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Humans of Harker: Driving towards satisfaction

Oliver Doig finds fulfillment in working with cars

%E2%80%9CThe+cars...give+you+a+sense+of+satisfaction+when+you+complete+a+job+and+get+in+the+car+like+%27Oh%21+That+thing+doesn%27t+squeak+anymore.+Or%2C+oh%2C+my+oil+isn%27t+bursting+out+of+the+hood.+That%27s+awesome.%27+It%27s+good+to+have+a+sense+of+accomplishment+and+working+on+cars+really+does+that+because+it%27s+a+tangible+difference+with+every+single+thing+you+fix%2C%E2%80%9D+Oliver+Doig+%2812%29+said.+%E2%80%9CWith+the+vast+majority+of+things%2C+it%27s+a+lot+of+just+really+simple%2C+basic+quality+of+life+stuff+that+you+are+actually+capable+of+improving+for+yourself%2C+and+that%27s+awesome.%E2%80%9D
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Humans of Harker: Driving towards satisfaction

“The cars...give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete a job and get in the car like 'Oh! That thing doesn't squeak anymore. Or, oh, my oil isn't bursting out of the hood. That's awesome.' It's good to have a sense of accomplishment and working on cars really does that because it's a tangible difference with every single thing you fix,” Oliver Doig (12) said. “With the vast majority of things, it's a lot of just really simple, basic quality of life stuff that you are actually capable of improving for yourself, and that's awesome.”

“The cars...give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete a job and get in the car like 'Oh! That thing doesn't squeak anymore. Or, oh, my oil isn't bursting out of the hood. That's awesome.' It's good to have a sense of accomplishment and working on cars really does that because it's a tangible difference with every single thing you fix,” Oliver Doig (12) said. “With the vast majority of things, it's a lot of just really simple, basic quality of life stuff that you are actually capable of improving for yourself, and that's awesome.”

Saloni Shah

“The cars...give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete a job and get in the car like 'Oh! That thing doesn't squeak anymore. Or, oh, my oil isn't bursting out of the hood. That's awesome.' It's good to have a sense of accomplishment and working on cars really does that because it's a tangible difference with every single thing you fix,” Oliver Doig (12) said. “With the vast majority of things, it's a lot of just really simple, basic quality of life stuff that you are actually capable of improving for yourself, and that's awesome.”

Saloni Shah

Saloni Shah

“The cars...give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete a job and get in the car like 'Oh! That thing doesn't squeak anymore. Or, oh, my oil isn't bursting out of the hood. That's awesome.' It's good to have a sense of accomplishment and working on cars really does that because it's a tangible difference with every single thing you fix,” Oliver Doig (12) said. “With the vast majority of things, it's a lot of just really simple, basic quality of life stuff that you are actually capable of improving for yourself, and that's awesome.”

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Clad in a checkered blue shirt, looking relaxed and carefree, Oliver Doig (12) exudes charm and a laughter that fills the auditorium. His eyes twinkle with kindness, honesty, and loyalty as he leans back in his chair and explains a story.

Oliver’s dry wit and funny jokes bring a smile to his friends’ faces in the stressful high school environment. His friends love to be around him and feel good while doing so.

Oliver’s friend Sayon Biswas (12) has fond memories of driving to prom with Oliver and hanging out with him at Five Guys, just talking for a long time.

“Oliver is someone I haven’t known for a long time, but it feels like I have known him for years,” Sayon said. “He has a great sense of humor, is great to be around and is one of the most dependable people in my life.”

Sayon also admires Oliver’s flexibility and loyalty. “People don’t know how loyal he is. When he joined our friend circle, he gelled instantly. He is super easy to mesh with.”

Oliver appreciates talking to people and being down-to-earth with proper conversations.

“I think it’s just good to have actual proper connections with people instead of shallow surface level interactions on a day-to-day basis,” Oliver said. “While acquaintances are great, I think it’s important to have some people in life that you’re actually close to and you can be really open with.”

Oliver loves cars, but his passion for cars is not limited to admiring fancy old European cars. He is a very hands-on person and he loves to work on them himself. As a junior, he developed an interest in cars when he started listening to Car Talk, an NPR podcast. As he got hooked to the funny, entertaining, and educational show, he grew confident in his abilities to fix a car.

Deciding to do something he was passionate about and to gain real life skills in the process, he got his first awful and horribly broken down car – a BMW 1986 E30 325e in October of 2018.

“My goal with the car is essentially fix it up to the point where it’s drivable, then soup it up with a bunch of crazy performance mods and take it on the track and race it around and have fun with it,” Oliver said. “But [my goal is] also to learn how to do basic mechanics and car repair and stuff because it’s just super applicable in real life.”

Oliver’s admirable tenacity and dedication to his abilities led to fixing his car, no small feat, with online help through communities like e30zone and r3vlimited, along with his dad’s friend as a mentor who showed him the ropes and let him use his shop.

“I did a proper marathon session on my car,” Oliver said. “My very first time actually working on my car and getting it on a lift and getting under there and installing a bunch of stuff and just kind of going wild…finishing a twelve-hour session of straight work, finishing that was super satisfying, super fun.”

According to friend Alex Rule (12), Oliver is always talking about his cars and he loves hearing about the work Oliver has done on his car.

After satisfactorily finishing his job, Oliver finds fulfillment, as even fixing something small makes a material difference.

“The cars…give you a sense of satisfaction when you complete a job and get in the car like ‘Oh! That thing doesn’t squeak anymore. Or, oh, my oil isn’t bursting out of the hood. That’s awesome.’ It’s good to have a sense of accomplishment and working on cars really does that because it’s a tangible difference with every single thing you fix,” Oliver said. “With the vast majority of things, it’s a lot of just really simple, basic quality of life stuff that you are actually capable of improving for yourself, and that’s awesome.”

Not only under the hood, Oliver also uses his problem solving skills to do freelance web development in a startup he started with his friends.

“Programming is relatively easy problem solving that comes naturally to me and is not really super work-intensive,” Oliver said. “It’s satisfying to finish something and build something that people actually use.”

Oliver’s computer science teacher, Anu Datar, appreciates Oliver’s ability for abstract thinking which will make him a successful computer scientist. Although, Oliver might present a persona of a carefree attitude, Datar observed that Oliver was keen on improving things and fixing them.

“He’s a very, very smart kid,” Datar said. “He has a sharp brain. He understands things. He gives this laid back…kind of outward appearance, but I think deep down he really likes computer science and he wants to put in effort to understand the core concepts. So he does put in more effort than what he portrays or shows outwardly.”

Oliver appreciates the balance that he has been able to achieve between school and social life and hobbies due to the flexibility provided by his parents. Undoubtedly, that seems to be the secret of his happiness.

“My parents have been super relaxed with kind of letting me do what I want and having independence. It’s really important to have a balance between school work, social life, and hobbies,” Oliver said. “And while my balance may skew a little farther towards social life and hobbies, I think it is important to know yourself and develop independence before you go to college and before you live your own life.”

Oliver deeply cares about many causes, one of which is coral bleaching. He became aware of the issue while taking marine biology class and wishes more people would take this problem seriously.

“Coral bleaching is actually really serious and people don’t understand that it’s actually destroying an entire ecosystem,” Oliver said. “It’s destroying an entire ecosystem that over a billion people depend on, and also multiple thousands of species of animals. That’s pretty important.”

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Humans of Harker: Driving towards satisfaction