Senior dedicated to rocks and rugby
February 24, 2010
_On one of the first nice days of the year, I met James McCulla for coffee outside Aromas. He is engaging and completely unaffected as he tells me about his interest in dubstep music, the Orientation program and the rugby team. He’s enthusiastic about hanging out with his friends and working at the Dean of Students office. After hearing about his busy schedule — senior geology thesis, training for a half marathon — I am surprised he had an hour to spare on a Saturday. His only request for the interview? That we title it “That Bro.”_
*What do you think the new mascot should be?*
I kind of like the idea of the Fighting Wrens, and the Phoenix as well. I was definitely against the Pugs. They’re tiny little dogs, and they’re supposed to represent our school?
*What’s been the most important thing you’ve been involved in on campus?*
I’ve done a lot of work with the Orientation program and the Dean of the Students office. I was an area director for Orientation, and that’s been the main focus of my involvement. I picked it as the one thing I would spend the most time doing — I was an area director from the fall of my junior year to this past fall. One cool thing about Orientation is that you put a few hours in every week in the spring, and then during Orientation, you’re constantly on the go. Everything just kind of happens, and it’s cool to see what you’ve been working on for so long come together. I also want to give a shout-out to Summer Finck ’10 — we’ve been really close since Orientation freshman year.
*Do you have a favorite memory of you and Summer?*
We did a recording of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem the fall of freshman year; that stands out to me.
*Do you have a bucket list of things you want to accomplish before you leave the College?*
I want to play putt-putt at Pirates Cove. It’s on Richmond Road. I’ve driven by it like 100 times, but have never gotten to play, so I definitely want to do that.
*What are your plans for after graduation?*
I’m a geology major, so I might be working for a water qualities studies group based in Richmond, my hometown. I don’t know how thrilled I’d be to move right back to Richmond after graduation, so we’ll see. I’m applying to other geology jobs around the country.
*Do you have a dream job location?*
I applied for a job in Yosemite Park, and I’m not going to get it. I already know that. I guess my dream locations would be Colorado and Florida.
*What’s a typical day in the life for you?*
Well, the alarm goes off at 9:20 a.m., unless it’s a Wednesday. I’m a big coffee person, so I usually set the coffee the night before. I’ll do coffee and cereal. Mondays and Wednesdays are pretty crazy; I have class from 10 a.m. all the way to 5:20 p.m., and then I work for the Office of the Dean of Students about eight hours a week. I’m also writing a senior thesis for geology. It’s “The Kinematics and History of Deformation in the Petersburg Granite in Richmond, Va.” That takes up pretty much all of my spare time; I work on it about four or five hours a night.
*How do you feel about the social life here?*
I love it — I have a huge group of friends; we hang out all the time, and there’s very little drama. Wednesday through Saturday nights we’ll most likely hang out at the delis. I’m not in a fraternity, but probably the majority of my friends are Greek. My dad went here, and he was a Sig Pi and played on the rugby team. I play rugby here as well, and I think I subconsciously told myself that that was enough following in his footsteps, so I didn’t go Greek.
*What has been your experience on the rugby team been like?*
I’ve played all four years, and I was captain last spring and this past fall. I’m actually training for a half marathon right now, which is next weekend, so I’ve been taking rugby off right now to concentrate on running. I sprained both my ankles last year, so I really can’t do that again.
*What do you call home about?*
I call my mom to tell her I love her. I’ll e-mail my dad for the rent check.
*If you could live in any decade, which would you choose?*
I would definitely stay in this one. I think one thing that I would dislike about living in another decade is that we have so much cool technology right now. I think we’ve gotten so used to having it that living in another decade would be inconvenient, to say the least. I also really like current music. I do enjoy older music, but right now I’m really into this genre called dubstep. I guess it could be classified as electronica, but it’s basically heavy beats. It’s a very new genre that has a bigger following in big cities and internationally. I also really like rap — ’Lil Wayne, Blackstar, which is Talib Kweli and Mos Def, and Kanye West’s older stuff, like The College Dropout.
*Are you a different person than you were in high school?*
Well, my hairline has receded, and I’ve grown a beard [laughs]. I think it’s easy for other people to answer that question for you, but hard to answer for yourself. I still feel the same as I did the first day of freshman year, but it’s hard to believe I’m graduating in May. I’m sure I’ve changed somehow, though I’m not sure my study habits have improved.
*Who do you think has most affected you since you’ve been at the College?*
One thing that’s cool about the geology department is that we have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio on campus, so you get to be really close with your teachers. I’m doing research with Dr. Chuck Bailey, and he’s been a great mentor. I’ve also become close friends with Mark Sikes in the dean of students office through working there. I’d say people have definitely had the most influence on me as opposed to a certain experience. People say this over and over, and it’s a cliche thing to say, but the people here are just awesome. I went on a study abroad program this past summer, and it wasn’t with anyone from William and Mary. I just couldn’t wait to get back on campus.
*Are you in a secret society?*
*Would you say if you were?*
Probably not. Are you in a secret society?
_James advises you to listen to Ghost Town Radio on WCWM 90.9 Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to hear dubstep music and support William and Mary radio. If his enthusiasm for his other activities is any indication, it should be a fun experience._