Tell us about your life today.
I live with my wife Dana Nelson-Isaacs (MA class of 1992) and our 6 year old daughter Eliana. I left a software job last year in order to pursue a Master’s degree in Physics at San Francisco State University. I am in the process of publishing my first book, titled “What Are the Chances? Science, Serendipity, and Seizing the Moment.” I still play music semi-professionally, on the weekends. I often play at spiritual centers where I also give a talk on my research into synchronicity. I spent the last weekend at a meditation retreat with a local research institution where we began work coding a mobile app that allows users to test for “psi” abilities (more commonly referred to as psychic). Dana and I both work largely from home, and get quality time to spend together and with Eliana.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I have been studying the fundamentals of quantum mechanics in order to develop a theory to describe how meaningful coincidences happen, aka synchronicity. I have had a growing number of these experiences over the past decade, and would like to be able to bring them into mainstream science.
Looking back on the classes that you took at MA, which one had the greatest impact on you and why?
In music classes with Bob Schleeter, I had the freedom to create. The class was driven by the ingenuity of the students, and we made it what we wanted it to be. For my senior project, I created a concert involving a wide variety of friends that I had played music with in various ways. It was sort of a variety show, and it was an amazing climax to my experience of creative freedom at MA.
What is one of your best MA memories?
There are so many, that none stands out above the rest. But I will never forget my expeditions cross country skiing in Shasta as well as rock climbing in Joshua Tree. It was an amazingly free opportunity to get to connect with friends from school and form real, lasting bonds and social skills.
If you were to re-enroll at Marin Academy, what would you do differently the second time around?
Tell us about the first time you remember taking a big risk or stepped outside your comfort zone at MA.
For me, MA was a chance to start over. I had a very stagnant group of friends from elementary school in the town where I grew up, and I felt insecure and lonely. When I arrived at MA, I was nervous and shy. For the first few weeks of the semester freshman year I would go down to the arcade on fourth street during lunch and play video games. It was an easy way to feel happy and not have to break out of my shell.
One day in October, I decided that what I really wanted was to have new friends at school, so I decided to stay on campus for lunch and try to sit down with a new group. It was very scary, but I got myself to do it. I did it the next day, too, and very shortly I found myself comfortable with this new group of people. Those new friends were the heart and soul of my high school experience, and they have remained my friends to this day (including my wonderful wife Dana).
Anything else you’d like to share with the MA community?
I have found that if we have the energy and the motivation, we can start new chapters at any stage in our lives. We cannot necessarily know the path our life will take right out of high school, and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us it is too late to try something new further on down the line. Many different life paths are possible, and the most fulfilling ones are the ones we design for ourselves.
Interested in being featured in the Alumni Spotlight or a speaker at our Alumni Speaker Series? Fill out our Alumni Spotlight Questionnaire or send a message to Beth Sherman ’96, Director of Alumni Relations!