Born Manilla Etsy Dotsen, Manilla Winkledorf is Scarlet Jusenkyou's history teacher in 7th and 8th grade. She is in her late 50s and is known for being a spiteful and abusive teacher.
Manilla was born on the outskirts of Boarder Watch where she grew up on a dairy farm. Her parents can best be described as "dull" and "strict". Her father was a 19th generation farmer, the family having worked the land since the Long Night, and lucky to get a legal claim on it at the start of the new Alliance. While Manilla will always tell you her family was poor, the truth is her father was simply a miser, and didn't believe in paying for "frivolities" such as clothing or shoes. His family dressed in outfits sewn from flower sacks and his children usually went barefoot around the farm.
As the youngest of five children, Manilla had few prospects at home. Her elder brothers were to inherit the farm, and the then rural community did not offer many opportunities. Despite having no interest in a career teaching, Manilla applied at 16 for a supplemental program where she could finish high school and start college in Arindell, having her room, board, and schooling expenses paid for, in return for agreeing to work for a specific timeframe in a field where workers were in high demand. Based on standardized testing, Manilla was put into a training program to become a school teacher.
Career In Arindell
Manilla went to work at the age of 21, having completed schooling and student-teaching requirements. Despite rumors to the contrary, she did not attain a prestigious position at any of the high-paying private schools, and instead worked the public school circuit initially as a substitute.
From her first paycheck, Manilla began to revel in her newfound freedom. She'd never had money growing up, and had no idea how to manage it. Manilla was provided with a year of transitional housing as part of the program, but still ended up living in her car. Deeply in debt, Manilla took up with a man named Edsel Winkledorf, a medical student from a well-off family.
Marriage to Edsel
Edsel Winkledorf was a 24-year-old medical student when Manilla met him. His family was wealthy and paid for an apartment near campus as well as a generous allowance, so he could focus on his studies. At the time, Manilla was a notorious "party girl" and disliked by Edsel's parents. She was able nonetheless to move in with him, allowing her to continue her lifestyle.
By all accounts, Edsel was a cold and distant man even at a young age. He spent long hours on his studies and was often not home, while Manilla put in the bare minimum at her teaching job while partying every night. After two years of cohabitation, Manilla became pregnant, and Edsel's parents insisted they marry.
The child was most likely not Edsel's, but it is unknown whether he suspected or cared. With the pregnancy, Edsel saw something he was familiar with: medicine. Manilla would describe in her divorce filing how Edsel became "very demanding and controlling" after they were married. His side of the story is, he forced her to stop drinking for the welfare of the unborn child, and kept her to a strict regime of diet and bedrest. Medical records attest it was a high-risk pregnancy.
Manilla had a second child by Edsel before divorcing after six years of marriage. She was by then a bit better at managing her life, but did not request custody, preferring instead to leave the children with their father, who by then owned an expensive home and had a high-paying career as a doctor.
With Edsel's alimony, Manilla tried briefly to return to school and find something she was interested in studying, but quickly fell back into debt. Teaching meant a steady pay, so she was forced to stick with the job.
Manilla eventually gained enough competence with her finances to buy a house. She settled on teaching history and literature because they required the least amount of outside effort. She could score most assignments with a rubric and use her students to grade each other's papers in class, thus freeing her to spend more time hanging around in bars.
Around the time her eldest was fourteen, Manilla began a shared custody arrangement, but felt like she was a stranger to her kids. This relationship was mirrored in her job, where she had a reputation for being harsh and distant. Manilla never stayed at any one school for too long. She was dismissed four times for yelling at students and twice for incompetence.
In her late 40s, with her children grown and off to school, Manilla remarried impulsively to a truck driver, but kept her old husband's last name. The marriage lasted approximately 29 days, but was enough to free Edsel from his alimony commitment. Following her second divorce, Manilla was audited and discovered to not have paid any income tax on the alimony she'd recieved from her first husband for nearly 20 years. Manilla was forced to sell her house. Deeply in debt, she could not find proper living arrangements and moved in with her adult daughter.
Relationship with Scarlet
Manilla's relationship with Scarlet Jusenkyou could most effectively be described as "adversarial". Manilla disliked her initially, then began to hate her when she learned about Roy's vocation. They do, however, connect briefly. While Winkledorf doesn't care as much about history as a teacher should, she does have questions that Scarlet can answer.