This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of Harker Magazine.
Carol Parris is the department chair for the grades 1-8 modern and classical languages department, and – appropriately, given her name – teaches French at the middle school. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives in Sunnyvale. A woman of many interests, Parris especially loves travel, and singing in shows and with her vocal ensemble, the Sweet Adelines. She shared some of those interests, and a few surprises, with Harker Magazine.
Describe a great travel experience.
I went to Tahiti with a group of artists to paint watercolor flowers. I didn’t know how to draw or paint, but I wanted to speak French and visit Gauguin’s home.
What is something you would love to do so much that you would be OK with failing at it?
I wrote a novel of women’s fiction with romantic elements. Maybe one day I’ll publish it.
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
The Dalai Lama. I’d like to bask in his light. And Steph Curry … for the same reason.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I’ll always be grateful that I was home one summer day years ago when [Harker Academy school principal] Alice Williams called, needing a language teacher right way. She said that she had tried to call me a few times, and this was her last attempt. I’ve been at Harker ever since, enjoying the family atmosphere that Howard Nichols talked about so often.
What is a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of?
I think that might be coming up in June. I grew up at a time when girls were rarely celebrated when they turned 13, although boys had a bar mitzvah. For the last two years, I’ve been attending an adult b’nai mitzvah class, and on June 2, I will be one of 11 adults celebrating my bat mitzvah, only just a few years late! Right now, I’m in the role of student with lots of homework to get ready for the big event, so I know what my students go through with their busy schedules.