Ritchie Duong, a 24-year-old student at UC Riverside, went to middle school and high school with Holmes in San Diego and to college with him at UC Riverside. Duong said he last saw Holmes in December in downtown Los Angeles when the two joined some other friends to have dinner and see the new "Mission Impossible" movie.
"He didn't seem to change very much from high school," Duong said. "We knew him as the same guy. We would call him Jimmy James. We would laugh all the time about it.
"Everything came easy for him," Duong said by phone Saturday. "I had one college class with him, and he didn't even have to take notes or anything. He would just show up to class, sit there, and around test time he would always get an A."
Duong said he did not believe Holmes was on prescription medication. He called Holmes a “pretty athletic kid” who frequented the gym. Duong said that Holmes had several friends and that he had no apparent problem with women.
“He did see girls,” Duong said, adding that Holmes had never introduced him to a girlfriend.
When someone with a very high IQ attends a bogus school like UC Riverside, the result is that he gets As without having to do any work at all.
Why did he attend such a bogus school if he was so smart? Holmes’s father is said to have degrees from Stanford, UC Berkely, and UCLA, so surely his father is familiar with quality schools. Why would he let his son go to UC Riverside?
The PhD program in Colorado is probably the first time Holmes attended classes that required a lot of effort get good grades. Holmes was not prepared for it because of his crappy schooling up until that point. This may have contributed to his mental collapse. I blame his parents for not sending him to a quality undergraduate school.
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I also wonder what Duong meant about him “seeing girls.” If he had “no problem with women,” how come he never had a girlfriend?
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Commenter Alex writes:
I had a friend in high school who got in to an elite school, but without a scholarship. His Dad was a socially clueless STEM type, but well off enough financially that he could have afforded the tuition.
Instead he insisted his son, who wanted to be a lawyer, go to a second rate school where he had a full scholarship because he concluded it was a better value.
So thats one way those type of things can happen.
I also think that this might have been the case with James Holmes.