome story about your struggles your younger years, and how you have been able to overcome all of it and provide yourself a good life.

In 1998, my family moved me away from Ottawa, Canada to Boston, MA. I could remember how upset I was when I found out the news. I finished up high school in Lexington, MA and after graduation, our next move was to San Jose, CA, where I have been ever since.

The moving has contributed to my 5 greatest successes thus far in my life:

1) Owning a home (April 2007)
2) Improving my football "career." Made the high school all-star team in 2000. Played college ball in California.
3) Finishing University (June 2005)
4) Moving into my own place after college - This really taught me the life lessons of responsibility, especially paying bills.
5) Meeting a wonderful girl who cares about me a lot (Wedding in April 2009)

Let's not forget meeting you Kamil. Aug 2006 - the one week party!