Halfway through fourth grade, our class got a new kid. He was much bigger than myself, probably older, and had a mullet. His name was Mark, and on the rare occassion when he would actually show up to school, he would put his head down on his desk and sleep for most of the day. A few times he entertained the class by having crazy freak-out tantrums, throwing books and yelling, and teachers would have to sit on his back and restrain him. Every time he did that, we would all scoot backwards in our desks away from the action as we watched the chaos unfold. Once they got him restrained, another teacher would usually escort the rest of us to the library while they dealt with him.
Mark sat behind me when he came to school, and he gave me my first taste of good old fashioned Midwestern racism. He was also the first guy to demonstrate to me how racist people are idiots who can't tell one group of darkies from the next.
"Hey," he'd whisper. "Hey. Hey. Taaaaacooooo. Hey, taco. Taco! Taaaaaacccccoooooo!"
Sometimes this would go on all day long. Once, he even called me "refried beans," but it probably proved too difficult to say because he only said it once.
It was so bizarre to me, I didn't even realize he was trying to make fun of me, and I never responded. I guess if I had known, I could have told him I was half Filipino, but it probably just would have confused him. I'm sure he wouldn't have known to call me Lumpia instead of Taco.