What is it about Colorado that the worst shooting incidents happen there? How does a 24-year-old honors student go bonkers preparing for his high-profile career? What happened to make him drop out of a graduate program?
There are so many questions and no answers. What is happening is there are hundreds and thousands of opinions, but very little in the way of facts. This blog article is speculative, too.
Try to put yourself in the place of Jimmy Holmes, honors student at the University of California, Riverside. He majored in neuroscience, a discipline which integrates real science into psychology. At least, that’s what I think it means. Anyway, James could not get a job after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience.
After not getting a job, James applied to and was accepted at the University of Colorado at Denver. According to articles, he was in a program leading to a PhD in Neuroscience. I cannot find where he had earned a Master’s Degree. Apparently, the PhD program at UC, Denver includes the work for a Masters.
After starting the program in the fall of 2011, he was having academic problems.
What’s this? An honors student having academic problems? Yes, and I have my own ideas about why.
I remember the kick in the academic butt graduate school delivered to me when I first started in the MBA program. I had gotten my bachelor’s in engineering five years before my entry into graduate school. Graduate school is at a much higher level and is at a much faster pace. It takes maturity to compete. All of the students in graduate school are good students, and they are all ambitious. The competition is really stiff.
Holmes was quickly inundated with the massive amounts of material. I believe he was trying to get his Master’s Degree in one year.
Trying to assimilate mountains of new material, plus, having to review the stuff you thought you knew can be harder than anyone expects. This can be a physical and a mental brick wall. If you don’t have the maturity to handle it, you can easily get behind. Getting behind in graduate school can be academically terminal.
I read that Holmes didn’t do well on his comprehensive exams. Comprehensive exams are normally taken prior to achieving ones Masters Degree. If Holmes did poorly in the Master’s part of the program, his chance of success in the PhD program was almost non-existent.
Holmes had failed.
Here we have a former honors student not being able to get a job, and then failing at the subject thought to be his strength. This, my friends, does not bode well for his future. It is a terrifying thing to think about having to take a construction job, or do other manual labor just to get by. That’s not the way he was raised.
Holmes lived alone. When Holmes lived at home, he had no friends, either. The problem with being a loner is that you have a limited perspective on life. When things get tough and you are not used to going to family and friends for support and opinions, you are in danger of doing the wrong thing.
I believe there were other contributing factors to Holmes’ actions. In our nation today there is a drive to take God out of our lives. Our universities hammer our children with the idea of moral relativity. From this we get the “if it feels good, do it” people.
Were Holmes parents religious? Did they raise their child with a moral foundation? Did they teach him right from wrong?
When James was going through his vulnerable years in college, was he exposed to professors who made a joke of people who believe in God? Was he indoctrinated with the idea that what is moral for one person is not necessarily moral for another?
James Holmes became a victim. His future was snatched from him. He had no moral foundation. He was extremely disappointed in life.
I will be interested to find out if James had problems with depression. I believe that he was depressed, and could only see the low point of his life, which was now. He didn’t know how to deal with his problems, so he decided to strike back.
Was Holmes evil? Was he doing something to strike back at society because of his failures?
What do you think?
Update: Here’s a TMZ article about a profile James Holmes was reported to have established on a sex website.