Monday, October 17, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Teachers

Week #41 – Teachers

Week 41. Teachers. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up? What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?

I don't know that I had one favorite teacher.  I had many teachers I liked, and some I didn't.  I remember all of my teachers until I get up to 7th grade and onward, when we got lots more teachers, some for relatively short amounts of time in junior high.

In Kindergarten, I had Mrs. Sandy Traverse.  I don't really remember much about her but I do remember positive feelings about her. 


In first grade, I had Miss Joyce Manuel.  I had a rough year for first grade, as I moved to a new school in the city, and they taught at a different level than my old school, so I basically went back through my kindergarten year again, same curriculum.  Miss Manuel was nice enough, but we had issues, mostly because I was bored and resistant to reworking all of that stuff when I could be learning new stuff.  Miss Manuel later married and became Mrs. Cheeley, and my brother had her for a later grade.

I had Mrs. Newman for 2nd grade.  Again, not many memories of her specifically, except I remember liking her.  She drove a brown 1972 Mercury Capri.  Why I remember that, I have no idea.  I don't remember her first name.


Miss Doreen Dooher was my third grade teacher, and she was very nice.  She was tall and very thin, and young.  I don't know why she didn't strangle me, as our initial meeting was a before school open-house.  She was hanging stuff on the bulletin board, standing up on a chair, and I peeked into the room and hollered, "BOO!"  Scared her half to death.  Miss Dooher, wherever you are, I'm sorry!

Fourth grade was Mrs. Laurel J. Knettel's class.  She was a great teacher.  She actually went out of her way to find advanced, challenging things for me to learn, especially in my favored area of science.

Fifth grade once again found me in a new school, as they closed the old one after the end of my fourth grade year.  Mr. Warrick was a nice teacher, I enjoyed his classroom.  He had probably the first VCR and video camera I ever saw.  It was a black and white 3/4" deck, and the camera was just a camera, it had to be plugged into the deck to record anything.

Sixth grade was Mr. Sigurd Langerud's class.  He was rather strict, but I don't recall having any major issues with him.

Seventh grade began junior high, and modular scheduling with many teachers over the course of a day.
Ms. Partridge taught English, Mr. Christensen taught Math, Mike Mack taught Social Studies and once got Teacher of the Year (I think for MN, but might have been national).  I specifically remember learning about the Tasaday tribe recently discovered in the Phillipines during that class.  Mike Gabrielson was my Science teacher (Biology).  I don't remember who taught Band or Phy Ed.  Mike Costello taught Industrial Arts, and I would later see him for other classes in High School.

Eighth grade, Mary Parent taught English, and I liked her a lot.  She nurtured my love of reading and introduced me to some books I still re-read today. Mr Carstens taught Math, and I occasionally see him today with computer issues.  Herr Babitzke taught German, and I still remember some of the stuff that came out of his class to this day, in spite of several years more German in high school and about 30 years of intervening time.  Mr. "H" taught Chemistry, and was my homeroom teacher.  I cannot remember his full name.  Mr. Wolfe taught Social Studies, but I had that class with another teacher.  What I remember Mr. Wolfe for, was Gun Safety.  Yep, I took a Gun Safety course as one of my elective activities during 8th grade.  In school.  And there were guns present as illustration and example.  Times change... 

Ninth grade brought senior high, and another school.  Again, I had many teachers throughout the days and years, so I don't remember them all, but I do have memories of some.  Mr. Anhorn taught Grammar.  Mr. Tom Costello taught Photography, which I took more than once as an elective.  Mr. Haug taught Aviation (and Math, but I had others for that.)  Mr. David Nass taught Algebra, and was still teaching there when my oldest started at that school a few years ago, but has since retired.  Mr. Mike Leach taught Health.  Mr. Leroy Pauley taught German, and this was another subject I took more than once.  I took German for three of the four years in high school.  I still remember some of it!  Mr. Pauley was one of my overall favorite teachers. Mr. Jack Tofte was my Phy Ed teacher, a typical ex-Marine looking guy (I don't know if he was ever in the military or not, but he had the high and tight haircut).  Mr. David Hall taught Band.  Science was Earth Science with Mr. Ward.  I did well in that class.

Tenth grade is a bit fuzzier, it isn't as distinctive in my mind for some reason.  I had Geometry, but I'm not remembering the teacher's name right now, though I had his name recently.  I may have to cheat and get out a Yearbook here!  Mr. Tofte was once again my Phy Ed teacher.  I'm sure he was as glad to get rid of me at the end of the year as I was to be finished with Gym.

Eleventh grade saw more German classes with Mr. Pauley.  Math was Algebra-Trig with Mr. Ron Kerr.  Mr. Kerr was a nice guy, I'd actually met him before from a summer school class, back when those were elective and not just class extensions for kids who weren't keeping up during the school year.  Unfortunately, Mr. Kerr wasn't the best of teachers.  I could watch him do a problem on the board and follow it okay, but he could never really help me with problems when I wasn't getting it.  I didn't do well in that class.  Chemistry class was fun, with Mr. Deutz.  He used to tell the worst jokes in class. I also took a Silk Screen Printing class with Mr. Costello as an elective.  That was fun, as I got to print my own t-shirts.

Twelfth grade.  More German classes with Mr. Pauley, this time also counting as Social Studies as they were covering History and Social Studies, but taught in German.  That was fun!  I took the Silk Screen Printing class again, but this time as a Student Assistant to help the teacher and assist other students.  This time, Mr. Irv Swanson was the teacher.  (Side note: Irv's wife was the librarian at my first elementary school.  There are a lot of husband-wife sets in this school district to this day.) For Social Studies I had Mr. Kjera (pronounced Chair-uh.)  This guy is the only teacher I actively dislike from the whole time.  The reason is, he's also the only teacher who ever gave me detention, and I didn't do what he claims I did to deserve it.  Fortunately, I never saw him again. 

College?  I remember a few of my professors from the first go-round.  Bill Langen taught Russian, which is a rather difficult language to learn.  But my German sure came back while trying!  Dr. Linda Ricketts taught Ancient History, and was a fun, dynamic professor.  Unfortunately, she liked to give all essay exams...  But really, I think the exercise was aimed at the regular K-12 experience, so I'll leave off on the rest of my college professors.


This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman