Something weird happened today. I was lecturing about Homer’s Odyssey and the kids were not exactly riveted, but the class was quiet when suddenly I heard a beeping sound. “Beep!” Like when you press a button on a computer and it goes “Beep!” Of course everyone had their phones out so I didn’t think anything, but then Dylan raised his hand and said, “Did you hear that Mr. Newhart?” I told him that I did, that I heard everything because I have bionic hearing (not true, just something I tell the kids to keep them in line) and he said, “Good.” then the whole class sat up straight and looked alert for the first time all year.
“Ahh! So you want to hear about Halithersis, the reader of birds who prophesizes a bloody massacre in Book 2?” I said. They didn’t move. I said: “Perhaps you think that bird prophecy is not real, but I have been trained and I can read the future in the flight of birds!” Again ,they didn’t move, which struck me as odd. I think they believed that I have special powers. I strolled over to the window, pointed at a group of seagulls picking at potato chip wrappers and empty milk cartons in the courtyard and said: “Those birds are planning an attack of the school!” I said. “They are going to eat your hearts out!”
Then I looked down and saw that Melissa was crying. I asked what was wrong and Mark said, “You are scaring her, Mr. Newhart.”
“I am?” I said. “Wow!”
Anyway, usually kids don’t believe anything I say so it felt great that somebody was moved.
But it was weird.