Thursday, February 01, 2007


Miss Krause (Brenda) was my 5th grade teacher at Magee. Thanks to Cindy Rohrer, we have a couple of pictures from that class. Of course my photo somehow wasn’t included in the class photo. But there are two other pictures you can see me in. In one of them I’m leering at Treesa Carron. I make no apologies for that!

In the class photo, from left to right, starting with the top row, we see Rod Lumaye, Mr. Willert, Miss Krause, Cory Schultz, Becky Koeppel, Dawn Schmidt, Sheila Zach, Troy Rezachek, Pookie Bergeon, Craig Stangel, Jenny Dent, Tricia Wetzel, Shane Peterson, Erin Hynek, Dean Lichterman, Tracy Peterson, Brian Belongia, Treesa Carron, Lisa King, Randy Klein, Trina Taddy, Jay Rozmarynoski, Jason Anderson, Ken Bartz, Jeremy Karman, Lori Wavrunek, Any Reinhart, Cindy Rohrer and Chad Daffner.

In the top photo you see Jason Anderson, Ken Bartz, Andy Reinhart, Jeremy Karman, Cory Schultz, ???, Rod Lumaye. Craig Stangel and Randy Klein. In the bottom photo you see my staring at Treesa Carron, followed by Erin Hynek, Tricia Wetzel, Lisa King, Cindy Rohrer, Jenny Dent, Pookie Bergeon and Lori Wavrunek.

In this collage of photos, Miss Krause's class is in the upper left. I think you can figure out who everyone is. I believe Tracy Peterson is in the upper right. You can only see her arm. Tracy rarely spoke. But she did cling to Lori Wavrunek - who is right next to her. So I assume that's her.

As I finished 4th grade, Mrs. Schmidt told me that she was putting me in Krause’s class for 5th grade. She was very blunt about her reasons why. She said Krause had been known to take a whip to her students when they got out of line. Lovely. I have a hard time believing that’s true. After all, it was the 1980’s, not the 1880’s.

Anyway, there’s no doubt that Krause was a strict disciplinarian. With my cocky attitude and rebellious nature, you’d think that she and I would have constantly clashed. But for whatever reason, we didn’t. In fact, she and I rarely had any problems with each other at all. I got yelled at here and there. But I received the brunt of her wrath no more than the average student. In fact I know that a lot of the students didn’t care for her. But I never had much of a problem with her.

When people did get out of line, she’d banish them to the hall. More than anyone, Cory Schultz took the brunt of her wrath throughout the entire school year. Miss Hynek had Shawn Pickard. Miss Krause had Cory Schultz. Once or twice each week we would inevitably hear Krause scream at the top of her lungs, “Mr. Schultz, in the hall!” Then she’d continue teaching. When she was good and ready, she’d venture into the hallway to chew him out. During the course of that 1981 - 1982 school year, I was sent in the hall only once. And in my case, there was no yelling. She calmly told me to leave. And when she did come out to talk to me, she was calm then too.

Miss Krause had a policy about going to the bathroom. If you went up to ask her whether you could go or not, she would reply, “Is it an emergency?” If it wasn’t, you sat back down. Of course that was sort of a dumb concept if you ask me. 90% of the time, the students would say that it was. I of course bucked the trend once and said, “No.” But about 10 minutes later, I asked her again. At that point, she simply said, “Yes.”

I have an odd memory of a day that I got sick. I didn’t throw up or anything. But I ended up leaving class and going to that one room near the office, where there was a cot for students to lie down on. I think I laid there for about 45 minutes. Then Miss Krause came to check on me. When she walked in, she bypassed me, and went straight into an adjoining bathroom that was there. It was a one-seater which could be used by anyone. And I was sort of embarrassed. Because I could hear every drop of her peeing. Do you know how unsettling it is to hear your teacher pee? Well I do. Trust me, it is. It must have been an emergency.

