Some fun on the ides of March

Caesar: The ides of March are come.

Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone.


I was hoping to do something special today in light of the ides of March and the fact that my English classes have just arrived at Caesar’s death in the play, however, time has gotten the best of me, so you are just getting an amalgam of topics.

The photo above is a pass I received last year from an alumnus of my class on March 15, and I thought it was a perfect entry into this post. We make a lot of jokes in my classroom, and as part of being an adviser of a newspaper staff (and yearbook for quite some time), we get to take our sometimes (who am I kidding, mostly) nerdy humor out to the public every now and again in the name of advertising.

I spoke in the last post about what I believed to be an amazing idea, and today you will see the results. Our slogan for this year’s newspaper shirts is “The Fresh Prints of Ritenour.” At the beginning of the school year we brainstormed ways to get our newspaper more widely recognized at school, and we came up with the idea of recording a parody music video. The timing never worked out first semester, but I pitched to my editors the idea of parodying the Fresh Prince theme song and opening intro video to the show. They loved the idea, so we brainstormed lyrics, storyboarded and filmed.

The final product was released last week, and we got some pretty positive feedback. The idea of an advertising video has been part of our advertising arsenal since I took over the yearbook in 2010. At a conference for new yearbook advisers, they pushed it as part of a guerilla advertising campaign for yearbook staffs. They said we should create funny or poignant videos, with the ultimate goal of making them go viral. I was a kid who rewrote songs for fun and idolized Weird Al Yankovic, so as soon as they listed viral videos as an advertising strategy I grabbed hold tightly and dragged my students with me. Even though I have given up yearbook, I have not given up the videos, and I guess I’ve recruited enough kids into newspaper who think like I do and think these are hilarious.

Attached below is our video, along with a very rushed sonnet (because I really get into Caesar every year) that I wrote about why I love being a publications adviser who is encouraged by his peers and other staffs to make these ridiculous things.


O’ wondrous display of moving photos,

Thou mock and entertain simultaneously,

Teacher and students alike invoked those,

With ideas conjured spontaneously.


A proposal from a decade prior,

Offered by our yearbook proprietor,

Create optic tales; our ambition? Go viral.

They say fame begets business inquirers.


Many scenes hath we retold, such zeal for all’em.

Dared to statuesque stance, as a mannequin,

And convulsions, not unlike citizens of Harlem.

Innumerable scripts remain. We’ll plan again.


‘Tis with merriment on this path I emblazon,

O’ fortunate soul am I in this vocation.



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