Joshua Leonard, a junior at Aberdeen Central High School, got in front of his classmates Monday and told them a story about a leprechaun, a rainbow and his pot of gold while he made paperclips leap into the air.
The occurence wasn't all that random; he had been asked to by magician Kevin Spencer.
Spencer will take the stage at the Aberdeen Civic Theatre Wednesday evening, but first showed some tricks in the classroom Monday to students in Aberdeen.
The Aberdeen Area Arts Council has been working for more than a year to arrange Spencer's three-day residency in Aberdeen. His stops Monday included various schools in the Aberdeen Public School District, including Central High School.
Monday morning, he entertained a super study class at Central with some of his illusions. Then, he showed students a few tricks they could do they could do on their own.
"All magic is better when you have a story to tell with it," Spencer told students. "The most important thing is to come up with a good story."
After Spencer showed them a trick involving money, he gave students a chance to perform a trick that joins two paper clips using a dollar bill.
"Participating was the coolest part," Leonard said.
He said he's tried to do some magic before and the session reignited that interest.
"It was cool that he taught us how to (do) the thing with money," said freshman Marquis Martin.
Spencer also challenged students to pick up a rope by its ends and tie a knot in it. The problem was that students could not let go of the rope at any time.
Spencer had the entire room of students twisting their arms around one another to grab the rope and make knots at various locations on the rope.
"That was my favorite part," said Joshua Moos, a sophomore.
Watching students feed their natural curiosity is Spencer's favorite part of classroom visits, he said.
Spencer is the founder of Healing of Magic, a nonprofit, educational program that helps introduce new tools for practice, including magic. He also founded Hocus Focus, an organization that helps trains educators and therapists to use magic as a teaching tool for students.
"There are always new ways of learning," he said. "It's evident when you watch the students and they get excited."
When he's in the more intimate setting of a classroom, he said he can connect with audience members on a different level.
By the end of one 45-minute session at Central, he called on students by name and was able to get some lighthearted jabs in.
Magic teaches important life skills, he said. Completing a trick requires people to listen to directions and to work on sequencing and organization.
Bringing students to the front of the classroom to demonstrate helps them work on communication and social skills, he said.