Monday, November 20, 2006


Mr. Leinss (Ken?) was the study hall "teacher" at Washington High School during my senior year. As far as I know, that was his only duty.

Due to the fact that I had failed a lot of classes during my freshman and sophomore years, I hadn't had a study hall since my first year in high school. So having it back was a welcome diversion.

I had study hall during 4th hour. As was the case for most of my high school career, I had lunch B. So our lunch break divided study hall. My friends Dave Svatek and class of 1990's Jason Krings were in there as well. So we sat together, in the back. Class of 1990's Sally Graczykowski sat in front of us. For awhile, Jason and I used to go to the library and borrow the New York Times. We would then sit and do the crossword puzzle together. It was hard. But we were pretty good at it. Mr. Leinss thought the two of us doing the crossword puzzle was the funniest thing. I'm not sure why.

I have an odd memory from the first week of school. In that study hall, a girl went around with a piece of paper. Everyone in there was to write down their name. This girl would then walk up and down the rows, and write down our names on a seating chart that Leinss had made. I had a strange plan. I sat between David and Jason. Some other meek kid sat on the other side of Jason. I need four people. After this kid had written his name, I had Jason grab the kid's paper. I then wrote underneath his name, "You cannot reach me now." Then underneath Jason's name (on his paper) I wrote, "No matter how you try." On my paper, I wrote, "Goodbye cruel world - it's over." Then on David's I wrote, "Walk on by." What does it all mean? I have no idea. But it's the opening lyrics to Pink Floyd's "Wating For The Worms." What did this have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. But Jason and I were amused. When the girl came by to write our names down, she was completely confused by our cryptic message. And Jason and I got a good laugh. Ah... complete nonsense. I love it!

I had a brief, unpleasant encounter with class of 1990's John Kern in that study hall. When I write about his father (L.B. Clarke's Mr. Kern) I'll mention it.

I always got along with Mr. Leinss. He was a nice enough guy. Although I don't think he was highly regarded by the majority of the student body.

I only had one "incident" with Mr. Leinss. It was in the second semester. In addition to my 4th hour study hall, I also had one in the afternoon. In the first semester, I had it during 7th hour - which was the last class period in the day. I used to get a pass to go to the library or the guidance office. There was just more freedom there. After a few weeks, it dawned on me that there was nothing preventing me from simply going home. So I did just that - every single day. In the second semester, my study hall was in 6th hour instead. For 7th hour, I had Mr. Schwantes. So before the semester even started, I asked Schwantes if I could switch classes. He taught the same class during 6th hour as well. He was cool with that. So I got my 7th hour study hall back. And thus, I got to leave school 52 minutes early everyday.

At some point in April, my guidance counselor, Mr. Boehlke wanted to see me for some reason. He looked in study hall. He looked in the library. He looked everywhere but the city streets - where I was. Once it was discovered that I was missing, I was busted. Mr. Wood gave me two detentions - the only detentions I received during my junior and senior years, if you can believe that. And Leinss was mad. He thought I'd made a fool out of him by ducking out of school all year long. So from that point on, if I left study hall again, I had to come back and see him after school - just so he could verify that I had indeed stayed in school, and had not left and gone home early. In reality, that verification process lasted about a week. Then he simply forgot about it. So I started going home again. I was able to go the rest of the year without getting caught.

I ran into Mr. Leinss a few times at the video store. In fact, he is the only ex-teacher that I ever rented porn too. I don't think he was a "regular" or anything. But he did rent it on occasion. I think enough time had passed that he didn't recognize me anymore. I recognized him though! Truth be told, I rented adult movies to thousands of Two Rivers residents.

I have no idea where Leinss is today. I wouldn't be surprised if he's retired. But who knows.

UPDATE - 11/21/06 - I've just been informed that Mr. Leinss is married, and resides in Two Rivers. He apparently is the manager of the local Kwik Trip.


At Wed Nov 22, 11:08:00 AM PST, Blogger nwalk said...

Mr Fitch, my catholic school 6th grade teacher, was apparently buddies with Leinss. They had ties to the cops somehow, and both liked to turn in drunks when they happened into Kwik Trip. Fitch had the honor of turning in my older brother (as a park ranger at point beach) and also my younger brother (at Kwik Trip) Dan (younger brother) went out for a pack of cigarettes after a night of drunken debauchery. I woke up, his truck was in the driveway, but he was gone. Apparently, Leinss (or Fitch) called the cops when he bought his cigs and they followed him the 4 blocks home, carting him from our driveway to the drunk tank. I had to pick him up, which seemed pretty idiotic, since he made it home in the first place.

At Tue Apr 03, 01:40:00 PM PDT, Blogger Jason said...

Mr. Leinss a.k.a. my father is now retired from the Kwik Trip. He spends most of his babysitting his grandson that he loves so much.

At Tue Apr 03, 01:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger Jason said...

Mr. Leinss a.k.a. my father is now retired from the Kwik Trip. He spends most of his babysitting his grandson that he loves so much.


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