Among Shimer's more notorious activities includes the star-studded, no-talent-required variety show that takes place every semester. It goes by the name of Orange Horse. (This, I believe, is the name of a coffee shop in Waukegan where the original show was started--does anyone know for sure?)
Starting around seven in the evening during the middle of semester, and on a weekend with Weekend College, Orange Horse gives Shimerites the opportunity to show off what they're good at, or not, or just act goofy, or all three, in front of the rest of their peers. Normally there's a great deal of music, poetry reading, acting, jokes, and everything in between. This semester was no exception.
We have some wonderful regular alums who come back every semester, or every year, to rehash old traditions and make new ones as well. Eric, who graduated from Mt. Carroll forty years ago, keeps Shimer history alive with his songs about Francis Shimer and... well, other things.
We have solos and group jams, both of which draw cheering adulation.
And lest you think it's all music (which is only about half of it), you get the weird jokes involving clowns and other things.
Beyond that, we had poetry recited from Percy Blysse Shelley and Robert W. Service; readings from J.D. Salinger; an impersonation of a religious devotee on the El train; improv metal; and an especially anticipated guitar jam from Our Dean, David Shiner, doing "Sandman" (Dewey Bunnell, made famous by America) and a few other songs with another Shimer student, Pat.
Orange Horse brings the entire community together; I suppose the feeling can be somewhat equated to a home football game at a big university, except there's no opposing team and no contact sports (well, usually not), no weather to contend with, and considerably better halftime entertainment. It's one of my favorite times in the semester, and I've already got plans for the next one. Let's just say they involve Team America, Kate Chopin, and the "Morning Song of Senlin," and leave it at that.