Krause used what she called a “backboard.” It was a set of cupboards in the back of the room. Whenever someone had neglected to finish their assignment, she would write down the name of the assignment on a piece of paper. Then she’d tape it to the cupboard. Then she’d write down the name of each student who had failed to complete it. The only way to get your name off the board was to actually finish the assignment. Then she’d let you cross your name off. I think at one time or another, nearly every student made at least one appearance on the backboard. As I recall, Jenny Dent appeared on nearly every single paper. At some point in February or March of that year, I went into some sort of funk, and wound up with my name on about 10 different pages. Krause ended up calling my parents about it. Needless to say, my parents made me stay in my room until I got caught up on all of them. Krause was often fond of pointing out that when we got into high school, the teachers wouldn’t let finish uncompleted assignments at a later date.

I do have another peeing story surrounding that class. This one involves me. And I’m not proud of it. But hey, I might as well be honest about everything. I had been out sick one day. We happened to take a test on the day I missed. Well we ended up going over the test in class. Since I had yet to take it, she made me go into the back room. I think I was doing some other school work or something. But then I suddenly had to go to the bathroom. And it was an emergency! The door was closed. But it had a small window. I peered out and saw that class was going on. I thought it would have been really awkward to come out, interrupt the class, and ask to go. For some reason I thought people would laugh. And I didn’t want that embarrassment. So for that reason, I decided to go inside this tall box she had. I really, really had to go. So I did. So be it. That was 25 years ago. I was 10. What’s the big deal now?

If memory serves, Miss Krause had a slight limp in her walk. She may have been slightly hunched over a bit. I could be wrong about that though.

I don’t think Miss Krause was ever married. She lived on the far north side of town, near L.B. Clarke (and Toby Schwartz for that matter). I do recall that she had a dog. I think it was a golden retriever. She even brought it to class one day.

See my entries on Dawn Schmidt, Tracy Peterson, Rod Lumaye, Pookie Bergeon, Jason Anderson, Andy Reinhart, Nikki Baugniet, Cindy Rohrer and Cory Schultz for a few other stories about Miss Krause.

After I left 5th grade (which was my last year at Magee School) I don’t think I ever ran into her again. Today she still lives in the same house. I would imagine she’s retired. She would be in her early-60’s by now. It appears as if she’s a trustee at the Two Rivers Library. What a trustee does in a mystery to me. She also appears to be involved with a local kennel club. I guess her love of dogs continues to this day.

UPDATE - 2/8/07 - A little angel told me that Miss Krause is indeed retired. However, she apparently does work as a substitute teacher from time to time.


At Thu Feb 01, 05:14:00 PM PST, Blogger MarkC said...


At Thu Feb 01, 05:17:00 PM PST, Blogger MarkC said...

Sorry Burt, I haven't commented in quite some time. I actually was not able to do so. Just trying to work out my computer gliches. Feel free to pull these two comments off for me.


At Thu Feb 01, 05:21:00 PM PST, Blogger CindySue said...

Burt, the 3rd one in from the left is Andy. I can't remember his last name...and it's Randy Klein on the end.....

At Thu Feb 01, 06:25:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

That would be Andy Reinhart. He looks a bit like Troy to me. But you're probably right. As to the other mistake, that too has been corrected. I guess I wasn't paying attention when I was typing.

Welcome back Mark!

At Fri Feb 02, 06:17:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

"My fifth grade teacher at Clarke"...

I thought Clarke started at sixth grade...hmmm.

At Fri Feb 02, 06:22:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Wow. Looks like I was in a real hurry yesterday when I typed this. The correction has been made.

Oh, and a sort of welcome back to you to Brad. You've been kind of MIA for the past two weeks.

At Fri Feb 02, 07:15:00 PM PST, Blogger Brandon P. said...

"And I was sort of embarrassed. Because I could hear every drop of her peeing. Do you know how unsettling it is to hear your teacher pee? Well I do. Trust me, it is."


I wish I had my current sense of humor back in school. You and I would have been quite a pair.


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