Miracles Happen to Me . . . Frequently
Lately, Dave has been blessed, as he has borne witness to myriad miracles, behold: I was teaching the start of Act IV of Hamlet, the section when Hamlet instructs the visiting players on how to act out the play he has written simulating the murder of his father . . . Hamlet tells the clowns not to "speak more than is set down for them," and he mentions some "villainous" players "that will themselves laugh," in order to get the audience to laugh along with them, but that in the meantime, necessary portions of the play are obscured and the actors do a poor job of imitating humanity . . . so before I read this section to my students, I do a bit of acting . . . first I complain of a sore throat-- sometimes I bum a throat lozenge from a student-- and then while I'm reading, I cough, clear my throat, and take a healthy swig from my water bottle and spill water all over my shirt, but I take Hamlet's advice and I don't acknowledge the mishap, I continue reading and-- though the students always laugh, I don't laugh with them-- instead I put the water bottle on my stool and continue the section and while I am questioning them about the meaning of Hamlet's advice, I stride past the stool and "accidentally" knock the water bottle off the stool, spilling water all over the carpet, and I after I pick up the bottle and place it on the stool a final time, then I trip and actually kick the stool over, water bottle and all-- and usually by this time some clever student figures out that I am illustrating the text . . . and to prove this, I show them that I have brought a spare shirt, so that I can do my performance in multiple classes (otherwise they would figure that I was just spastic, which is often true) and so this year, during second period, when I knocked the water bottle off the stool it landed upright . . . not a drop of water spilled, and since I was still in character, I simply picked it up, as if this miracle was an everyday occurrence, and put the bottle back on the stool, but then when I kicked the stool at the conclusion of my act, it slid out from beneath the water bottle, and once again, the water bottle dropped to the floor and landed perfectly upright, and by this time the class could have cared less about the textual demonstration and instead wanted to see more miracles, but I could not reproduce this feat for the rest of the day, which just goes to show that it was an occurrence of divine providence.