“I came, I saw, I conquered.”
This epic quote from Julius Caesar sums up Jesuit’s performance at the national Junior Classical League conference. From July 24-28, over 20 of the toga-clad Jesuit Latin students participated in national JCL competitions in Troy, Alabama, receiving over 40 awards.
“The competition was a join[t] competition of skills in academics, athletics, and arts between states. It was very fascinating to meet and compete against other students from around the country as well as participate as the state of Texas in spirit competitions,” commented Carson Ward ‘18, a Jesuit Latin student and long time JCL member who earned 7 awards at the event.
Ms. Jones, one of the Latin teachers and chaperones, elaborated: “It is more than a competition, it’s a convention. There are things to do from contests to sports. They also have a variety of colloquia conducted by top college professors and archeologists on topics of all sorts.” She went on, “I went to one on ancient astronomy and another comparing the Chinese Terracotta Warriors to other statuary from Egypt and Greece. I even got a Roman coin as a gift in a lecture about Roman coin history. Every evening there are also social events like games, karaoke, swimming, or a dance.”
“Rather than seeing it as a competition, nationals is more of a social gathering to see what talents each student brings with them,” concurred Carson.
Jones reflected, “My favorite part of Nationals was when I first walked into the arena and I could see the delegations from the different states all representing their love of the Classics. Indiana, Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, Georgia, California, and even Hawaii all have very clever ways of representing their states. Maine has a bunch of inflatable lobsters they toss around, and we sometimes play up the cowboy theme and have Texas flags to represent Texas. This year, Jesuit Student Carl Quist is the 2nd Vice President of the Texas State Junior Classical League, and his job at the National convention was to coordinate and lead the Texas delegation in the states spirit battle. We won 2nd place!”
Clearly, the convention was full of fun and excitement, but what does it actually have to do with Latin?
“No Latin teacher can effectively teach all the Roman History, culture, mythology, and Latin literature that many students crave,” explained Jones. “Therefore, the JCL is an opportunity for students to embrace and explore these areas of interest both in and out of the classroom, and show their creativity and strengths in a competitive and friendly atmosphere.”
Jones concluded, “I am looking forward to as many of our Latin scholars as possible to be able to experience and be successful in the Junior Classical League. I encourage all of them to join, even seniors who are no longer enrolled in a Latin class can join and participate in JCL.”
Here is a link to the list of winners: