Thursday, November 09, 2006


Mrs. Casey (Teresa) was my 6th grade teacher at L.B. Clarke. She is also the first teacher that I ever hated. I mean that sincerely. As scary as it sounds, I actually had visions of getting a gun and shooting her. At the time, I truly hated the woman. The feeling was mutual.

I had an odd relationship with Mrs. Casey. I think more than anything, I frustrated her. I didn't get into an over abundance of trouble in her class. But I was very combative and cocky. She and I just didn't see eye to eye on many issues.

See my entries on Randy Ertman and Ms. Maki for additional references to Mrs. Casey.

By late fall, Casey and I were butting heads on a regular basis. This usually resulted in me having to stay after school. Sometimes she would leave to go to the office and call my mom. She had my mom's work number memorized! It was usually just petty stuff. But the two of us had such a general dislike for each other, that our verbal barrages got really nasty sometimes.

On the second-to-last day before our Christmas break, I had done something to piss her off. So she kept me after school again. Whatever I had done, she was questioning me on. I simply sat in my desk with my arms crossed, and mumbled (in a mocking fashion) "I don't know" to everything she said. She was just fuming at me by this point. Finally she got up and said, "I'm going to go call your mother. And when I get back, you had better have some answers for me." I'd had enough of her. After she'd been gone for about a minute, I walked out, grabbed my coat, and went home. I was just as pissed off at her as she was at me. So I didn't even take any perverse pleasure from wondering what her reaction was going to be once she returned to her room and found me gone. Once I got outside, I ran into Trey Schenk. He walked with me. Of course with a fellow classmate, I had to put on the macho face, and brag about how I'd just skipped out on her. Trey thought it was funny.

That night, my mom questioned me about what had happened. She was well aware of the strained relationship I had with Mrs. Casey. She also knew that my relationship with her was so bad that it wasn't always my fault. Again, whatever happened that day was very petty. But my petty squabbles with Casey always escalated due to our combative natures. I told my mom that I skipped out on Casey too. She said I probably shouldn't have done that. Nonetheless, she wasn't mad at me.

The next day, we had a Christmas party planned in class. My mom had actually gone out and had purchased a small gift - perfume or something. I prefered to think of it as a bribe! I was not looking forward to crossing paths with her that day. But when I got into school, after I put my coat in my locker, I walked right up to her. Before school started, the teachers in the 6th grade wing usually hung out in the hallway talking with each other. I held out the gift and said, "I got a Christmas gift for you. Where should I put it?" She looked at me and said, "Why did you run out on me last night?" I simply shrugged my shoulders. She then said, "Put it by the tree. We'll talk about this later."

We never did. Sometimes it pays to bribe!

In February, Casey and I had another ugly confrontation. For two or three days, I wrote a small "newspaper" which I dubbed, "The Daily Schnozball." The purpose of my newspaper was basically to poke fun at Lori Wavrunek and Sara Prust. It was all good-natured though. Both Lori and Sara were aware of it, and didn't have a problem with it. But Mrs. Casey did. Casey actually praised me for the writing and the creativity. But she had a definite problem with the subject matter. So I had to be punished. Her punishment was to make me rewrite the whole thing. In essence, it was equivalent to writing something on the board 50 times. There was enough text in my newspapers that she felt rewriting them was a sufficient punishment. So she made me stay inside during our afternoon recess to do it. It took me the entire length of the recess to finish. Things got ugly when I handed it in to her. She looked at it and stated that it was "too messy." So she told me that I would have to do it all again. What??? I blew a gasket! Mrs. Casey didn't like me. I knew that. And it was quite clear to me that she was simply being mean, and picking on me. There was no way in hell I was going to rewrite it again. And I told her so. As the rest of the class was filing back into class after recess, they were entertained by a shouting match between her and I. I was really, really pissed off at her! The school day ended about an hour or so later. I of course had to stay after and rewrite it. I refused. I sat there with the paper on my desk, and told her point blank that I wasn't going to do it. Casey got angrier and angrier. Then she said something about me being the worst student she had ever had, and that she was going to have to call my mom again. I grabbed the paper, opened my desk, threw it inside, slammed it down as hard as I possibly could, and shouted, "Good!" Then I stood up and started to walk out. The last glimpse I had of her was seeing her shift in her seat, as she made a move to stop me. As she did so, she yelled out, "Come back here you little shit!" That marked the first (but not the last) time that a teacher ever swore at me. Casey had to maneuver around her desk. But I had a straight path to the door. I sprinted out of there as fast as I could, with Casey trailing behind me. I had no time to grab my coat and hat. I just ran out the front door and bounded into the snow-covered playground. Mrs. Casey got to the door and yelled out, "Come back! You don't have a coat!" But I kept going. Near the door, I heard some older kid say to her, "I'll go get him." Whoever it was, he'd have never gotten me back there. But I assume Casey told him not to pursue me anyway. Thankfully I lived close to school. Because that was one fucking cold walk! It was about zero degrees and windy. And all I had on was a yellow "Great America - American Eagle" T-shirt.

Mrs. Casey went back inside and called my mom - again. I don't know what transpired between them. But I do know that at home, my parents didn't punish me. And I also know that I had no repercussions from Mrs. Casey either. I didn't even have to rewrite my newspaper again.

If you read my entry on Ms. Maki, you'll see that I had a rather ugly (and completely overblown) incident with her in the lunch room. It resulted in me being taken from the lunchroom that day, and spending the remaining time sitting by my locker. When Mrs. Casey came out of the teachers' lounge, Maki told her what I had done - which was practicaly nothing. All I had done was toss my milk carton into the garbage from about 20 feet away. But Casey must have been having a bad day or something. That, combined with her dislike towards me caused her to shout out, "He's just a pig. He's nothing but a big pig."

What the fuck???

I hadn't even done anything really bad. Even if I had, it certainly didn't warrant being called a pig. For whatever reason, instead of fighting back in anger, I just got bummed out. Those words upset me. I didn't get it. So when we got back to class, she started teaching us math. I raised my hand and asked if I could go to the bathroom. She gave me permission. But instead of going to the bathroom, I grabbed my coat and walked out of the school. I went home. Meff has since told me that from his vantage point in Mr. Stodola's room, he actually saw me leaving.

I found out later that my absence remained unnoticed for about 30 minutes. In fact, according to my friend Greg Flemal, Casey first noticed that I was missing when she called on me to answer a question. She then sent someone (perhaps Ross Remiker) to the bathroom to see if I was in there. Then she had to stop class and alert the office that I was gone.

I had gone home. I ended up calling my mom. She called the school. About a half hour later, my grandpa came and picked me up. He took me back to school and sat with me in Mr. Vogt's office. There was no yelling and screaming for a change. Instead it was just decided that there would be no punishment as long as I went back to class. So be it.

I was still a bit angry. So I didn't go back to class right away. Instead, I went to the bathroom and hung out in there for awhile. Somehow Casey had been alerted to the fact that I was back. And she came to the bathroom, knocked on the door, and asked if I was ok. She then apologized for calling me a pig. And I went back to class.

During the second half of the school year it was somehow decided that Mrs. Casey was to take notes of my activities throughout the week. It was more-or-less a progress report. On Fridays, I was to take it home and have my parents sign it. At least one of these notes still exists. You can see it below - both front and back. This was from the week after we got back from Camp Tapawingo. She's right. I didn't do shit that week. The entire 6th grade had substitute teachers. And it was a free-for-all! These progress reports carried over into 7th grade. By then they were called "trip sheets." In 7th grade, I was the first student to have one. By the end of the year, about 25 others had one as well. By the way, do you notice the grammar mistake in her Monday entry?

On one of the last days of school, Mrs. Casey brought her daughter to class. Her name was Trisha - class of 1996. She was about five-years-old then. The funny thing was, the minute she got into our class, she started asking, "Where's Burt? Where's Burt?" Obviously she thought of me as the Sesame Street character. Throughout the day, she would come up to me, touch me, then run away. I found it funny that the only way she would have known my name is if her mom had brought my name up in conversation while at home - which I'm sure happened quite a bit! "You won't believe what Burt said to me today..."

Although this entry might not seem like it, Mrs. Casey and I weren't at each others' throats all the time. Sometimes we got along just fine. But the minute any tension came between us, there was fireworks.

I believe Casey eventually taught at another school in the Two Rivers system - perhaps C.C. Case. Today she might be retired. But I don't know for sure. I do know that had I not moved from Two Rivers, she would be my neighbor today. While working at the video store, I ran into her all the time. I rented to her, her husband, and her two kids. They were regulars. And we were always friendly towards one another. I left the video store in 1997. I haven't seen her since.


Post a Comment

<< Home