List of 14 frequently asked questions.

  • My primary roles at Thacher

    Teacher of English, art history, and film. 
  • What my students call me

    Sir. Well seriously, the old guard and Rose O’Neal call me Robbie; everyone else uses PRob.
  • I knew I wanted to work at Thacher when

    I went through three winters at a New England boarding school; why would anyone in his right mind want to live there?
  • Favorite Thacher teaching moment

    Maybe when a student tore out a page of his Norton Anthology, blew his nose on it, and then threw it in the trash. When I asked him what he thought he was doing, he told me that he had already read that page. Such events restore your perspective when you are feeling you have all the answers.  
  • Favorite job perk

    An impressive, likeable, intelligent, interested group of diverse students to work with every day. I don’t look forward to the summer so much.  
  • Since you asked me to brag, here are the professional accomplishments I'm most proud of

    That I can still get 15 kids to study Shakespeare in the spring of their senior year.  
  • When not in the classroom I can be found

    Watching movies and piddling around in the garden or in the kitchen. I also try to put an hour aside every day to read.  
  • Favorite place at Thacher

    1. My rose garden.
    2. My kitchen.
  • Favorite place in my imagination

    St. Jean Pied de Port 1985.
  • Favorite place on earth

    Rome (non basta una vita).
  • Hardly anybody knows that

    Increasingly, that I was the assistant head of school for over 25 years. But almost no one knows that I worked in the horse program for five years or that I and [current Spanish teacher] Molly Perry’s father coached her in girls’ varsity softball.
  • The book, movie, work of art, or piece of music I cannot imagine life without

    The Italian Renaissance, English Romantic Poetry, Film Noir.
  • What I wanted to be when I grew up (when I was 10)

    Was I ever actually ten years old? I dont believe that I thought in terms of having a career or being anything at that age. My first ambition along those lines didn’t come until middle school when I thought I wanted to be either a botanist or a mathematician, although I had no real idea of what that might mean.
  • What I want to be when I grow up (now)

    Can’t imagine doing anything else.