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  • Zoya Khan

A Parrott’s Parental Pride - Dr. Parrott’s Greatest Accomplishment

Dr. Parrott is a staple of Lakeside as we know it - her bustling biology classes are full of energy and tales of her beloved parrot Clyde fly through the halls even after his death. Ms. Levin-Boggs, a well-known teacher in her own right, had Dr. Parrott when she was a student. She describes Dr. Parrott as “exactly the same. She hasn’t changed one bit.”

Her awards and accolades are almost as impressive as her lengthy list of places traveled, but her greatest achievement in life is something (or rather, someone) rarely spoken about: her son. Dr. Parrott’s son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 12 years old. When speaking about the diagnosis, Dr. Parrott showed a different side of her - the side of a mother. “When he was diagnosed, well… it definitely

made things a lot clearer. It connected a lot

of dots.”

As a young mother, Dr. Parrott held many dreams and aspirations for her son, but as time went on and he expressed interests in different fields, she began to realize that her greatest accomplishment would never be making her son an engineer or a doctor.

“My son is brilliant - the tests showed that. I mean, he has the potential, he just… didn’t want to do it. And that’s okay! As he grew older… I realized that my greatest accomplishment was him being a good person.”

She described a trip to the airport with her son one day as “a prime example of his kindness”. “My son has always taken up for the underdog. In the airport one time, there was this child with special needs that was being a little loud. My son, now, he’s a good traveler. So he always had stuff to do - crayons and books and games and cards… so he went over to this child and offered him some toys so that the child could play. The child quieted down, and I just… I didn’t send him to do that. He did it on his own.”

When asked what her favorite place travelled was, Dr. Parrott immediately replied with Kauai Island.

“I mean, it was a short trip, but it was with my son, and it was worth it. We did something every day - I don’t think I’ve had that much fun on a trip since. It was amazing.”

She laughed as she recounted how her son convinced her into jumping off a waterfall and letting him sit at the front of a propellor boat.

“I didn’t want to jump off the waterfall, but my son was ready - he wanted to jump! And the boat made me so scared… I kept thinking like, what if he falls off and the boat just runs over him or something - yes, I really think like

that! I was scared out of my mind, but

he loved it.” Even though she expressed her dismay at how infrequently they talk - “we don’t talk every day… we don’t even talk every week! He’s more of a texter. I’ll text him and if he doesn’t reply, I just text him, “are you alive?”. Then he knows he has to reply!” - her maternal

pride shown

through as she spoke about her son, painting him as a caring, gentle, and kind person.

A Parrott’s Parental Pride - Dr. Parrott’s Greatest Accomplishment

Zoya Khan

In the hour or so that I spoke with Dr. Parrott, I saw that inside of the intimidating exterior of a renowned, award-riddled biology teacher was a parent, simply proud of her son and the person he had grown up to be.

We could all learn something from Dr. Parrott’s son: simply be good and kind.

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