My first seven years of school were very crazy, as I can recall. I already miss some aspects of that time in my life. It was a carefree time in my life where everything seemed fun. There were a lot of school events, fun times with friends, and there are a lot of odd things that I can remember that most people probably do not. Each year was unique.
In elementary school, I went to Leesville School. It was a nice school as I remember, except the gym roof leaked. Maybe the basement was crappy too. I cannot remember; I was just a little guy. A lot of fun times were had inside the currently hallowed halls of Leesville School.
In kindergarten, my teacher was Mrs. Spencer. I do not remember much about Mrs. Spencer, but I remember that she was a nice lady. In kindergarten, each person would have a day to bring in a snack, and then Mrs. Gledhill, the teachers' aid, always brought in milk. If we were quiet that day, on special occasions we would get chocolate milk. That was what we all always looked forward to. One day that still sticks in my mind, even though I am not sure why, is a day that I must have came in late, and everyone else was coloring pictures of jack-o'-lanterns with crayons. I colored the mouth and eyes black, and Roger Perkins thought that I was weird because everyone else colored theirs yellow. I tried explaining that my jack-o-lantern's candle was not lit, but he didn't understand. At Recess we would always play a game where everyone chased each other. We would yell out "Boys chase girls!" or vice versa, and we would chase each other. I remember that no one was ever able to catch Jennie Wenzel. I can remember on the last day of kindergarten we took a trip to Heice Park in Galion, and then went to Mrs. Spencer's house. We took a tour of her home and looked at her bears. She was a bear fanatic; her whole house has nothing but bears all over it. We ate lunch behind her house. I can remember that she had a blue house and I ate next to a tree.
In first grade, my teacher was Mrs. Shaumberg. I really cannot recall anything about Mrs. Shaumberg. I can remember her reading us all kinds of neat books, such as a book called "Mrs. Wishy-washy." I can remember the very first day of first grade, I sat down beside Weston Garber and he said something about how we have to start going to school all day, instead of only coming for the afternoon like we did in kindergarten. This is the year that I started to hang out with my best friend through all of elementary school, Jeff Stuckman. We would always play odd games on the playground and pretend to be Ghostbusters, and all sorts of neat things. Jeff created a game called Alligator where we would sit on the Eagle's Nest, which was a playground fort structure, and hang our legs down the hole that was there so that you could slide down the pole in the middle. Then people who were the Alligators would pull on people's legs. This game caught on fast, and half of the class started to play it. Jeff and I were never popular, but there was the occasion where something we created caught on and became popular, if only for a few days; we felt what it was like to be popular. Playing Alligator came to a sudden stop one day when I accidentally kicked Ashley Burgin in the mouth and she got a bloody nose. It was an accident and I apologized, but we were never allowed to play that game again. I can remember that my uncles, Michael and Joey Severns moved in with us during this year, and quickly became like brothers to me. We had a lot of fun times together. I am sure there is much more from first grade that I am forgetting, but these are the most important memories for me.
Second grade started, and it seemed very intimidating. Mrs. Collins was the teacher, and she was very scary at first because she yelled really loud, and in first grade, we could always hear her yelling from down the hall. To this day, I can still remember her yelling "PUT YOUR NAME ON THE BOARD WITH A CHECKMARK!" We eventually learned that she was a very cool teacher and she gave us stuffed animals to keep on our desks with us. She still remains one of my favorite teachers, and definitely my favorite elementary teacher. I can remember that this was the year that we started to do more traditional activities in our spelling books. All of the years before that one, the books had pictures, and then you had to write what it was under it. This year they had word banks, and fill-in-the-blank types of pages. I did not understand this at first, and I started to create my own words instead of using the word bank. I can remember getting yelled at and having to redo the first section like that in the book. That is funny. Mrs. Collins' room had Garfield the cat all over it. She loved Garfield, the Cleveland Indians, and the Cincinnati Bengals. I can remember that this is the year that Lesley Skaggs returned to Leesville and was in my class again, although I did not talk to her then. I think from kindergarten to second grade, I had a crush on Jennie Wenzel. I can remember that a new kid moved in North Robinson named Donald Lutz. He was only in first grade, but we became friends and played a little bit around the neighborhood. Donald came up missing sometime during the year, and after a few days of searching, they found him drowned to death in the swamp in North Robinson. This is definitely one of my worst memories from elementary school. I can remember this was the year that Operation Desert Storm took place, and we always wrote to soldiers, and they would write us back. Jeff went on vacation during this year, and Jennie and I would play with my Hot Wheels cars on the bus, and for a whole week we hung out together on the playground and played with my cars. Then I can remember two new kids joining out class at virtually the same time, Melissa Cahill and Sara Thebeault. Jennie immediately started to walk around with them and left me alone on the playground for a day or two until Jeff got back from Florida. I think that is when the crush that I had on Jennie ended. When Jeff got back, we had fun most of the year. During the last few days of school in second grade, I walked around and went to the dugout behind the school with Scott Hessey and he was telling me how Jeff was an alien, and all sorts of absurd things. I am not sure where Jeff was on those few days though, but I did not hang out with him. My uncles moved out of our house during this year, because they were getting into a lot of trouble and did not want to live with us anymore. This is all I can recall about my second grade year.
