Who: James Doolittle
What year did you graduate?
I actually didn’t graduate! I tested out. I started attending Middle College in my junior year of high school and decided that my time would be better spent focusing on attaining a B.A. than a high school diploma. I took the California High School Proficiency Exam in 2003 and graduated from college in 2007 with a B.A. in East Asian Cultural Studies from Long Island University in New York.
Where are you living now?
I live in North Oakland with my wife and cat.
What do you enjoy doing?
Art, music, healthy living, eco tourism. I have a wide range of hobbies. I enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle focused on nutrition and personal fitness. I’m in my second year of learning the flute–which is a lot easier having learned to read sheet music in band class. I’m working on a science fiction novel about a future space zombie who realizes his infinite buddha potential. I go hiking every Monday and I get a massage once a month.
What did you do in high school?
I read lots of Existentialism writers, ate lunch on the football field, and did Marching Band for PE. I gained a little notoriety when Matt Heeney and I started the Satanic Thought Society, which was widely misunderstood–it was a philosophy club, and had nothing to do with devil worship. I spent a lot of time with Mr. Freedman in drama classes and performed in musicals periodically.
What are you doing now?
I’m planning a trip to Spain! I’m so excited! My wife and I are going to Barcelona in July and traveling the Catalan coast for two weeks. For work, I’m a massage therapist. I love helping people heal old injuries and rejuvenate their bodily state. I find a lot of satisfaction in the work I do and feel that is as much a creative outlet as a means to earn a living.
What surprised you about life after high school?
There have definitely been some big changes–for example, I absolutely HATED science in high school and now find it endlessly fascinating. I think I had this idea that when school ended, someone would snap her fingers and I would be an adult. Now that I’m twenty-eight years old, I can’t put my finger on the point in which I stopped being a child and started being an adult. In many ways, I still have lots of growing up to do, but there are areas in my life where everything runs like a well-oiled machine. The most amazing thing about life is the grand scale of dialectal experiences that continue to grow and shape the world around me along with my own personal development as a human being. Sometimes it feels like the second I adapt to the world, the world has changed.
Any words of wisdom for current Bearcats?
Do what you love, love what you do. Don’t stress too much! And as Mary Schmich wrote, wear sunblock!
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