If there’s one person at HHS who likes Bojangles chicken biscuits more than anyone, it’s teacher Samuel Gilbert, who has been selling biscuits almost every Wednesday for as long as any student can remember.
He started some 15 years ago, originally selling Chick-fil-A biscuits. Over the last four years, however, Gilbert has become famous for his Bojangles biscuits, which are a staple for many students.
“What would you like?”
“One spicy, please.”
So goes a typical exchange between Gilbert and a hungry student. However, to Gilbert, who teaches Song Writing, Creative Writing, Honors English II, and Advanced Honors English II, selling chicken biscuits is about more than tradition.
“The money goes back into different things for the community and the school,” says Gilbert as he tends to another customer.
“For instance,” he explains, “in Song Writing Club, the students will write a song, but in order to get the song recorded, we have to pay someone.”
Gilbert is a sponsor of multiple school clubs and organizations like Song Writing Club, Creative Writing Club and Noah’s Promise.
On a recent Wednesday, Gilbert attempted to sell 200 chicken biscuits. There have been some years in which he has sold as many as 350 in one morning, but this year, with the pandemic, he estimates that he is selling about 150 biscuits per Wednesday morning.
“Selling has been harder this year," says Gilbert. "Because students have to sit in the gym in the morning, a lot of seniors and juniors just sit in their cars."
This particular morning, by 7:35 the gym had already started to fill up with students. By then, Gilbert had sold 26 biscuits in 25 minutes of sitting in the gym.
As the 7:50 dismissal bell drew closer, the pace picked up and Gilbert sold more and more biscuits. With only about 5 minutes left, he had sold almost 80.
After reading the book Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, Gilbert says he has noticed a correlation between students who buy Cajun spicy versus regular chicken biscuits.
“It seems like there's a weird correlation,” he explains. “The people who like the regular biscuits get here early and those who like spicy get here late.”
Although he says his theory is not perfect, Gilbert thinks that “people who procrastinate and get to school late are more prone to like spicy things.”
Oddly enough, Gilbert, who is up early every Wednesday to sell his biscuits, appears an exception to his own theory.
“Cajun. My favorite biscuit is the Cajun one. "
Story by Ricki Heerdt