Even Hamlet Can't Compete With a Giant Wasp
Like most teachers, I get very wound up and excited when I start Hamlet -- it's the ultimate piece of literature, totally engaging and entertaining, and full of comedy, tragedy, controversy, ambiguity, and supernatural fun -- but no matter how exciting the opening scene is, from the initial "Who's there?" to the ghost's entrance, it can't compete with a giant wasp, but that's been the recurring situation for the past few days, I start a lesson and then a wasp appears . . . I think there might be a nest somewhere in my ceiling . . . and once a wasp is hovering around, there's only one thing for students to look at , and it's not their Shakespeare text, and so the wasp must be killed, and one period that got pretty ugly-- I was smashing a stool into the ceiling tiles at one point-- but later in the day, when another giant wasp appeared in a different class, instead of killing the wasp-- which was time-consuming and distracting-- I incorporated it into the scene: I was playing the role of the Hamlet's scholarly friend, Horatio, who is enlisted to speak to the ghost, and so I made the wasp play the ghost and I yelled my lines at it "Stay, illusion! If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, speak to me!" and this seemed to appease it, so maybe it's not a living wasp at all, but the ghost of a giant wasp that I killed in the past.