Fall of the Superintendent

Polka, Walter S., and Peter R. Litchka. The Dark Side of Educational Leadership : Superintendents and the Professional Victim Syndrome, R&L Education. 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central.

“Steven negotiated a new contract with this new board and was able to regain his “power and authority” as the educational leader of the district, a position that he held for several more years and with some additional trials and tribulations, including changes in board politics, until his retirement, which was on his own terms. As he stated, “Even when the public resoundingly supports you as superintendent… you must always be vigilant regarding the political winds that change quickly given the political nature of boards of education and the ever present professional jealousy factor that abounds in medium sized school districts. Watch out for the Ides of March and those former allies who become like Brutus was to Caesar as a result of the mob mentality.” This is how two other superintendents described their emotions as their tenure in the district began to unravel: The signs were everywhere, yet I was too blind to see them—or too naive to think that this could actually be happening to me! In the beginning, I had a feeling what some of the board members were up to. But I did not dare say anything. I took the philosophy that maybe it would go away. But just the opposite happened: these board members became less discrete and more open with their abusive behavior toward me, especially during executive session. By the time I did say something, it was too late.”

The passage taken here is describing the sudden removal of superintendent Steven Rychert by a vote by the board of education at his school district. The removal was “mob-like” and totally out of Steven’s control. Dr. Rychert could be considered the most powerful figure in the school district, but instead was stripped of all his power in the blink of an eye.

The author refers to the Ides of March in a analogy to the murder of Caesar, by the hands of Brutus. The idea of Caesar’s fall is all about the theme of betrayal. So if someone reading this book on education sees the large act of betrayal here, they’d understand the reference to the Ides of March. The reference has a negative connotation to it, seeing as this betrayal was obvious, and the vulnerable are taken advantage of at the right moment.

“Thereupon they attacked him from many sides at once and wounded him to death, 5 so that by reason of their numbers Caesar was unable to say or do anything, but veiling his face, was slain  with many wounds. This is the truest account, though some have added that to Brutus, when he struck him a powerful blow, he said: “Thou, too, my son?””

This quote from the Cassius Dio is the climax of the story, where the murder takes place, and Caesar exclaims the famous words “Thou too my son?” or “Weren’t you my friend?”. This quote helps explain why the author used the reference to the Ides of March, as the Board of Ed can be seen as a Brutus to Steven’s Caesar. Though both are the most powerful, Brutus/BOE takes the power in their hands and demolishes the “king”.

Caesar slips on ice. Bystander says 'He was warned-beware the ice of March'

Sean Reilly, Team Artemis

The Calendar

“The Birthday Book” was written by the Roman Scholar Censorinus as a birthday present for his best friend. In this book the author shows a vision of the universe in relation to all the planets that compose it. Censorinus talks about the aspects of time, as it was seen in his time, in the Third-Century Rome. He answers many questions related to the universe and time on our planet. In chapter 20, “The Calendar”, Censorinus gives a description of the evolution that the calendar has had up to his time. Finally he focuses on the Roman and Julian calendar, a version very similar to the one we use today, the Gregorian calendar. At the end of the book in the glossary he provides a definition of ‘’Ides’’ that says: “Ides. The Roman Calendar counted down to three important days in each month: the Kalends (whence our word ”calendar”), always the first day; the Ides (as in ”the Ides of March”), usually the thirteen day; and the Nones, nine days before the Ides, and so usually the fifth day. However, the dates of the Ides and Nones varied, depending on the months.” showing the importance that is given to the precise moment of the ‘’Ides of March’’, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated.
The ‘’Ides of March’’ was an important moment in Roman history. It is seen as a moment of liberation, celebrated by many who were opposed to Julius Caesar. But it was also a negative moment for many who lived it, in the reading it says: “A great outcry naturally arose from all the rest who were inside and also from those who were standing near by outside, both at the suddenness of the calamity and because they did not know who the assassins were, their numbers, or their purpose; and all were excited, believing themselves in danger.” showing how many people felt in danger after the assassination. The assassination of Julius Caesar marks a moment of change in Roman History and that is why it is represented in the Roman calendar.
Censorinus, Holt N. ”The Birthday Book.” Ebook Central. Translated by Holt N. Parker. Published by University of  Chicago Press, 14 May 2014. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/brooklyn-ebooks/detail.action?docID=410867
Jamilex Dominguez. Team Mercury.

