I think first one needs to understand the times to see what a position I was in. Mine occured in the 50's when I was in grade 4 attending a Catholic school. Those times for learning Institutions weren't good for children. An appropriate description would be "Penal Colony". Even the Catholic Academys of higher learning like the world renowned Loyola College which my father attended still had corporal back-side punishment administered to adults by the Jesuits. This was typical. The schools had carte blanche free will to discipline has they pleased, and the parents would look aside with full support. Movies such has Angela's Ashes displayed the typical scenerio of Catholic Montreal of that era.
In my case there was an inevitable collition of wills. Due probably to an Irish/French mix, I was destined to be a stubborn Tom Sawyer. You couldn't get me interested in homework, and when the time came that all the moms called their kids in for that, mine included, I was nowhere to be found. For some reason I flew through to grade three doing average, but in grade 4 I got a matronly, bun haired, monacled,obese spinster with the typical sturn lipped expression which was her usual one. She was definitely unhappy. She had a habit of dragging my type around with their ears sometimes drawing blood, and she relished sneaking behind the children and swatting the back of the knuckles with a ruler if you didn't quite get the curve of the letter S right. An adult would describe her has one that was due to retirement and was clearly burned out and should have been sent out to pasture. Our principle was a whimpish character, and when they disagreed with each other in the hall way, he always had his eyes cast down. I was sent to him which seemed like every two days to get the strap which consisted of a 1/4in razor strap to the back of the hands.
Anyway, one day I was asked to complete a multiplication on the blackboard. I recall it was 4 digits by 3 digits. Now she did this often and she loved setting me up for an example to her pets who would laugh at my misery. I didn't know all the tables, and none to completion. I went up this day dreading the inevitable ear drag to come and I pretty well had enough of the terror, so I asked God to help me. I remember I just picked up the chalk and wrote any number that came into my head. I filled the three rows drew a line and scribbled down some numbers for an answer. I put the chalk down, hunched my shoulders and waited, no barage of erasers or chalk flying at me, nothing.
"OK, you can sit down. Now children we will turn to page ........." I was dumbfounded. I got it right to everyone's dismay. That is a bonafide miracle, and even if we relegate it to the realm of probability, maybe a trillion to one chance of getting it right.
That is my first of others to follow.