JCL Attends 2019 Classics Day

December 9, 2019

On Thursday, December 5, the Junior Classical League (JCL) attended Classics Day, hosted by Boston University. JCL is a club at Greylock open to all students, regardless of what language they take. It focuses on promoting Ancient Roman and Greek Civilization, but they also perform community service, fundraising, and work to connect the ancient world to modern day. The annual Classics Day is an opportunity for Massachusetts JCL students to put there skills into action. The theme for this year was Greek and Roman calendars.

Teachers and students left Greylock at the break of dawn, arriving at BU at 9:30. They had a general assembly, and then headed off to their chosen workshops taught by professors from BU, Boston College, and other local schools. 

Some of the workshops included “A Day at the Circus: Chariot Races in Rome” and “Pop Music and its Critics in Ancient Rome.” Former NJCL President Michelle Wu, who is now a Boston City Councilor, presented a workshop based on her time at JCL and how it has influenced her job now. There were multiple workshops based on calendars, time, and holidays to go along with the theme. 

Greylock latin teacher Christine Cope is a facilitator for the club. She also attended Classics Day, along with a few other teachers. Ruth Weaver is president of the club, handling meetings and keeping up with the state level of JCL. Nicole Overbaugh is the local Historian, who documents everything the club does. Julia Butler is the second vice president, and she coordinates everything from community service to cheering at competitions. 

Toward the end of October, Greylock hosted the kickoff event, where all of the schools came to compete in different competitions, including the infamous catapult competition. 

“They actually launch big catapults,” Cope said. “They have some certamen matches; certamen is basically a Latin quiz game. You have buzzers, and you’re asked trivia questions about Latin, history, grammar, all that kind of stuff, so it’s really fun for the students.”

After the workshops on Classics Day, lunch was provided, and then the club headed back to the auditorium for another assembly. Students from each school performed skits based on the theme, Roman calendars. Students from Greylock performed a skit based off of how it was Julius Caesar’s goal to add two months to the ten month calendar. 

“It’s just fun for every school to go up and do that,” Cope said. Unfortunately, Greylock’s skit went over the time limit, but they still earned an award for best acting. 

When asked why she loves JCL so much, Cope responded, “oh gosh, it just brings Latin students from all over the state together; it’s a friendly competition, and it’s something that I did as a student and Greylock has done for probably a number of decades, like before I started working here.” 

Although Classics Day has passed, the JCL year is far from over. They will continue with community service and other activities. In May, they head to the State Convention to participate in more competitions, which include Olympika, which are special JCL sporting events, academic testing, graphic arts, performing arts, spirit, service, Certamen, and much more. 

Cope said the club helps to develop major life skills.

“We’ve had people on the state board, just very involved, so it’s been really something engaging, and gives students opportunities to deal with leadership and community service.”

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