Third grade was probably the dullest year I have ever had in school. Miss. Whaley was my teacher and I cannot remember much of the year at all. I can remember that she was kind of a boring teacher. I remember the very first day that the class was introduced to division (math). We had a substitute teacher that day named Mrs. Sharp. I took my Ninja Turtle action figures to school that day and that mean lady took them from me for the whole day. That scarred me for life. I do remember doing a whole unit on the Hopi Indians, and we had to build a Hopi village on the blackboard out of construction paper. It was huge and looked really awesome, I wish I had a picture of it. I can remember that I developed a crush on Lesley Skaggs in third grade, which lasted until the end of elementary school. I wish I could talk more about third grade, but it was not a special year.
Fourth grade was when I started to become a deviant. Mrs. Seif was my teacher, and she seemed mean, but she really wasn't. She just had a bad reputation. I was the first person in my class to get a detention. In out elementary school, nobody got detention. Back then, detention was equal to getting suspended today, but even less common. I can remember that I sat between Eric Zier and a kid by the name of Anthony Reidel. Anthony was quite the bully, and he made me draw a sexually explicit picture, which he was going to give to his girlfriend, April Price. He took the drawing home, and his dad found it, and he told him that I drew it. His dad sent the picture back to the school and we were both sent to the office and it seemed like it took hours to get the truth out of us. He listened to my story and tried to say that we found it on the playground, but our stories didn't match up exactly. I finally gave in and confessed to drawing it, and I got a detention. I had to stay after school until 4:15 and study for my spelling test. I do not remember much from fourth grade, because I think that memory overshadowed the rest.
In fifth grade, my teacher was Mrs. Holdcraft. This was a very fun year for me for the most part. I started to play kickball on the playground, even though I was horrible at it. Jeff and I started our own radio show called The Fuzz Recording Studio, which consisted of us talking into a tape recorder. We had a lot of fun doing that and we still have the tapes, they are fun to go back and listen to. We did a huge space unit that year, and we got to watch the movie "Space Camp." We had to build our own space stations, and I made mine out of wood, and spend a lot of hours working on it, it was really cool. I can remember that Charles Sampsel did not do one, and Adam Ross did a really crappy one out of paper. Adam gave his to Charles, and he talked about it and pretended like it was his in order to get a grade. I was nice and told Adam that I would say that we both made the one I did, so we both got an A, as a group. In Gym class, we would jump rope, and then write down how many jumps we could do in a certain amount of time on a jump rope certificate. Adam and I both flushed our certificates down the toilets. Stephen Knapp came out of the restroom giggling like a schoolgirl and Alicia Kuhn would not stop pinching him until he told her what was so funny. Alicia told on us, and we got in trouble. We had to apologize to the entire class and to Miss. Whistler, the gym teacher. We had to go around the playground and pick up sticks during recess. We had a lot of fun singing songs with bad words and making fun of everyone. I can still remember the song that we made up. Mr Mollenkauf, the janitor, had us open a huge box of new rolls of toilet paper, and start to unroll each and every roll. That was fun, especially when everyone else was walking past us to go to the restroom, they were all wondering what the hell we were doing. I became quite good friends with Stephen Knapp this year also. The last day of fifth grade, we had a huge water balloon fight after school. Jeff and I stayed after because Mrs. Stuckman worked in the library and had some things to take care of.
The most horrible part of my elementary years happened in fifth grade. On Saturday, September 18th, 1993, I was riding my bike around North Robinson, and I saw two life-flight helicopters flying toward Cleveland. I came home around 1:00 P.M. and my dad said that a bomb exploded in my uncle Michael's lap and he might lose a leg. That was horrible news to say the least. Later that evening, we got more information, and we found out that it was way worse than that, and he was probably going to die. He was building a pipe bomb, and it exploded in his lap in his apartment in Shelby. It blew him in half, and he lived for 20 ½ hours after that. I can remember that my parents took me and my sisters to Grad's to spend the night, and they rushed off to Cleveland Metro Hospital. There are many gruesome details about the whole ordeal that I do not wish to get into. Michael Ray Severns passed away at 8:30 A.M. on September 19th. He was only 18 years old; I lost a brother that day. To this day it still upsets me to think about it.
