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Letter: So much for ‘Hamlet’

I was in typing class in high school. A guy known as the class prankster and troublemaker came running down the hallway yelling, “The president’s been shot!” I thought, “Yeah, right, there he goes again.”

During the next period I had to go to my English teacher’s room to take a test about Hamlet I had missed when I had been absent. I passed the principal and vice principal in the hallway. They were talking and looking very grim.

Someone asked them if it was true that the president had been shot. The principal said yes and I heard them speculating about President Lyndon Johnson.

The Hamlet test was a disaster. I was so shaken I couldn’t think. I mixed up characters and events.

At the end of the period, the principal came on the public address system and said, “The president is dead. Please leave the school with dignity fitting the occasion.”

I walked home stunned. My mother had the TV on, and I saw Walter Cronkite’s historic broadcast.

My English teacher returned the garbled test with the note, “This is understandable under the circumstances.”

LINDA DUMELIN WILLIAMS

Chichester

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