Ides of March


Julius Caesar was indeed assassinated on the ides of March – March 15 – in the year 44 B.C. In the ancient Roman calendar, each month had an Ides. In March, May, July, and October, the Ides fell on the 15th day. In every other month, the Ides fell on the 13th. The word Ides derives from a Latin word which means “to divide.” The Ides were originally meant to mark the full moon, but because calendar months and lunar months were different lengths, they quickly got out of step.

“How Wilder differentiates and parallels these heterogeneous voices in The Ides indicates his exploration of the division between public and private identity. The reason for doing so is probably about perspectivism in Nietzsche’s sense, which implies that any way of seeing the world is subject to myopia, even including someone’s reflection upon oneself.”

A philosophical theme of The Ides of March is that divinity is necessarily hidden, because “where there is an unknowable there is a promise” ( IM 239). This accounts for Wilder’s aesthetic of uncertainty in his allegory making, ranging from his early three-minute religious playlets to his finale, Theophilus North. In this sense, the allegoricalness of Wilder’s fictions and dramas does not lie in his reverence of and borrowing from the classical motifs or archetypes, but in the polysemy of his verbal and visual imageries,

In that context, the author uses the phrase Ides of March as a symbol of divinity. The word ides take a deeper sense it is describing division between public and private.In our reading, it says that Ideas of March is a mark for the full moon and it is March of 15 which at first does not sound like something important. It says:”According to some historians, he chose 300 prisoners of equestrian or senatorial rank, and offered them on the ides of March at the altar of the God Julius, as human sacrifices. “


Fairy Slippers on the Ides of March


“Beware the frozen Ides of March.”

The quote is from a poem called “Fairly Slippers” in the book Hungry Moon by Henrietta Goodman. “Fairy Slippers” refers to a species of orchids known as Calypso bulbosa (image). These orchids are known to pollinate by deception because they attract insects to their yellow hairs but produce no nectar for the nourishment of the insects. The orchids can also cause skin irritation or allergic reaction to humans who handle them.

The poem starts off with the quote “Beware the frozen Ides of March,” as a warning to those who may be deceived, that the flowers will begin to bloom from late March and onwards. The author refers to Ides of March as “frozen”, branding it with a dark and gloomy connotation that the blooming of the flowers will never end after mid-March, which is the case with these orchids until they die, five years later. The author expects the reader to understand that “Ides of March” refers to the middle of March, and states her opinion that it is a bad thing by calling it “frozen”, and cautioning her readers to “beware”.

Quote from Cassius Dio:

“And when the right moment came, one of them approached him, as if to express his thanks for some favour or other, and pulled his toga from his shoulder, thus giving the signal that had been agreed upon by the conspirators. Thereupon they attacked him from many sides at once and wounded him to death so that by reason of their numbers Caesar was unable to say or do anything, but veiling his face, was slain with many wounds….Then all the rest, severally taking up the cry one from another, kept shouting these words, filled the city with lamentations…”

This quote which recounts the assassination of Julius Cesar compliments the attitude in the poem “Fairy Slippers”. The attitude in this quote of the “Ides of March” is of “lamentations”, as the day Julis Caesar was assassinated was a day of grief and despair for everyone. Similarly in the poem, “Ides of March” marks a day of deception and gloom because of the orchids. In reference to Julius Caesar, the “Ides of March” is a grim representation of his being deceived and assassinated, and in the Fairy Slippers too, it is a reference to insects and humans being deceived and harmed.


Fairy Slipper (Entire Poem)

Beware the frozen Ides of March. Beware the self-betrayal of a little knowledge poorly applied. Next time he rolls toward you in the hour before dawn, you will say yes no matter what he has or hasn’t done. You will listen to gesture, not word. Not the fairy slipper, but the way it unfurls like a squid, the gray fur at its heart. You would take any flower now, even the drunken flower of his breath, the exhaust atomized, damp and oily in his clothes. Even the flower of his waiting while you pour a thermos of coffee. Even to read the forecast with him, to see in the string of letters and numbers br, which is mist, to hear him say in your ear Baby Rain, flower of recognition, under snow.


Goodman, Henrietta. Hungry Moon, University Press of Colorado, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/brooklyn-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039825.
Created from brooklyn-ebooks on 2017-11-26 10:43:14.


Isra, Team Minerva