Matters of Being

Look, if Jesus is not God, were not God, was not God, if He was just a man, then what matters is what he taught. But if Jesus was God, is God, then it doesn’t matter what he taught – because He is the Word Made Flesh.

What if Jesus is God and it matters what he taught?

It would only matter what he taught because He’s God.

What if it is right and just and true?

Then that’s what matters, not being God.

It’s a circular argument.

So is Life.

Grammar Test

Write a correct grammatical sentence for each of the following elements, and then diagram the sentence. Write a different sentence for each element. You may use your notes and a textbook.


1.    simple subject

2.    verb

3.    preposition

4.    object of preposition

5.    prepositional phrase

6.    adjective

7.    adverb

8.    subject complement

9.    direct object



1.    Who was the first critic and what did he believe about art?

2.    What is the difference between the Epicurean and Stoic philosophies?

3.    What are the language arts and in what order are they acquired?

4.    Translate and identify this quote: “Audentis fortuna iuvat.”

5.    How do human beings learn to speak?



Son of Sham Publisher Mike McShane at the Center of the Universe


Independent Reading

Assignment: Each student who is prepared for class (having brought a book to read independently) is to turn in the Answers to these Three Questions on a sheet of loose leaf paper at the end of class.



  • Why are you reading that book?
  • Why did someone have to write that book?
  • Who should read that book next and why?



Also, find some new words to add to This Week’s Race to the Top.


Make sure your name is on the paper.


Dog Ryan

You know why everyone called him Dog? Because he would do shit only a dog would do. One time Jimbo Kidd dared him to lick the back tire on his bike, and Dog did it, and you know Jimbo would ride his bike through mud and dog shit and all kinds of shit, and Dog Ryan licked his tire. Dog Ryan. So nobody hung out with him. He’d try to hang out with guys, and guys would ditch him. He had no friends.

Mick had lots of friends and he felt sorry for Dog Ryan, so one day he hung out with him.

Dog didn’t have any money, so Mick fronted him a quarter and they went to the store, to Molly’s, and bought a bunch of penny candy which was shoveled into a small white paper sack, and they walked through the alley and the secret hallway through the apartment buildings to the back of Ascension and then over to Fox Park to climb a tree and eat the candy and talk shit. It was then that Mick discovered something incredible.

“What time is it, Mick?”

Mick glanced at his Timex. Mick had a ring, his mother’s Trinity high school ring, he had a silver bracelet with “Mick” etched on it, he had the Timex, and he wore aftershave. If only he could shave he would be really cool.

It was a quarter after four, and Dog Ryan said he had to go to practice.

“For what?”

“For practice.”

“For practice for what?”


“Get out of here.”

It wasn’t like Dog Ryan couldn’t play at all. All the guys could play. But Dog was the kind of player who would make plays by accident or luck.

“I got practice for St. Edmund’s.”

“What? How?”

“Trust me.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“I’ll show you, Mick.”

And he did. They climbed down out of their tree, a white birch that overlooked the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Oak Park Avenue, up which they then headed north toward St. Edmund’s.

There was no reason not to believe him. He was after all wearing a football uniform. Where in the world could Dog Ryan get a football uniform except from a football team? But Mick hadn’t asked him anything about it because he was too cool. Maybe Dog Ryan thought he’d catch a pick-up game of football at Fox Park. Guys showed up there with their own pads and helmets once in a while. But a good game of tackle football with a bunch of guys required planning during school to get it organized, sometimes days in advance, and Mick hadn’t heard anything about a game. Dog Ryan probably stole the uni from somewhere or somebody.

Jimbo Kidd had a pair of real high-top black football spikes that he wore in pick-up games at Fox Park and South Park, which would later be named Rehm Park, where there was an Olympic-sized pool to rival Ridgeland-Commons, at which big-time national swimming meets were held before ABC cameras to be shown on the Wide World of Sports, but nobody asked Jimbo Kidd where he got the black high-tops and Mick wondered about that until one day he spotted the high-top black spikes in the Sears catalogue.

Baseball shoes had cleats, football shoes had spikes,

There were lots of things to learn if you were going to be cool.

“Why are we going to St. Edmund’s?”

“To show you where it is.”

“I know where it is.”

“You ever go in?”


“You ever go inside the church?”


If there was a church around, Mick would go inside it. Besides Ascension he had been inside St. Bernadine’s and St. Edmund’s and the Lutheran church near South Park and the cathedral downtown. If there was a church he would go into it and pray, dip his fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross and bow his head and genuflect at the aisle and go into a pew and kneel down and say a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys and then he would snake around the aisles by the side altars and under the Stations of the Cross and into the baptismal fount and into the crying room and race up the aisle and into the nave and up the stairs to the choir loft with its organ at the top, beneath the Dome, which had once been shining gold and now was green, surmounted by green Jesus, arms outstretched, wondering why, why, why.

“Why do you want to know if I ever been in Edmund’s?”

“So you can say you go there.”

Dog Ryan was up to something. Dog Ryan was always up to something, stealing something, sneaking into places, spying on people, doing shit all on his own, in his raggedy clothes – even his football uni was white turned gray and black and green and red with dirt and mud and grass and blood.

“Where we going now?”


“That where you practice?”

It was. Dog Ryan wasn’t bullshitting Mick. There on the field were a couple dozen players uniformed like Dog Ryan, only cleaner. It was the Edmund’s football team. Edmund’s had a football team. Who knew there even was such a thing? And Dog Ryan of all people was on the team.

“How the Hell?”

“I’ll tell you after practice.” And Doggie ran off to practice. Mick watched from a distance. The coach wore a ball cap and a Vince Lombardi aspect. “Run back to the huddle – run!”

They had started by doing calisthenics – jumping jacks, push-ups, leg raisers, starting with bicycling, then lowering the legs and shouting “twelve inches,” then “six inches” and emitting war cries, and then they broke into groups – running backs over here, quarterbacks and receivers over there, linemen over here. Dog Ryan fit right in. He was an average player for these guys from Edmund’s, who seemed to Mick not quite on a par with the Ascension lads. Some bigger guys, but nobody as tall as Shock or anywhere near as athletic, and nobody as big as either Jimbo Kidd or Jimbo Wilkinson.

They ran a scrimmage, mostly running plays, not passing. Afterward Dog Ryan went up to the coach and started talking to him. The coach was listening to him and then Dog was pointing Mick out to the coach, and the coach gestured for Mick to come join them on the sideline.

“I hear you’re a football player,” the coach said. “I’m Coach Payne. Good to meet you.”

Mick introduced himself, and Dog Ryan stood there beaming like he wanted a pat on the head.

“How’d you like to play for St. Edmund’s?”

“But I go to Ascension,” Mick said.

“We’re not going to talk about that,” Coach Payne said. “You go to church at St. Edmund’s, don’t you?”

This was the question that Dog Ryan had been preparing him for.

“Yes,” Mick answered.

“Good enough,” Coach Payne said. “We’ll see you at practice tomorrow then.  You got pads.

“Yes, sir.”

“Wear your own pads and we’ll suit you up afterward.”

“Yes, sir!”

It was almost dark and there was a cool fall breeze that sent the oak leaves cascading onto the sidewalk of East Avenue as they headed back toward Clarence alley.

It was just past Indian Summer and Mick was going to play football tomorrow, his first step toward maybe being one of the greatest football players of all time, like Paul Hornung or Jim Thorpe.

But he wouldn’t tell anybody about it because it might somehow get him in trouble. There was something about all this he wasn’t sure about. Dog Ryan would sneak into the movies, he’d steal candy from the drug store. You couldn’t trust him. But he had hooked Mick up with a football team he could play on, and Mick wasn’t going to pass it up. Besides, the players didn’t look that good, didn’t look that big or that fast. What the Hell!

“You know why he wants you to wear your own pads?”

“See if I’m any good before he gives me a uni.”

“You gotta earn it.”

“Well, you earned it, Doggie, how hard can it be?”

Mick would be like Jim Thorpe, All-American, as played by Burt Lancaster in a movie Mick would stay up late to watch and be inspired to tears and spend the night dreaming of football plays, of scoring touchdowns for Fenwick’s Fighting Friars, for Notre Dame, for the Chicago Bears, no, he would not play pro football, he would do something else, be a spy maybe, but why think that far ahead? For now it would be enough to score a touchdown. He could sleep on that.

The next day at Ascension was a time warp, stretching out interminably while he endured the interval before football practice.

He got dressed for school in his Ascension uni – the powder blue shirt and clip-on navy blue tie, the navy blue trousers, cuffless, that he tried to wear the way Paul Gearen wore his, above the shoe tops so his white socks showed, because Paul Gearen was cool. Paul Gearen was the coolest kid at Ascension. He was handsome and athletic and came from a big family of the best south Oak Park Irish-Catholic stock, his father was a lawyer and one of Fenwick’s most honored alums, and there were eight kids in the family. The DeCleene’s were pretty cool too. They had nine kids.

What was cool about having all those kids?

Because their house was like a playground, like Never Never Land, with kids popping up all over the place all the time.

The Gearen’s house was cool because everything was so well organized – there were lists of chores posted, assigning tasks to the various brothers and sisters, and the house was always clean and uncluttered and the two-car garage was beyond a paved backyard that had been turned into a basketball court.

The DeCleene’s house was cool because it was so unorganized, a towering three-story castle off Jackson Boulevard, overstuffed with kids and toys and games and sports equipment. They only had one more kid in the family that the Gearen’s, but it seemed like a dozen.

And all the kids went to Ascension, one or more to each grade level. Everybody Mick knew went to Ascension, all the Clarence alley boys. They all lived in the shadow of the dome atop Ascension.

At mass each Sunday beneath the dome was distributed the Dome, a publication listing the masses to be said for the souls of the dead, and Mick might see there at regular intervals the appearance of his own grandfather, James, listed there, masses to be said for Pop, and how was that done? Someone had made a donation to the church to have masses said? Was that how that was done? Pop, who left Derry, Ireland and found his way to America by joining up with the British Army and then deserting when they got to Canada and waltzing across the border into the US, easy as pie, and beguiling and charming his way through entrepreneurships, mostly failed, and the odd deal here and there, to a bungalow on the edge of American prosperity in south Oak Park just half a block from Roosevelt Avenue and the border between Oak Park and  Berwyn, which was to say between civilization and Bohemia, Land of the Bohunks, whoever they were, something like Pollocks probably, Pop, who had ruefully turned down a get-rich scheme to put in with a barnstorming football team called the Decatur Staleys, unless this was just one of those yarns Pop liked to spin, in his fine brogue, and he favored drink and his general counsel was: “A kick in the arse is better than no fight at all,” Pop, who would die on the couch in the living room of that bungalow, no hospital nor doctors for him thank you, the Cubs’ game on tv, those bums, and finally he said softly but audibly, “Blessed Lady, take my hand,” and he was gone.


Johnny Lattner’s Steakhouse was dark and cool inside and smelled of wood and leather and steak and cigar smoke. In a glass case lit with a mysterious glow was the Heisman Trophy.


One kid’s name was Tomasetti, but Coach Payne always called him Tuffinetti because he liked the way he hit.


Jimbo Kidd was the good Jimbo. Jimbo Wilkinson was the bad. If you’re tough, you’re going to box in the Silver Gloves. They fought it out for the heavyweight championship of Ascension.


It was time for football practice at Ridegland-Commons, just off Lake Street in the middle of Oak Park, not far from St. Edmund’s but more than a mile away from Ascension, and far from Clarence alley, so none of the guys figured to chance by. There was a fall chill in the air, the sky was gray in the late afternoon and people had to rake the leaves in their yards, and the smell of autumn leaves was cleansing and the smell of the grass and earth when you rolled on it was fortifying.

The coach, Coach Payne, blew his whistle.

“Listen up. We’ve got a game coming up with St. Eulalia and we are going to be ready to play football, you understand me? We are going to block and we are going to tackle because that, gentlemen, is the game of football. You understand me? In its entirety. Blocking. Tackling. You understand?”

Mick could see that it was going to important to understand Coach Payne, but it didn’t sound like much fun.

“You take care of blocking and tackling and the rest will take care of itself.”

What could that even mean? Football was about dodging people, getting away from them, escaping, out-running, about throwing and catching, about tight spirals arcing through the sky. Football was a game of skill and coordination and speed and grace and athleticism. The NFL had that contest: Punt, Pass, and Kick. It was a skills test.

Now there they were, headed for the blocking sleds. Each was built for two players to put their shoulders to and give it a go. For the first time in his life, Mick plowed his shoulder into a blocking sled, imitating the guys who’d gone ahead of him. He was wearing cheapshit shoulder pads and it hurt and he was glad when they switched to something else. Then he found out it was tackling, by way of a tall canvas punching bag you could knock over. That was ok. That was fun. It wasn’t that Mick was afraid to tackle, but he didn’t much care for head-on collisions, and he didn’t want to be steamrolled. He was a pretty good tackler when he could take an angle on the ball carrier and especially when he ran somebody down from behind, which he discovered he could do just about every time the offense ran a sweep to the opposite side from where he was playing cornerback.

Cornerback was where Coach Payne put him as soon as the scrimmage began. He must have wanted to find out if Mick could play or not right away. They both found out at the same time.

If the play came at him, Mick could side-step the blockers and still manage to pull the ball carrier down on angle or from behind. If they decided to throw the ball, that was even better, because Mick was a ball hawk.

Of course he had been burned before. There was that game, hell, it had been at Ridgeland-Commons too, and so was that Little League game for the village championship, but the football game against Field Playground when he was playing safety and that long-legged receiver got behind him, which Mick had never minded before while playing touch football in the street because at the last moment he would always just outjump the receiver and intercept the pass. That was in the street with no one but the Clarence alley boys. Against Field the quarterback launched a pass so high over Mick’s head it was ridiculous, and the guy just reached up and caught it practically in stride.



And that Little League championship game, when they had the game won, and then he made the bonehead play, fielding a ground ball and stupidly running over to tag second, even though there was no one on first, before sailing the ball over the first baseman’s head and into the dugout. “Cleanest pick-up I’ve ever seen,” the manager had marveled afterward, before rolling his eyes and labeling it a bonehead play. Luckily that didn’t lose them the series, and they went on to win the championship in the next game, which Mick watched from the dugout.

Ridgeland-Commons had not worked so well as a sports venue.

Mick didn’t worry about that kind of shit. He wasn’t superstitious, although he was afraid of ghosts and the Devil, and he carried a rabbit’s foot, which was gruesome, but he didn’t think about that either. It was fall and that meant football and he was showing Coach Payne he could play and that was all that mattered, showing his speed, his smarts, his athleticism, every bit of talent and dedication that might compensate for his lack of size. And it worked. Coach Payne was going to try him on offense now.

On defense things have to remain fairly simple. Since the whole idea is to stop whatever the offense initiates, it doesn’t do much good to apply ironclad strategies that ignore what the offense does. Let the offense follow strategy, your job on defense is to mess that strategy up, to disrupt, and you can always just take the ball away from them if you get the chance.

Mick liked all of that, and on a team like this you could play both ways, play on both offense and defense. So now Coach Payne would see what Mick could do with the ball in his hands.

There were holes between each of the offensive linemen and the holes were numbered.


Mick’s nemesis.

How hard could it be?

After all, they ran the same play over and over again. That’s why they called it “practice”.

They would run a sweep to the right, to the right, to the right, then to the left, to the left, to the left. The running back would get the ball in a direct snap from the center, a shotgun snap, then head for the sideline behind a wall of blockers.

The first time they ran the play with Mick as the running back it was like a dream. He followed his blockers patiently. He was so short that the defenders had a hard time spotting him back there. He hid behind his blockers and this caused the defenders to hesitate ever so slightly, and that’s when Mick got the jump on them. They were all running in one direction in pursuit and running hard because they knew the play, when suddenly Mick veered back against the grain and cut right through them. He did it again and again.

“We got ourselves a cutback runner,” exclaimed Coach Payne.

Dog Ryan was on the sideline in his dingy uni in the red glow of the September sunset, his helmet off and dangling from the facemask that Doggie gripped with one paw, and he was grinning. He had recruited a cutback runner for St. Edmund’s.


Coach Payne took Mick for a look at the game unis, even though he wouldn’t be getting one just yet.

“We’ll save that for the night before game day,” Coach Payne said. “But check them out.”

The jerseys were like those of the Cleveland Browns, white with brown numbers for the road, brown with white numbers for home. Then Mick saw the pants and his jaw dropped. They were gold. No stripes or piping just solid shiny sleek gold.


“Classy, huh?”


Coach and player were happy. Coach Payne had found himself a cutback runner and Mick had found himself a team. The only thing left to do was to fuck it all up, so Mick got to work on that right away.

“Just keep it to yourself, son,” Coach Payne had said.

And that was how Mick could fuck things up. He could tell somebody about it. He could tell everybody about it.

Why would he want to fuck it all up?

He wouldn’t, at least not consciously, but at heart he must have wanted to fuck it all up, to blow his chance, because he was the one who blew it all by telling everybody about it.

What about the coach?

The coach didn’t blow it. The coach was going to give Mick a chance. The coach was going to put him in the game.

The coach was going allow a player from another parish play for the parish football team. The coach was going to cheat.

He’d done it before. He was using Dog Ryan.

Blame it on Dog Ryan.

Still, they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for Mick. He could have played. Coach Payne was ready to put him in the game on Saturday, on his birthday, his thirteenth birthday. He would be a teenager and a football player on the same day and maybe he would have to shave.

In reality Coach Payne probably just wanted Doggie and Mick to fill out the team. Mick was pretty good and Doggie was ok, but neither one of them was going to set the world on fire – probably.

But there was no way he would ever know for sure – because he sure felt like he could play then. He had done great things on the playground, catching passes, eluding tacklers, broken field running.

He had no way of knowing that it would be a blessing not to play football.

So maybe that was why he did it – a rational decision, not cowardice.

But he hadn’t done it yet. He had to wait to become a teenager first.

The rain fell in a steady shower and the rhythm and volume would rise and fall and you’d think it was going away and then it would come back harder than ever, and whole sky was a uniform gray, the rain all over it, no going away because there was nowhere to go, it was an all-day rain, on Mick’s thirteenth birthday. He turned on his record player and lay in bed listening to the Beatles.

“I Feel Fine” was also the song they played in the imaginary indoor stadium that Mick had created in the basement when the imaginary basketball team he played on and coached and broadcast went into their warm-up routine.


Mick got tired of going to practice after a couple of days. It was boring. He was never going to learn the numbering system for the plays – not because he couldn’t, but because he had decided he just never would, just like he had made up his mind early on when he took four years of piano lessons and came out at the other end without ever having learned to read music. He’d just fake it, just like he had faked learning the Latin of the Mass so he could be an altar boy.

But how could he just walk away from it. This was his life’s dream.

That was the problem, it was all a dream. And in the dream all the guys were there. Not just the Clarence alley boys but all the Ascension lads – Shock, Jimbo Wilkinson, Jimbo Kidd, Rug Olson, Gaffney, Lavery, all of them, the guys who put together the big pick-up games at Fox Park and you’d pray to get picked. Mick dreamed of playing with those guys.

What about Schweez?

Schweez too.

They were better than the St. Edmund’s guys.

“You don’t think?” Mick said to Dog Ryan.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? Dog, you gotta be kiddin me.”

“I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Ok. Yes.”

“Much better. Shock? Come on. Shock? Just think about it: Shock against These Guys?”

“You’re right.”

“Shock’d kill these guys.”

What could Doggie say? He couldn’t say anything.

Shock was Craig Canovitz, also known as Niggerbits, but not to his face of course. He was a head taller than Jimbo Wilkinson, the next tallest kid, and he was built like Tarzan and he was swarthy, so maybe he was built like that and was a super athlete because he was part-nigger, you know? Plus, some guys said he had flunked a grade, and he was no scholar, so guys called him Niggerbits behind his back, and still everybody wanted to be his friend.

One day in seventh grade Mick came home wearing a pair of army combat boots.

“What in the world have you got on your feet?”


“Where did you get them?”

“Shock gave them to me.”

“They must be three sizes too big.”

“That’s ok.”

Mick was going to use them to train as a fighter and do his road work wearing them. But it turned out they actually were too big. Shock didn’t want them back, so he gave them to the Keating twins, Tom and Jerry, and let them fight over them. They were both a little bit shorter than Mick, so go figure.

“What would be really cool,” Mick told Dog, “would be a pair of combat boots, you know, to do road work in.”

“To be a boxer.”


“Of course you’d get punched a lot.”

“Maybe not.”

“You’d have to.”

You’d have to maybe, but I wouldn’t.”

Not a word about practice, not a word about the team or Coach Payne, not a word about the game coming up on Saturday.


The equipment room, where the uniforms were kept was a scared place. Mick had tried to duplicate it in the storeroom in the basement of his house with a row of cardboard boxes labeled Home and Road with shorts and make-shift jerseys, and Mom had asked, “What’s all this?” and when he started to explain she just nodded her head and walked away. It was ok. Do what you want in the storeroom as long as you don’t wreck anything. Of course it would not be ok when he started hiding his Playboys down there in the storeroom in the basement and he went down there to beat off, but it would be a long time before she found out about that, months.

In the sacred place were stacks of jerseys that were brown – like Cleveland Browns brown – with golden numbers trimmed in black, and that were white with the numbers in brown and etched in gold, and there were stacks of sleek golden football pants that were shiny.

In the game against Eulalia, it had started raining early in the day and Coach Payne had the team wear the white pants they had been wearing in practice, to spare the gold pants from the mud bath, and they wore the white jerseys because they were the home team and the home team wore white.

“Coach Payne is saving the gold pants.”

“Field’s all mud.”

“What’s he saving them for? What’s the point of playing football in the rain if you’re not going to get your uni all muddy?”

“The beauty part is we get to wear the hood-capes.”


They stood on the sideline, Mick and Dog Ryan, in the pouring rain, wearing hooded capes over their helmets and shoulder pads.

On the previous day, Mick had fucked it all up by telling the Ascension lads about playing for St. Edmund’s and had invited them to come out to practice at Ridgeland-Commons and join the team, and when they all turned up in their make-shift unis, Jimbo Kidd in his high-topped black spikes, Coach Payne had taken Mick out of the line-up and moved him to the bench.

Shock, Jimbo Wilkinson, Rug Olsen, Dave DeCleene, and all the Clarence alley boys.

“What the Hell, Mick? What the Hell were you thinking?”

“I didn’t think they’d all show up like that.”

“What’d you think they’d do? You told em you were playing both ways for Edmund’s and they should come and see for themselves if they didn’t believe you, and when they asked if that meant they could play for Edmund’s too – ”

“I said I don’t know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know.”

“Pretty dumb, Mick.”

That was the lowest, being called dumb by Dog Ryan, but there was no denying it.

“He’s not going to put me in, is he?”

Dog Ryan was  looking longingly out on the muddy field where Edmund’s was being pummeled by Eulalia in the pouring rain and then he was, and then he was buckling his chinstrap because Coach Payne was going to put him in the game, Dog Ryan, going into the game instead of Mick, Dog Ryan with his uni all mudded-up in one play, mud clogged in his face mask, not Mick, who was thirteen years old that day and it occurred to him that perhaps instead of being the greatest football player of all time like Jim Thorpe or Paul Hornung, he would just be an espionage agent like James Bond.


Mom threw him a birthday party. You had to love Mom, because she loved you so much, you were it, of course she’d throw you a birthday party, but she would never throw you another one, this was it.

At fourteen Mick would be too old to have birthday parties thrown for him by his mother or by anybody else, he was too cool, for one thing.

They were cooking burgers on the grill set up just inside the garage with the garage door open and the rain still pouring down. It had rained all day. Mom was letting Mick cook the burgers.

The Clarence alley boys were all there to celebrate his birthday, Gump, John Duff, Terry Joyce, Jack Lepper. They didn’t give a shit about the Edmund’s football team because they hadn’t taken the whole thing seriously from the beginning and they sure as shit didn’t give a shit after Coach Payne yelled at them all and told them to get the Hell off his field, which was Ridgeland-Commons field and they had as much right to be there as his sorry team, we could dog you, you even got Dog Ryan! And now they were all eating burgers and laughing and talking shit and having a good time at Mick’s birthday party, and Mick cooked himself another burger, cooked it just the way he liked it, medium rare, and ate it, hot and juicy, and it tasted good, and he had not invited Dog Ryan.


Life in the Hall of Fools

The second edition of Hall of Fools is now available on Amazon for just $12.25, and includes new artwork by Mike Garvin.

DSC00542Hear the Trump Train a Comin’

Hall of Fools was written about the 2013-2014 school year, and throughout the book you can hear the whistle blowing of the Trump Train coming down the track, but even if we had seen it coming, there seems nothing we could do about it except try to get out of the way, jump off the track, which is what happens in the book. The narrator retires, declares a separate peace, and thus emerges from the Hall of Fools sadder but wiser.

Now it is clear, right here in Alachua County that if all those kids, disproportionally black, who were acting up in school before, trying to get attention even if it required  negative behavior to get it, who felt that their situation was hopeless, well, now they know.

How did Trump get elected? How did ignorance win the election? You’ll find the answer in school.

When I pointed this out recently, one of my readers responded that it was good that public schools were bad because the more stupid people there were, the easier it would be for the smart people to take advantage of them.

If that sounds like the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard, you must admit it sounds a lot like Trump too.

I still feel bad about the portraits I’ve drawn of a few people in Hall of Fools because they were my friends and I betrayed their confidence and held them up to ridicule, which I regret and I offer my sincere apologies, but, ironically, it would be dishonest of me to take those bits out because one inescapable conclusion of Hall of Fools is that not only is the narrator a fool but so are you. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.



Here’s the opening salvo of an academic year in the golden age of Obama near the beginning of Hall of Fools, and if you look closely you can see the shadow of Betsy DeVos with God on her side, descending from the clouds, assisted by the deus ex machina of Republican chicanery.

August 2013 Pre-Planning

I’m from Chicago, and having labored through 30 years of educational reforms down here, I could now safely side with DaMare in saying: “This town aint ready for reform.”

Educationally, as in other ways, Florida was a dead end.

The Florida Plan.

Strategic Planning.

The Education Secretary was forced to resign when it was discovered he had cheated in Indiana to change the grades of charter schools, in other words, to screw public education.

Over the summer the brass had all been to a Big Workshop, a Huge Workshop, at Atlantic Coast High School, two whole vans full of administrators and go-getter teachers, wasting a whole weekend, or rather, devoting a whole weekend of their vacation, on the taxpayer’s dime,  in Jacksonville.

The Principal, Jerry Brickhouse, was telling the story to start off the faculty meeting. “So we’re on our way over there, and Junior is driving.” Brickhouse always liked to have somebody on staff he called Junior. “And I want to get there in time for the buffet breakfast.”

The new “Junior” was Mr. Luden, who had only been teaching Math for three or four years but was a real go-getter, conducted Bible Study once a week. The old Junior was science teacher Adam Kander, who had been Junior for a long time and was well into his forties now, and who would henceforth be known as Junior Senior.

And something funny happened on the trip on the way over before they found out that the State of Florida was opting out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC, and would instead develop something called the Florida Plan so everything they learned that weekend would have to be discarded, and I wasn’t paying attention, but it must have been funny because everyone laughed.

Down to serious business. As always, pre-planning began with the same common sense overview: This was a crisis. What could be done?

This idea that something could be done was naïve. Nothing could be done because there was nothing to be done. The something they always mandated doing involved essentially something other than teaching. They, the administrators, the school board, the legislature, none of them seemed to get the idea that there was absolutely nothing else to be done in school besides teaching.

Connie Gwaltney got up to rat out the teachers from last year who were sitting on the bench at the bus corral during bus duty instead of actively supervising the students. She was chastising the administrators more than the teachers. She had been at Odyssey longer than anyone, she said, which turned out not to be true, and she hated to see it come to this, whatever this was, but I wasn’t paying attention.

Connie liked to show Brickhouse and everybody else that she could be an administrator too. She could run this thing.

Brickhouse had commenced referring to the students as “our customers”. He must have learned it at a workshop. “How can we best serve our customers?” Now we had 600 customers riding busses. They didn’t get here till 8:45 so there was no way to improve their FCAT scores till then, and they got back on those busses at 3:45 and they were gone. Somehow in-between we had to find a way to serve those customers. Brickhouse had a great idea. He would have a SWAT team of teachers offering tutoring services for those customers. To swing the deal, the SWAT teachers would trade their planning period for cash, and the students would trade their elective class for the free tutoring.

“You can’t do that, it’s illegal,” Connie pounced.

“Of course it’s not,” Brickhouse said laughing.

“Teachers are already compensated during their planning period, you can’t compensate them twice.”

“We’ll talk about that afterward. But for now, just keep in mind, this could be a real good way to help everybody that needs help and that means teachers as well as students. That’s all we’re trying to do. And that’s what we’re here to do. It’s real important that we’re all on the same page with this. That was the big message of that weekend at Florida Atlantic, even if we don’t implant any of those, what do you call them, reforms, and even if Florida is not part of the PARCC and we make our own Florida Plan, that we have to work together no matter what it is, that that’s the only to make it work, whatever it is.”

That was clear enough.




At our table, someone said. “You see in the paper they caught Lynn Thorndike with her hand in the cookie jar?”

Everybody had seen it. Lynn Thorndike had been Assistant Principal at Odyssey for a long and abusive time, we thought we’d never get rid of her, that nobody in his right mind would ever make her a principal, before the currents in the Administrative Pool swept her on to being Principal first at one school and then another and then another. Along the way she developed a sideline as CEO of an Educational Tutoring Service and a scheme not unlike the one Brickhouse had just openly outlined for all to hear. Then she hired her own company to tutor the customers. Bingo. Dr. Thorndike hit the Race to the Top jackpot and pocketed about a quarter of a million dollars. When the Better Business Bureau failed to look into this but the Tampa Tribune did, the Gainesville Sun got interested too and called Dr. Thorndike on the phone. Then the investigation took a comical turn when Dr. Thorndike pretended on the phone to be someone else and the reporter caught on.

“You don’t happen to be Lynn Thorndike, do you?”

“Why, no, no, of course not, I’m just . . .”

Our brave leaders. In front of us Brickhouse had given way to Diana Arthur, who was speaking now, ironically enough, as she was the one who had replaced Lynn Thorndike as Assistant Principal. She looked at our table sternly.

“I’d like for you look at the available data and then for you to brainstorm some strategies and access your resources, and then try to answer the question.”

What question? None of us knew. We’d been talking about Lynn Thorndike.

“Sustainable. Measureable. Attainable. Reasonable. Timely.”



Isn’t it!”

“Let’s look at our targeted population.”

That would be those 600 customers on busses, on free and reduced lunch, also known as the lower quartile, which meant the lowest quartile, and we could take all of their names and their data and put it in a big hopper and give it a spin.

“Let’s brainstorm.”

As always, we were trying to think of Things to do Besides Teaching.

“No, no. First, identify the problem.”

“Wait a minute. Aren’t these the same problems we were going to solve last year?”

“And they’ll be the same ones next year.”

Brickhouse could sense the crowd’s energy ebbing so he stepped in to raffle off gift cards to Wal-Mart and Publix and Starbucks.



The Beginning of the End

The continuum presented itself on the very first day of school, the kids who were already bored. They had been bored all summer and they were still bored. They were, of course, simply boring. They were boring themselves.

“I don’t know why you’re bored, you seem so easily amused. Why not summon up one of those highly amusing incidents that you so love to laugh at. Someone falling down. Or farting. Or, how about this? Someone Falling Down Farting!”

Sometimes the recoil can be more dangerous than the projectile.

“Why the long face? Think of all the wonderful farts you’ve cut.”

Anger is the poorest of counselors.

Lately, with the infusion of the lower quartile into my Regular Language Arts classes I found myself counseling young black males with the advice I had picked up from Dashiell Hammett by way of Sam Spade and portrayed indelibly by Humphrey Bogart: “When a lady slaps your face, you’ll take it and learn to like it.”


There were a lot of eighth graders who didn’t know the rules of capitalization.

Tenses? You’ve got to be kidding me. They didn’t know what a verb was, so how could they know tenses?

Who taught these kids last year?

The conclusion was inescapable that good old Finn, who had been at Odyssey for 15 years and had twice been named Teacher of the Year, who was accustomed to wearing a sports jacket and affecting the look of an administrator, whose yearning to be an administrator had only eroded over time when he failed to win the necessary backing from his own administrator, the Principal who might have offered him a starting block at the edge of the administrative pool but found him too contentious, after yet another class of his former students arrived in my room as illiterate as stones, fresh from a year of cooperative learning, proving damningly that Mr. Finn must really not be able to teach worth shit. But of course Finn could teach and was a good teacher. He tried. He knew his stuff, he was literate, articulate, personable, an effective communicator, and he did everything that was asked of him and more. It was just plain as day that his method wasn’t working either. The kids couldn’t write.


Now Bill O’Reilly could seize on this manuscript and say, see there, that proves my point: The public schools aren’t teaching these kids anything, they don’t even know what a verb is – but only half of that was true. Yes, it was true that the kids didn’t even know what a verb was, but I did try to teach them every single day and so did Finn. It was true that not even all the teachers of Language Arts knew what a verb was, but I did, and I told the kids, I taught them every chance I got. It’s just that the chances were so rare, and more and more those rare chances were being eliminated by shit like Pure BS.

Academic Success Program

PDP through ASICS

Reading Coach

The students would have you believe that all had been reversed, transformed into its opposite in a world like Genet’s in prison where the sinners were saints and vice versa. The students of the Obama era were ironically empowered with a kind of tea party mentality, believing that as tax payers themselves, the teachers were actually working for them and that they were actually the teachers’ superior. They were always to supervise their teachers to make sure the teachers were laboring to maximum capacity, meeting their every need, answering their every question. Their every question developed into a monotony: “Can I go to the restroom, can I get a drink, can I go call my mom, can I go see my counselor, can I go to my locker, do we have to write this down, is this for a grade, when do we get out of here, can I go to the restroom . . .” endlessly.

At least let me get all the way out the door, I thought, before you slam it on me.

I was looking forward to leaving, and apparently I wasn’t the only one looking forward to my leaving.


Julie Honnecut gushed at lunchtime upon having seen her old chum Faye Sheldon, the new Reading Coach cruising by for a briefing with the new Language Arts Department Chairwoman, none other than Ms. Honnecut herself, “I love Faye. The best thing in the world for her was to get out of the classroom.”

Faye Sheldon, despite being a staunch Republican in her 60s, was still sucking off the government’s tit. She and her husband had feared the onslaught of the tyrant Obama, who somehow at the same time managed to be a dictator and show no leadership, because they were unfortunate enough to “earn” more than $250,000 a year, thus falling prey to Obama’s communist philosophy of sharing the wealth. I knew Obama was not a communist, because it takes one to know one. Faye Sheldon was still pulling down her top-step salary, but not as a teacher anymore. Now she was a Reading Coach. That didn’t mean coaching kids in Reading, which God knows they could have used. It meant coaching teachers in how to teach kids Reading, which she couldn’t do anymore if she ever could, and  that was why she retired after frying her brain trying to teach Read 180 to a bunch of ghetto kids. Now I guess she must have been in DROP, where they let you retire and then they hire you back like you’re someone else, while the other you goes on collecting retirement checks. Jesus.


Sapere Aude

It was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. On my smart board we were able to watch Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech. I was going to diagram some of the powerful metaphors on the white board. About halfway through Dr. King’s speech, a tiny black girl, in every way a model of respectability, good grades, two parents, stable household, college-bound, surreptitiously slipped on a pair of phony glasses with the mustache and nose attached (they had them in brown noses now too) and made everyone snicker.


A frightening number of eighth graders not only could not write or read cursive, they didn’t even know how to hold a pen. They clutched at it with their entire fist and gripped it like a snake they were trying to wring the life out of.

Your pen is not a snake. Your pen will not betray you in the Garden of Eden. Your pen will not bite you, but it just may poison you. Its power may seduce you, may lull you into a hypnotic and dream-filled waking sleep as it slides through sentence after sentence, snaking its way across and down each page, and like a python it may wrap its coils around you and squeeze the life out of you with its weighted words, words that speak the truth or heap lies on top of you until you are buried alive, curse at you like demons, bless you like angels, haunt you like ghosts, hunt you like beasts of prey, and your very humanity will cry out for release: No more ink, I beg of you, I’m drowning in it!

“If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if after that God should swell the sea into seven seas of ink, his words would not be exhausted; for God is mighty wise.” The Koran, Sura 31, Lokman 


Back to 2017

We are all freshman at Trump University now. How did we get here?

Playing the Trump Card

Of course Donald Trump and those on the religious right railing against “Radical Islam” don’t know a thing about Islam. They never read the Koran or a biography of Mohammad. Nor have they studied religion by following their own faith, or absence of faith, back to its roots, to see how it connects with other human beings. We are all sharing this life, remember, this moment.

Except, of course, for those of us who are not, who were here just a moment ago, but who have since been murdered. Call it what you like. An act of terror. A hate crime. It has nothing to do with Islam. No religion teaches that, thank God.

The massacre of innocent people is a frequent occurrence in the Bible, which we are told is based on a true story, and such occurrences have not been infrequent in history right up to modern times, like yesterday, or, who knows, today. Today is a good day to die, as the native Americans say. But let’s say we don’t. What then?

Let us pray.

Prayer? Is prayer really the answer?

Harry Crews must’ve picked this one up in Bacon County, Georgia. It goes like this: “Pray in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.”

See, that’s one reason this has nothing to do with religion, because if it did, you could use religion to fight it. Prayer might actually do some good then. If Donald Trump and his fervid followers want to pray for their own enlightenment, so that their hearts will be opened and their beloved Jesus Himself might appear to them and say unto them: Love your enemies.

Spinoza could work it out for you by the monads to show you empirically that to balance the system you counter hate with love. Countering hate with hate only enflames the wound.  We want to make things better, not worse. We want to allow our collective conatus to regulate our equilibrium.

“And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . . Walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? Friends, They may think it’s a MOVEMENT, and that’s what it is: THE ALICE’S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! . . . and all you gotta do to join is to Sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar.” – Arlo Guthrie

Dear Disciples of Hall of Fools, we are on the cusp of critical mass. By our count at Son of Sham Press, there are now 63 of you out there. When we reach triple digits the movement will be underway. Otherwise, those of you who have had your lives changed by reading Hall of Fools will know that the book is true and that nobody really gives a shit about public schools or teachers or kids or books.

Read the book. It will do you good, and even though it may hurt a little, you will feel good and get some laughs and it’s even got pictures by the great Mike Garvin, and not only that but we’re dead broke and could use the money. We’re using credit cards to buy groceries and diapers, you heartless bastard, and you’re not even posting a review on Amazon. Get off your ass. How do you think you’re going to get Bernie Sanders elected when you can’t even get 100 people to read Hall of Fools?

Go on Amazon. Say the book is too long, if you want, that it’s got this or that that doesn’t belong, that it’s too naïve or too cynical, that its premises and conclusions are all wrong. Just don’t pretend like it never happened. Say that it’s offensive – for crysakes if you’re offended, what are you going to do, just sit there and be offended? Are you going to let people offend you and write offensive things and you’re not going to stand up and say anything, you’re just going to stay silent? It’s Nazi Germany all over again.

Too much?

Maybe if Bernie Sanders hadn’t actually said he wanted to start a revolution, if he didn’t talk about taking money away from the rich and giving it to the poor, he might have had a chance.

But we are on record, we are publicly against revolution. We already had our revolution in 1776, and to have another would be to un-do the first.

(See: The Counter Revolution of 1776 by Gerald Horne)

The way the New Testament renders the Old Testament obsolete, the way Christianity makes Judaism obsolete, the way Islam makes Christianity obsolete.

Wait a minute.

Anyway, there will be no more revolutions in this country, which was founded on Judeo-Christian values, just ask David Mamet, a Jew, a Zionist.

Do not ask Noam Chomsky.

A self-hating Jew.

As opposed to what? An other-person hating Jew?

Pride – an excessive love of self.


Which brings us back to Donald Trump. We love Donald Trump because we love ourselves, except for those of us who are self-hating Jews.

Other people hate themselves, it’s not just Jews.

Yes, but Jews are the only people, presumably, who hate themselves just for being Jews.

Self-hating blacks.


Self-hating whites?

We’ve got it coming.


If Donald Trump became President no one would have any idea what would happen next.

The Charismatic Leader. The Irresistible Rise of Donald Trump. He’s just one guy, but because he’s got all this capital, he’s like a one-man political party.


A million Filipinos were murdered when the U.S. decided that the Philippines belonged to us.


To be a blue-blood meant that your skin was so white you could see the blue veins on the backs of your hands and the underside of your forearms.


In modern tragedy, like Death of a Salesman, you didn’t necessarily witness the downfall of a great man. An ordinary man like yourself would do. He is simply crushed by circumstance. The world overpowers him, but it could just turn some schmuck into a hero.

No need to put down the reader, dear reader, gentle reader, gentles all – you’ve done nothing to deserve this. After all, we’re above name-calling, aren’t we?


Lorenzo de Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent, wielded power even greater than Donald Trump.


Trump is like the rabbit in a long distance race, who jumps out in front of the pack and sets the pace, perhaps by agreement with the other racers, the favorites, and either drops out with a lap to go or burns himself out and fades. Sometimes however the rabbit can get a big enough lead that he takes it into his head to run away from the field, in which case he just might win.

Trump’s campaign was insane, a joke, a comic book, a circus, a match like Wrestlemania, but it was also mucking with the most sacred ritual of democracy, warping it into a a cheap commodity just like everything else. It was a Happy Meal that your kid would appraise wisely and keep the cheap toy and leave the food to rot.

Would we buy Trump’s campaign?

Would your kid want a Happy Meal? Of course, and you’re going to get it for him and would you eat two double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu and if the fries were fresh and hot would you not put away a whole Large Fries on the drive home?

Of course and be sick as a dog afterward and do it all over again a week or two later, max, which is to say, sure, we could buy Trump’s act and we could even re-elect him.

We elected Bush twice.

Different thing altogether. Bush was a Bush. There was a political legacy there, some history. He was Governor of Texas. This guy, Trump, has never run for nor held political office before. His only credential is his capacity to accumulate capital.

Otherwise, he seems to be making it all up as he goes along, improvising everything with an attitude of Here’s What I’d Do on the widest possible array of topics that he’d never really thought about before, but now that you ask, I’ll just respond off the top of my head.


If Trump were to become President, he could well become the Last President of the United States. The Rest of the World would decide No More Presidents for you, if you’re not going to take things seriously.


Anti-Marxists who have actually read Marx are rare. If pressed, most Anti-Marxists will confess that they haven’t actually read Capital, certainly not all three volumes, whereas anyone has actually read all three volumes of Capital may be many things, but one thing he can never be is an Anti-Marxist. He cannot go backward. He gets it; he cannot un-get it.


The only thing Trump really seems to believe in is his own superiority. The same can be said of his followers, which is why no perceived gaffe Trump makes seems to trouble him the least in the polls.

If Trump insults Carly Fiorina, she must have it coming, just like John McCain had it coming to him.

Believing in his own superiority ultimately requires The Donald to consider everybody else a loser, at least compared to him.

The one thing Trump doesn’t seem to see coming is the positive delight the entire populous takes at the sight of its superiors in difficulties and brought low. Remember, we built people up precisely so that we can tear them down.

With Trump it’s going to be sweet, to see him groveling and then to slink away with his tail between his legs, defeated, a loser, like the rest of us, and maybe then we’ll see the real rise of Donald Trump.

James Livingston, Professor of History, Rutgers, on Hall of Fools:


“Everyone who teaches, at whatever level of education, higher, lower, or in the hellish depths of private schools and prisons, needs to avoid this book, because it lays bare the absurdity of the enterprise. Every department chair, dean, provost, principal, janitor, or hall monitor, and every student aged 14 to 24 needs to read it, because it explains why we–us teachers–enact this repetition compulsion on a daily basis.”


James Livingston has taught history at Rutgers since 1988. Before then, he taught at a community college, a maximum-security prison, a small liberal-arts college, and three state universities. He’s the author of five books, beginning with Origins of the Federal Reserve System (1986), on topics in economic, intellectual, social, and cultural history. His published essays include studies of Shakespeare, banking reform, cartoon politics, pragmatism, diplomatic history, Marxism, slavery and modernity, feminism, corporations and cultural studies, psychoanalysis, capitalism and socialism. He lives in New York City.

Every now and then I present a writer whose work, I’d like to think, only I have the balls to publish. While it’s possible that an academic journal might publish a piece that attacks the educational system—including students and parents—it isn’t necessarily so. Thus I’m proud to give you an excerpt of “Hall of Fools” by Shamrock McShane. The title is apt, and so is the writer’s honesty.
A Note from Robert Clark Young, CNF Editor: March 2015





Collected Criticism


Collected Criticism


Oak Leaves/Pioneer Press

Oak Park World/Southtown Economist

Chicago Sun-Times

Solares Hill (Key West)


Florida Alligator

Apr 26, ‘85     Landscape of the Body (Acrosstown/Star Garage)

May 23, ‘85    Serenading Louie (UF)

May 30, ‘85    Theater Notes

Jun 6, ‘85        Hello Dolly (GCP)

Jun 13, ‘85      Fool for Love (UF)

Jun 20, ‘85      Taming of the Shrew (UF)

Jul 11, ‘85       Hipp Season Not a Gamble

Jul 18, ‘85       They’re Playing Our Song (Hipp)

Aug 1, ‘85      Cabaret (UF)

Aug 30, ‘85    Pirates of Penzance (GCP)

Sep 27, ’85      The Torch (UF)

Who’s Happy Now? (UF)




Moon Magazine

Aug  ’96          Season Preview: Hippodrome, Gainesville Community Playhouse, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, University of Florida, Santa Fe Community College, Ocala Civic Theatre

Sep  ’96           Carousel  (GCP);  Playwright Sarah Bewley

Oct  ’96           Sylvia (Hipp), Man for All Seasons (GCP), The Boys Next Door  (SFCC), Culture Movement (Acrosstown)

Nov  ’96         True West (Acrosstown), Mary, That’s a Boy’s Name (Melody Club); profile: Sarah Bewley

Dec  ’96          A Christmas Carol (Hipp), The Taming of the Shrew (Acrosstown)

Jan  ’97           profile: Writer/Director Sybil Odom, All Children’s Theatre

Feb  ’97          Freefall (Acrosstown)

Mar  ’97          A Streetcar Named Desire (Hipp)

Apr  ’97          The Oscars; 1984 (Acrosstown)

May  ’97         Teen Play Fest (Hipp); The Invisible People (ACT); How the Other Half Lives (GCP); Sandman (Acrosstown)

Jun  ’97           The Acrosstown Shakespeare Company

Jul  ’97            profile: Playwright Jeffrey Sweet

Aug  ’97          profile: Director Lauren Caldwell, Hippodrome

Sep  ’97           Steel Magnolias (GCP)

Oct  ’97           Dracula (Hipp)

Nov  ’97         Macbeth (everyday theater) reviewed by Colin Whitworth

Dec  ’97          profile: Actor William H. Macy

Jan  ’98           profile: Actor Rusty Salling, Hippodrome

Feb  ’98          Santa Fe Community College Shakespeare Fest

Mar  ’98          The Glass Menagerie (Hipp)

Apr  ’98          Judevine  (SFCC), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead  (Acrosstown)

May  ’98         Private Eyes (Hipp)

Jun  ’98           Florida Studio Theatre; Miss 1988 ; SFCC one-acts

Jul  ’98            Search and Destroy (Pariah Theatrics)

Aug  ’98          profiles: Designer Denise Mondschein and Playwright Matthew David

Sep  ’98           William H. Macy Visits the Hipp for The Last Night of Ballyhoo

Oct  ’98           Horrors: Little Shop of Horrors (GCP), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Hipp), Hogtown Horrors (Acrosstown) Word doc

Nov  ’98         Orestes (UF)

Dec  ’98          Xmas: Chirstmas Carol/Tuna Christmas (Hipp), Miracle on 34th Street  (GCP); Angel Hush (Acrosstown) (Word doc) (Kevin Blake, Gregg Jones, Lara Krepps)



Word Documents

Jan  ’99           How I Learned to Drive (Hipp)

Feb  ’99          Squabbles (GCP)

Mar  ’99          Gross Indecency (Hipp)

Apr  ’99          The Good Person of Sichuan (UF); Teen Play Fest (Hipp)

May  ’99         The Shammies

Jun  ’99           Playwrights Arupa Chiarini, Sarah Bewley, Mary Hausch,  and Shamrock

Jul  ’99            profile: Designer Marilyn Wall-Asse, Hippodrome

Aug  ’99          Marie and Bruce (Pariah Theatrics/Rapscallions of the Periphery)

Sep  ’99           As Bees in Honey Drown (Hipp)

Oct  ’99           The Fringe Fest; Frankenstein (Hipp); A Short History of the Devil (Jobsite, Tampa); A View of the Dome (Rapscallions)

Nov  ’99         Frankenstein (Hipp); Amadeus (UF); The Diviners (SFCC); Homeless in Gainesville FL (Homeless Book and Theater Project)

Dec  ’99          A Critical Credo: Amadeus (UF) (Word doc)

Jan  2000        The Piano Lesson (Acrosstown)

Feb 2000         The Importance of Being Earnest (UF)

Mar 2000        Hedda Gabler (Hipp)

Apr 2000        Hamlet (Acrosstown)

May 2000       The Shammies

June 2000       Summer in Gainesville and NYC

July 2000        Nicole Simpkiss Dickson

Aug 2000        Lauren Caldwell and Season Preview

Sep 2000         From inside Cheese & Boys in the Band

Oct 2000         Hysteria (Hipp) with Gregg Jones & Mark Chambers

Nov 2000        Angels in America (UF), Enemy of the People (ART), Hysteria (Hipp)

Dec 2000        Letters to the Editor (ART) (Sid Homan, Bill Eyerly)

Jan 2001         The Blue Room (Hipp) (Lauren Caldwell)

Feb 2001         Steve Jones, Porn & Art, Hipp Macbeth, Amistad (ART), Jessica Arnold and Man Meat

Mar 2001        Macbeth (Hipp)

Apr 2001        Curse of the Starving Class (ART)



July 2001        Jessica Arnold Directs Bash


Gainesville Sun




New Moon Rising


Word Press

Marley’s Christmas Carol

The Reason to See Saint Joan

The Foreigner

Mamet Primer

House of David

Across the River

Kimberly Akimbo

Akimbo Addendum

Flight of the Unicorn

These Shining Lives