“Every time I look at him, I have this surreal experience. I can’t help but think that Palshaw was here,” senior Parker White says.
The Carmel High School student, commonly known as Forest by his peers, is referring to his Carmel house, which was formerly occupied by current English teacher Mike Palshaw.
In fact, White now resides in the exact same bedroom that young Palshaw had 25 years ago.
“I came to a realization one day that we live in the same bedroom, sit on the same toilet and shower in same shower,” White reminisces, “and boom, we just had this instant connection.”
With their first conversation going somewhat along the lines of “I live in your room,” the two quickly got to know each other.
“Parker and I get along. He’s an easy guy to talk to,” Palshaw says about White. “He’s very social and outspoken. I can relate to him on a lot of different levels. And the fact that he also just so happens to live in my house, in my room, is cool. I realize that’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
White lives in the Carmel home with his two younger brothers, twin freshmen Spencer and Nathan White, and father, splitting time between his parents’ houses. This once again draws comparisons to Palshaw’s childhood when he lived with his two brothers and parents through the teenage years of his life.
“I just love the idea that it’s being lived in by a family with kids in the Carmel district,” Palshaw notes. “It’s cool to think that Parker is spending his days in the house that meant a lot to me for a lot of years.”
The house, which was built by Palshaw’s parents in 1990-1991, is designed for a full family. So when the teacher’s parents downsized and sold the house in fall of 2015, a very similar family was to follow the Palshaws.
In the next stage of his life, White will be attending Texas A&M on an Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps scholarship as he plans to join the military and play for the college’s club water polo team.
This future has had a large impact on guiding White’s lifestyle.
Since a young age White has aspired to be a contact infantryman in the military. This dream began in response to footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
When he was 10 years old, his parents showed him footage of the attacks and young White was shocked.
“Then it was Benghazi in 2012,” White reminisces. “I remember hearing on the radio about what happened over there and the guys that fought on the rooftops for hours and hours. I told myself, ‘Damn. That’s what I want to do.’”
Starting in sophomore and junior year of high school, White became heavily involved in the training aspect of the military.
“My summers were super intense,” White describes. “I would wake up at around 6 a.m. and do cardio exercises such as rowing or biking for an hour. I’d come home, eat, and relax for a little bit then go hit the gym and lift weights for another hour. Afterwards I would go to water polo practice. I began to diet properly, and during this time I was consuming roughly 5,000 calories a day to keep up with everything.”
For the scholarship testing, White was constantly being tested physically to qualify. During soccer season this past fall, he injured his shoulder for two months rendering him unable to work out as heavily.
“That was probably the most stressful time,” the athlete notes, “because the whole time I was still competing physically for a scholarship, going to test every month or so in Santa Clara.
White was eventually able to secure a scholarship earning a three-year contingent scholarship that will pay for the fourth as well if he can maintain a 3.5 grade point average.
Following college, White has planned his hopeful path to success.
“If everything goes the way I hope it does, I’d contract the infantry,” White explains. “I’d come out and go to infantry officer’s basic school as a second lieutenant. When I’m done, I’d be assigned to a platoon somewhere or be in charge of a unit of enlisted men. And then I would go from there. It’s up to the Army on where I go, but hopefully I’d go to where the action is.”
Born in California, but raised in Denver, White inherited his strong patriotism and made the move back to California for freshmen year of high school where his path to Palshaw’s former home and the military began.
White sums up his future in a simple, but powerful goal: to become “a man who served his country faithfully and helped make the world a better place.”