"Huh, if only men could be more like rats. Oh, sure, they come home at first. You feed them, you wait on them, and then, after 22 thankless years, they just up and leave. No note, no phone call, no nothing!"
Lawndale High School Science teacher.
Ms. Barch has an intense hatred of all men, particularly her ex-husband who abandoned her after 22 years of marriage, leaving her with nothing but eight bags of dirty laundry and a pyramid of "Beers of the World" empties. To call her bitter would be like calling the Sahara a trifle warm.
At the slightest provocation, she'll explode into a rage and rant on and on about what horrible creatures men are. She will often take her anger out on any male in the vicinity, whether teacher, student, or otherwise. For some reason, she seems to have a particular grudge against Mack. She has also turned her wrath against Upchuck, and as a result he has a dread fear of what she calls "independent study". It apparently involves a closet.
The sole exception to the rule that all men are demons is Timothy O'Neill, who is attractive to Ms. Barch because of his lack of backbone and his ability to express his feelings and be sensitive. She refers to him affectionately as "Skinny" and jumps his bones whenever she gets the chance. She doesn't like everything about him - for instance, she feels that his apartment is too artistic with all the macramé and junk.
One of their little games is "Farmwife and National Geographic Photographer".
Though she once swore never to carry a man's weight again, she makes yet another exception for O'Neill on a hiking trip, dragging him along with the group while he struggles to breathe through his allergies. Somehow she loses track of him at some point, and ends up crying about how he's abandoned her like all other men. They presumably make up afterwards, but the details are (fortunately) unknown.
Ms. Barch is the faculty advisor of the Science Club and a sponsor for the Take Back the Night Lawndale High School Women's Self-Defense Club. She has been known to practice her technique on DeMartino. She also takes on Doug Thompson in defense of Mr. O'Neill.
She's always wanted to try parasailing.
In spite of her past difficulties, Ms. Barch is overjoyed when she believes that O'Neill wants to get married (although he actually proposed no such thing, and she's just putting words in his mouth). After O'Neill finds the backbone to tell her that he's not ready to marry her, she becomes angry, then realizes she likes him with a little more spunk, and their relationship goes on as before, God help us.