Getting to know Director of the Osborne Writing Center and AP Language teacher: Mr. Parsons

by Erica Kahn Many of us don’t get to know Mr. Parsons until we have him as a teacher junior year, and even then, (as the juniors are finding out now) he is still a very vague person. Mr. Parsons manages to dodge almost every question directed towards him and laughs at the state of confusion he puts his students in as he forces them to learn how to judge their own writing without a rubric’s guidance. So read below if you’d like to find out a little more about the mastermind behind Retrospect, the Writing Center, and the Writer’s Festival, because he is actually answering some questions for once.

What is your favorite thing about HB?

By far my favorite thing about HB is the students. They make me feel energized, hopeful and optimistic because you’re just fun to work with, and I’m excited that you’ll go out into the world and take it over and make it better.

What is your least favorite thing about teaching at HB?

I have no least favorite thing. There is nothing negative. I love it all. I legitimately just have too much fun here.

Favorite author?

Ooh that pains me. The um..what if I say like seventeen favorite writers? Who do I love right now? I’ll have to get back to you.

(Does answering a question with another question count as an answer?)

Hobbies?

I always like learning new things. One of my hobbies is making pizza. Obviously reading is one of them. Also I was doing crosswords puzzles for a while but got tired of that.

What about Sudoku?

No because it’s a numbers thing. I’m not against it but it won’t click with my brain until they put words in there.

If you weren’t an English teacher, what would you be?

What other job would I even do? I would work in an art museum but I have no artistic talent…at all. I could work in a literary agency. Oh! Or in a few years, I’m going to start a speakers agency of new young writers and I’m just going to represent former students from HB. That’s my new gig. So I’m going to start a new powerhouse of literacy just of HB alum. Or I could work in college admissions. If I would’ve been smart when I was a kid and known you could just take things you were interested in and then do them, I would’ve done a vampire show or movie, but I didn’t know you could do that so…

Why do you like vampires so much?

I like things that are romantic, gothic, scary, mythological and horror. It’s cool stuff. You can dig into vampires with romance, philosophy and existential dread. It’s all atmospheric and cool whether you go way back to Transylvania or to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have not seen the Vampire Diaries but I will look into that.

Favorite food?

All kinds of pizza. I like Vero Pizza, Citizen Pie, and the pizza I make. I’ve made a mashed potato pizza recently, a white pizza with ricotta, alfredo pizza, greek pizza, and pizza with old school toppings–I love them all. I love pizza as a food (what else would it be????) I could eat it everyday and never get tired of it.

So do you usually eat pizza for lunch?

Ya know, almost never. No, never here. Not crazy about that.

So would you say that’s your least favorite thing about HB?

Maybe, I’ve eaten it sometimes but I just find better things. But yeah, that could be my least favorite thing.