guest writer: Teo Schreck

Karen Halvorsen Schreck

By: Teo Schreck

the author, in cognito

On a cold winter day on January 4,1962 Karen Halvorsen was born in Elmhurst, Illinois. The first 3 people she saw were the nurse, doctor and her mom. Then Karen was brought to her home.

Karen grew up in a small house in the pleasant town of Winfield, Illinois. When she was old enough, Karen had to help keep the house and yard clean. Karen had to dust, iron, vacuum, pull dandelions, make her bed and clean her room, but she never got paid! On the other hand, she only had to dusting, iron, make her bed and clean her room everyday. She only had to vacuum once a week and pulling dandelions in the summer time.

My mom and her family enjoyed each other’s company. They loved going to plays, museums, concerts and on trips. They also liked to read and watch T.V. together. They would often choose an activity to do after church on Sunday. Sometimes they would go get ice cream, and other times they would go for boat rides.

the author, on his 10th birthday

In addition to their Sunday family times, holidays were always favorites for Karen and her parents. For every holiday, except Karen’s birthday and Halloween, they invited family over and had a big feast which consisted of ham and turkey (if it was Thanksgiving) fruit, salad, drinks and desserts. After they ate, they played games such as Parcheesi, Monopoly, Rook and Uno. They also went on trips and opened presents (if it was Easter, Christmas or a birthday.) On some rare occasions, they would watch T.V..

the author (who likes pigs) Christmas, '11

Besides liking holidays Karen also liked pets. Karen had a lotof pets. She had four dogs, a yellow canary named Tweety, a parakeet, a turtle and fish. Actually the fish were her father’s. The first dog, Pepper, was a black and white schnauzer. The second dog, Tinker, was a black miniature poodle, and the third dog Cricket, was a little brown and black Yorkshire terrier. The last dog Patty was a light brown Wheaton terrier. All the dogs were playful and fun. Chip was the parakeet. He was a lovely violet purple. Chip was fun. Karen tried to make him talk (though he never learned.)  The turtle (which didn’t have a name) was green. The turtle was little and fun to watch. Karen also had fish. She had a striped angelfish, blue betas, silver guppies and neon tetras. They were all fun to watch swim.

the author with his (single) pet, a whippet named Honor

Karen also had fun enjoying her many hobbies. Some of them were reading, drawing, and swimming. In the summer when she was a girl, she went swimming a lot and whenever she could, she would read. She’d read for hours and hours. Karen liked reading fantasies, contemporary fiction, biographies and mysteries. Of course she drew too. Karen liked drawing queens, princesses, nature and animals. Even now, Karen still likes to read, swim and draw.

When she was in grade school she went to Wheaton Christian Grammar School. At the time this was a K-8th grade school. For high school, she attended the small school of Wheaton Academy. Throughout school, she enjoyed reading, being in plays and traveling. Out of all her teachers, she liked her 6th grade teacher, Miss Bingham, the best. Miss Bingham was very funny and liked to laugh with her pupils. At the time, there was a contest for the best Valentine’s Day Card. My mom worked really hard, but wasn’t finished before recess. Miss Bingham encouraged her to stay inside and finish it. She won 1st place.

After high school, my mom went to Wheaton collage. She majored in English. When she graduated, she moved to Boston and lived by the ocean. She also worked in a publishing company. After a couple years, she moved to New York State and got her master’s degree in English and creative writing. Then she moved back to Illinois, taught at Wheaton College, worked in advertising, and met Greg Schreck. They met because Greg also worked at Wheaton College. They got married in 1990.

Today she is writing books, websites, advertisements and articles. The titles of her books are Lucy’s Family Tree, Dream Journal and her latest one (which is coming out in May), While He Was Away. She is also busy being a mom and says that her proudest memory is adopting her son and daughter, Teo and Maggie Schreck.

While she remembers adopting her children with pride, she is sad about her strongest memory of a world event: 9-11.  She was at her house when her friend called and said, “Turn on the T.V. now.”  Karen turned it on and was just in time to see the first Tower burning, and then the second airplane crash into the second Tower.  She couldn’t believe her eyes as the Towers fell.  She said it was the first time the U.S.A felt really vulnerable.

the author, enjoying a cup of his favorite tea, Earl Gray

To me, my mom is a great person.  She is always there for me whenever and wherever I need her.  That is why she is very important to me.  







7 comments on “guest writer: Teo SchreckAdd yours →

    1. I don’t think Teo will mind me saying that this was his biography project for 4th grade. I felt humbled to be chosen. Especially after I gave him the daunting list of my childhood pets.

    1. I’ll make sure Teo sees all your comments. And responds, if he so chooses! Kyler, he’ll love knowing you read what he wrote.

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