Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Mrs. Hanson was the music teacher at Magee. I had her in both 4th grade and 5th grade. Her music room was right near the 5th grade area.

I never had much interaction with her. We got along for the most part. I do recall that she had a problem with Cory Schultz though. She was always yelling at him.

In 4th grade, we sang a song called "Happiness." I think it was from a Charlie Brown special. I recall Ross Remiker changing the lyrics, and saying, "Happiness is going to the bathroom, missing the toilet, peeing on the floor..."

It was in Mrs. Hanson's class where I first became aware of an instrument called the "flutophone." Yes, I still have mine. I even have the box it came in. It was really rather odd. We all had those damn things, and were "taught" how to play them. But I only recall using them in class a couple of times.

In 5th grade, we played this game in her class. We all sat on the floor, in a big circle. Then she gave each of us a blue stick. We placed it on the floor in front of us. Then she started her record player, of some African-sounding song. It was some woman singing something that sounded like "Sa, sa-kro ma. Woh-nay ah, wo chay-chay koko ma." The singer repated the line over and over and over, getting faster wich each verse. The game was to pass your stick to the person on your right, keeping in perfect time to the song. Mrs. Hanson would stop the song at random, then go and look at the sticks. Unless you had just one stick in front of you, you were out. Inevitably, the song would start going so fast that people couldn't keep up. So you'd find a stack of five sticks being passed at once, while some people had none. Richard Wheeler once told me that he used to hold the sticks and not even pass them. I recall that on one day, the last two participants were Lisa King and Dawn Schmidt. She declared it a tie. I would kill to hear that song again!

I also recall a very short song that went, "The little bells of Westminster go ding dong, ding dong dong.

Meff told me that each and every year, he was able to pull the Jewish card and get out of singing all the Christmas songs. When she questioned him, he'd simply respond with, "I'm Jewish." According to Meff, she once snapped at him anyway and said something like, "Well other Jewish students have sung in the past."

If I'm not mistaken, Mrs. Hanson was also the music teacher in high school, once I arrived there. Of course by then, my music class career had been soiled by Wrs. Westburg. So she and I never crossed paths again.

I would imagine she's still a teacher somewhere. What was her first name - Deborah?


At Tue Jun 06, 03:19:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Her name was/is Deborah, and she is still teaching -- at TR High!

I always thought she was pretty cool. In fact, in K-2nd grade or so, I had a big crush on her. She yelled at me once, and it broke my heart.

In 3rd grade, I played the "Dad" in our school christmas play. Trina Taddy was the "Mom," and Lisa King was the Daughter. Someone else played Santa. I remember it was fun being in a show that Mrs. Hanson directed. She was good at working with kids that age.

In High School, she was the chorus teacher, our junior & senior year, maybe. It's too bad Westphal made chorus so awful for so many kids. It might have been good had they been in Hanson's class.

I saw the December concert at TRHS (where my brother is the band director and sees Debbie every day). The chorus sounded GREAT. They even had this "Men's Chorus," which was 6 guys singing mostly a capella and in harmony. They were excellent.

Mrs. Hanson was one of the better teachers I had in school.

At Thu Mar 29, 09:35:00 PM PDT, Blogger laurie said...

Mrs.Hanson was the best teacher in music. She was easy going but yet she could out the hanner down when it as needed. She would be everyone's friends. I seen her at the high school last year. My boyfriends daughter wanted to join her class for next year. But before she got to take her class she ended up takin her own life.


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