Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I think it was Mrs. anyway, and not Ms. I can't remember her first name though. Anyway, she was a health/gym teacher at Clarke.

Mrs. Anderson sort of looked like a typical gym teacher. I recall that she had short curly hair. Throughout gym class in 6th grade, we got along for the most part. But there was one incident that really pissed me off.

Near the very end of the year, the school had a track meet. Everyone in class had to sign up for at least two events. One was mandatory - the 100-yard dash. The other event was up to each person. Anyway, myself, along with Ken Bartz, Greg Flemal and possibly Dean Hornberg were part of some sort of relay team - the kind where you hand off the baton to the next person. I may have my numbers wrong, but I believe we had signed up for the 1600-yard relay race - where each team member runs 400 yards. 1600 yards was one giant loop around the field behind Clarke. I wasn't the athletic type. Greg and Dean couldn't run for shit either. Now Ken on the other hand had the energy of a tornado. He could move. But at 400 yards each, we could at least handle it, and not make fools of ourselves.

As the race time drew near, Anderson informs us that she had put us down for 1600 yards... each! In other words, the race was four times around the track. I was royally pissed off. We were going to look like fools trying to compete. Out of frustration, moments before our race, I walked off. I ended up walking to the other side of the filed, and sat on the grass to watch people do the high jump. I seem to recall Ross Hofmann jumped quite a bit while I sat there. Back at the relay, everything stopped. The race was put on hold, pending my arrival. I was told that everyone was wandering around saying, "Where's Burt?" Burt was hiding. Finally after about 20 minutes, some kid I didn't recognize came over to the high jump area, and asked, "Are you Burt?" I always regretted saying yes. But I came clean, and followed him back to the race area. Greg ran first, and got us off to our last place start. Dean took over and followed suit. I was number three, and took us even further behind. Ken finished up, and took off like a shot... to no avail. During my solitary run in the middle of the field, far away from everyone, three or four girls were milling about. They took the time to laugh at me. I wish I could remember who they were. Something tells me Sheila Vanne was one of them. But I could be totally wrong. As I ran, all I could think about was how I would get even with Mrs. Anderson. I thought about breaking windows at her house, or even trashing her car. In the end, I did nothing. Geez, all that anger over something so trivial!

In 7th grade, I had Mrs. Anderson again. Only this time it was for health class. A couple of things stand out. For one, I remember her showing us a filmstrip in which a kid chokes on food and dies. They showed the kid turning blue. It was really gross.

7th grade was also the year we were taught sexual education. For the most part, we were respectful. But being middle school age, there were still snickers here and there. I can remember B.J. Lutterman "coughing" the word "orgy" over and over one day. Finally Mrs. Anderson asked him if he knew what an orgy was. B.J. shook his head no. So she told us. I also remember her telling us that some women are turned on by the scent of male sweat. Honestly, I think the percentage is pretty small. That falls into the fetish category.

Lastly, one day I got in trouble, and was banished to the backroom. Of course I took advantage of that time to snoop around. Right out in the open was a big box of tampons. No, it wasn't for class. It was her personal stash. I of course opened few of them up, poked my head around the barrier, and dangled them in front of the class - behind Anderson's back. It got me a lot of laughs. And everytime Anderson turned around, I'd be gone. So she never found out. Yes, I was a rude boy.

All in all, I got along with her, and thought she was pretty nice. I never had a problem with her. She seemed to like me most of the time.

I've only seen Mrs. Anderson once since high school. It was around 1995 or so. She was out for a drink or something in a bar which was right across the street from T&R Video. My parents happened to be in there as well, and struck up a conversation with her. So I stopped over for a minute. She remembered me, and was quite friendly. And that was that.

I don't know where Mrs. Anderson is today. I think she's probably young enough to still be teaching. But who knows. Most likely, she's still in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area.

UPDATE - 8/21/06 - I've decided that if I ever find myself back in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area, I'm going to take my digital camera with me - just in case I happen to run into someone I once knew. Well, as luck would have it, the very first time I came back (other than the trips with Kevin) I ran into a former teacher. Mrs. Anderson (I guess it was Ms. Anderson actually) was the lucky one. I happened to see her at Port Sandy Bay Pizza last night. She instantly recognized me. She even called me "Burton." We talked a little bit. She's still teaching at Clarke. She thinks this coming year may be her last. I asked her what she remembered about me. Her answer - "I remember when you took all those ceiling tiles down at the high school." I guess that incident will be my legacy! Anyway, she was very nice. She even agreed to pose for a picture. You can see it below.


At Wed Aug 02, 04:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

I believe that Ms. Anderson (Christine) is now Mrs. Blimel. I think she married some time in the early 1990's. According to the TRSD web site she's still teaching PE and Health Ed at Clarke.

I actually did my student teaching under her for my health education certification back in '94. I spent 9 weeks working with her. She was cooperative, helpful, and supportive of my efforts. I believe she was very pleased with my performance and was possibly a little surpised that a knob-head like myself had gone into elementary and health education. She wrote me a wonderful letter of rec.

She remembered me quite well from my days at Clarke... that did not surprise me.

Sex Ed was the class that I got to teach for the most part. It was a lot of fun because the students really wanted to learn as much as they could... go figure??

Burt... not quite sure what I'd have done with you if I would have busted you swinging tampons around behind my back. I would have probably made you read the directions on the box... assuming there are directions... to the class as a punishment. You could have been "teacher for the day"!!!! Demonstration anyone??? I know what you social workers out there are thinking... "it would hurt a young man's self esteem to single him out and embarass him"!!

Kelle (Kanera) Zimmerly also came back from UWO to student teach in TR and Manitowoc. She was at Clarke during the 4th quarter with me. I blelive she spent most of her days in the english and reading rooms.

Now that I think about it... Craig also joined us. I think he spent some time with Mr. Lehman and then must have done some work at the HS level.

At Fri Aug 04, 02:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Ms. Anderson used to tell a story every year about one time in college when she had a really heavy period that lasted for like a month or something. She described how her friends tried to help her out and they like packed 15 maxi-pads together to try and contain it.

It was the kind of story that should have made you giggle, but I actually remember there being a genuine feeling of sympathy -- like we all kind of felt sorry for her having to endure that. Or maybe the girls were were just horrified.

But when my little brother had the class, 4 years after we did, he thought it was hilarious. A few weeks later, he came into the living room while I was watching TV, and he was wearing like a pillow, a beach towel and 3 rolls of toilet paper duck-taped to his crotch (outside his pants). He goes, "Look! I'm Ms. Anderson!!!" I laughed for about 3 hours.

At Mon Aug 21, 07:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger the_meff said...

Though it's nice to see that all is well with Ms. Anderson, I'm more interested in the venue you saw her at...

PORT SANDY BAY!!! Best pizza in northeastern wisconsin.

Still as good?

At Mon Aug 21, 07:29:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Very good indeed.


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