Wednesday, March 2nd, was LTSP’s Mardi Gras party. Yes, we were six days early, and we didn’t call it Mardi Gras but Fastnacht; we had to change the date for scheduling reasons. The celebration consisted of piles of donuts and the members of the LTSP participating in a variety show, of a sort.
Each class put on a skit, one person lead the group in a singalong, two guys and a gal gave fake seminary news, and the LTSP Luther Bowl football tame was promoted. From what I was told, the turn out from faculty members and members of the community was the highest its ever been. Six professors and staff showed up. My friend D. was the MC. He opened up with a Top Ten list about seminary life. My favorite was that Exegesis was not a stage direction for Jesus and that it’s very hard to pun M. Div.
The junior class (that’s what they call first years – juniors) performed first. And we did a pretty great job, if I do say so myself. The Junior Class’ job is to make fun of the professors in some way. A few weeks ago, a couple of folks had the idea that we should turn each of the professors into professors from Harry Potter. The idea was genius and we ran with it. Two students organized it and got it written. I was asked to play a part and I said sure. Even before the skit was written or organized, I was told I should play Dr. Hoffmeyer as Hagrid. And why? Because he’s 6’5″ and I’m 5″5. I enthusiastically agreed and gave the group the chance to write my part – I was game for anything.
What I didn’t realize, of course, would be that I would have to ACT like him for a few moments in the skit. Now, I’ve never had him as a professor and our on-campus interactions can be counted on two fingers. I spent a few days before Wednesday asking for tips on how to act like him and what to exaggerate. I borrowed a tie and a rain coat. During dress rehearsal, some more tips were given and then it was game time. I was ready.
I was near the end of the skit and tried to stand in the back and try not to laugh – but I broke character quite a bit. It was finally time for me to get on stage. I walked up to the lectern, and began to act. The three people playing students came up and couldn’t see me as Hoffmeyer-Hagrid. They asked me if I was. I stroked my chin for several moments, went “well” , had a long pause, and then answered “yes”. I then spoke my three lines and walked off stage. I didn’t get a lot of laughs but I did get a lot of wows. And afterwards, professors and upper level students came up to me and said I did a fantastic job and that I nailed the professor exactly.
I rewarded myself by eating two donuts. I earned it.