Junior High started off kind-of slow. I had Mr. Huggins' home room in sixth grade. That was the best home room to have, because we were always told that he was the nicest teacher. Jeff was in my home room, so that was cool. The first few days of sixth grade, I walked around with a kid by the name of Billy Noggle. I knew Billy a little bit because he was on my baseball team in the fifth grade for a few days. I realized what a loser and a troublemaker that this kid was, and quickly found friendship with a small group of kids within my home room. I sat in a group with Jason Lauthers, Robbie Wurm, and Adrianne Sharrock. They always made fun of me for being short, and sometimes it got old and hurt my feelings, but now I can look back and laugh. After all, I was the quiet one, so therefore, I always got to buy pop on Fridays, and they always were not allowed because they talked too much. Mr. Huggins labeled us "Jason and His Cohorts," which I guess was as good a name as any. Jeff and I did the Fuzz Recording Studio some in 6th grade also, and it was fun. There was a new kid, our class' smelly kid, named Joe Eldrich who sat with Jeff. He was weird. There are a lot of things I will always remember about sixth grade, such as Mrs. Luidhardt's science class and all of the electrical circuit experiments, and the tree frog that licked its own ass on one of her laser discs. I will remember when Mrs. Hancock had to get heart surgery, and she got a valve replaced, and it made noise every time it beat. That was always neat to hear when the class got silent. I became good friends with Jason and Robbie and we hung out a bunch of times that year as well. I can remember having a Lego war with Jason, and fishing and riding the go-cart with Robbie. Those were really fun times. I can remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows and watching the movie for it in the sixth grade. I also remember watching the Flintstones Movie. I became good friends with David Bauer in sixth grade during the huge Civil War unit that we had to do. We did a poster of Sherman's March and thought that we did really well on it. Mrs. Hancock gave us a D, but the important part was, we had fun working on it! This was a really long year, and tons of stuff happened.
In seventh grade, I had home room with Mr. Morris, the computer teacher, in the Art Room. Ben Campbell was in that home room with me, and we became friends. I got him into some cool bands such as Megadeth, Metallica, and AC/DC, and we started to hang out and talk. We always talked about music and girls on some occasions, and we went fishing and all kinds of stuff. He seemed really cool, but I guess he only seemed that way, because the next year, everything changed. David Bauer, Steven Utz, Ian Cramer and Jeff were always fun to walk around with during recess, we did a lot of stupid stuff that even I cannot remember. I can remember that we tormented Mrs. Rose a lot, throwing rocks, etc. Stephen Knapp and I were partners in fantasy baseball in pre-algebra. We had a lot of fun cheating our way through the season, but we were robbed of the World Series. In seventh grade, I developed a crush on Sara T., which actually lasted well into about 10th grade. She never had a clue, and we really never did talk, but I always liked her. Seventh grade had too much stuff for me to really remember.
In eighth grade, Ben Campbell started to hang around with the likes of Jesse Dyer, and became "too cool" to be my friend anymore, and started to make fun of me. This year, I hung out with David and all of those playground people that I hung out with in seventh grade. I can remember that we got two new kids that year, Jed Wagner and Preston Ley. I hated both of them in 8th grade, but we hung out a little bit. We got along during some of the year. I was the office runner in 8th grade, so I did not have a first period class. I didn't like being an office runner, but I had no choice. I basically used it as a study-hall, which was great, because I had pre-algebra 2nd period, and I did my homework right before class. But I relied on it too much, because when Mrs. Clutter had too much work for me to do that day, I wouldn't get my homework donw, and Miss Fenner would be pissed. Mr. Cory's history class was really awesome. I learned a lot in this class, and he is my favorite teacher out of all of my junior high teachers. Fifties and sixties day was awesome. Me and three of my friends decided to dress up like The Beatles. I was John Lennon, David was George Harrison, Ian was Paul McCartney, and Jed was Ringo Starr. I can remember that we won a prize (a candy bar), and had to go onstage when he played Twist & Shout on his turntable during the sock-hop. Eighth grade was a good year.
My early school days are days that I never want to forget. It was a time where a lot of things happened, and I developed all of the negative and positive qualities that make me who I am today.