During my sophomore year of high school, our English class read Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar aloud in a round robin fashion. Some students got brief lines while others, like me, had longer segments. One of mine was Marc Anthony's speech at Caesar''s funeral, the passage that begins, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears."

During my sophomore year of high school, our English class read Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar aloud in a round robin fashion. Some students got brief lines while others, like me, had longer segments. One of mine was Marc Anthony's speech at Caesar''s funeral, the passage that begins, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears."
The story goes that Julius Caesar was warned by a seer named Spurinna to beware the Ides of March.
The Ides of March in the Roman world is March 15. The 15th day of May, July, and October were also called the Ides.
Caesar chose not to heed the warning and in fact, as he walked into the Roman Senate on March 15 in 44 B.C., he said, "The Ides have come!".
If he thought the danger had gone, he was soon proven wrong when he was stabbed to death on the Senate floor.
Shakespeare immortalized the moment in the play and made the quote 'Beware the Ides of March" famous. The exact words that were spoken may be lost to history but legend says the warning was spoken, then ignored, followed by Caesar's death.
Today, the phrase is often spoken but sometimes the reference is unknown.
In my family, the Ides of March is a day for celebration because it's my husband, Roy's, birthday.
It was also one of my great-grandmothers' birthday. Lula Mae Snapp, who became Lula Lewis by marriage, was also born on March 15.
So it's a day we celebrate rather than dread.
It's interesting that a date can become so feared or thought to be unlucky because of an event that happened many centuries ago.
In a similar way, Friday the 13th is considered unlucky by many even though there's no definite reason why.
There are a few theories, however. One is that since Christ's Crucifixion is that many Christians considered Friday to be an unlucky day of the week. Fridays were once considered days for prayer and penitence, something which still holds true during the Lenten season. And, during the Middle Ages, the number thirteen began to be thought of as unlucky. No one wanted to have thirteen at the table or in a group.  From those two origins, the Victorians arrived at the conclusion that Friday that fell on the 13th day of the month must be extremely unlucky.
From the 19th century into the 21st, superstitions about Friday the 13th have grown and expanded.
A series of horror movies in the 1980's probably assisted in growing the myths.
For me, I've usually found any Friday the 13th to be lucky. I received my Bachelor's degree on May 13, 1981, which was a Friday.  
I don't approach the day with dread or concerns.
A day and a date are what anyone  makes them to be.
Just because Julius Caesar was betrayed and killed on March 15 doesn't make me fear the Ides of March.
I'm also not worried about Friday the 13th although I believe the next one will be in April.  Maybe that will be a day of good fortune for me.
At any rate on the Ides of March, we'll be celebrating my husband's birthday.  
Our son Patrick will be in Washington DC on a Neosho AFJROTC trip all week so March 15 will be a good day for him. And today, on March 13, Patrick and his fellow cadets will visit The White House, a first for my son.
As for me, I try to greet each day as one full of possibility and promise, a day to take its own shape and form as it will, no matter what the date or what someone else believes.




Lee Ann Murphy is a staff writer and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.