He scampered down the miniature basketball court at Pipe Creek Elementary School, playing a combination of hoops and football — and announcing the game to an empty gym.
I was strolling down the sideline, having gotten into the habit of walking in the school every day after classes ended.
The child’s imagination struck me, and I intuited he had raw brainpower. I soon learned he was a third-grader.
That boy is 21 now, a senior at IU. I have no doubt he will turn his brainpower into important contributions that will better humankind. In fact, he’s already begun.
His name is Raymond Parrish II, the son of Julie Parrish, who is in her 38th year of teaching kindergarten at Pipe Creek, and the late Raymond Parrish.
At lunch the other day we talked about a wide range of stuff — complicated science, music, his future, his parents’ influence, cooking and more.
Parrish is majoring in biology, with minors in music, chemistry and animal behavior — an odd combination, perhaps, but not for a young Renaissance man. His father — as you will see — was a Renaissance man.
Last August, Raymond won the prestigious Internal Wells Scholarship Award at IU, given in honor of the late, great IU president, Herman B Wells. Only one or two students are chosen out of 18 to 20 nominated each year from the more than 40,000 on the IU Bloomington campus. He was the sole recipient for 2012.
Since then he’s garnered the Edward L. Hutton Honors College Research Grant worth $3,000 and the Herman B Wells Summer Experience Grant worth $1,750.
The Internal Wells Scholarship was awarded last August after Parrish, two other students, and two of their professors published in the distinguished journal Science a paper titled — wait for it — “Running With the Red Queen: How Host-Parasite Coevolution Selects for Biparental Sex.”