My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
8/10. [High school name omitted] allows you an amazing opportunity and access to education that very few people get, schools across the country can barely afford teachers and text books, so I am grateful for the resources that were provided and offered to me. I am disappointed that the school can not accommodate students that don't adhere to the academic mould.
Grades in high school
B's and C's. I graduated with honors, much to my friends' disbelief. For two years I had over a 4. gpa, and as my time in the theater increased, my grades decreased, until by my final semester I had maybe a few of everything, including two D's.
English, history- I felt no connection to most of the reading assigned in english, and despite an interest in history, I was not interested in the projects assigned. I was too aware of being assigned work for work's sake, and felt no meaning or learning in completing the assignments.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Places lived in US
California, New York
Current occupations / past occupations
Sound Designer primarily for New Music Performance
Industries I've worked in
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes, however many schools offer degrees, not career preparation, and they are two very different things. I have seen many people that excel at academics struggle greatly entering the real world. I struggled greatly with academics, and had few problems entering the real world.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Only slightly within the same domain- I entered school interested in lighting design for theater, switched to sound for theater and musicals, and have ended up working in sound for Art Music and Opera.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Living happily- having time to spend with my wife and family without too much stress.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I have realized that the most important things to me are people, relationships and ideas, not grades, jobs or money.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Raising a a really fun kid who brings joy to everyone that meets him. I learned that the greatest joys and rewards in life aren't something you buy or achieve.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I like to think that I don't live with regrets. You always make the best decision for you, given the information you have. In the end it may be a bad decision, but you can't regret that you made the right decision at the time.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I had my college admission rescinded due to poor grades my senior year. I loved working in the theater, and I spent all day there instead of in class or doing homework. Of course I thought my world was collapsing at the time and that I had failed at that singular trajectory. After evaluating the situation I realized that I still had lots of options, take a year off from the academic world that I had so much conflict with to work or travel, or spend a year at community college and reapply for the next year knowing I had already been accepted once. In the end I was able to attend a summer session to make up some classes, and 4 days before the official move in, I finally heard that my admission was reinstated. What I learned from this- sometimes you get news that feels like the end of the world, or that you've made a huge mistake or had a giant failure. However only a few things can't be fixed, mitigated or otherwise resolved into something not as bad as I originally thought. It takes work, no question, but there's always a path of improvement.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Please everyone watch the documentary "Happy" which explores scientific studies on happiness, and explores the lives of people that represent statistical happiness. The core ideas are that money and career success do not create happiness, even though that idea is a focal point of our society. Instead happiness is built and maintained through relationships, community, and family. What if we focused on being happy instead of being rich? How would you live differently? Realize the two are not the same.
This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
The creamery of course! Best chocolate shakes in the world until they changed the recipe a few years ago.